ATRIA BOOKS AND UNITED TALENT AGENCY TO LAUNCH KEYWORDS PRESS
NEW IMPRINT WILL PUBLISH BOOKS BY DIGITAL STARS
NEW BOOKS FROM TOP DIGITAL INFLUENCERS SHAY CARL, SHANE DAWSON, iJUSTINE, CONNOR FRANTA AND JOEY GRACEFFA ARE AMONG THOSE PLANNED
FOR 2014 AND 2015
NEW YORK (May 22, 2014) – Atria Publishing Group, together with United Talent Agency, is launching Keywords Press, a new imprint specifically created to publish digital influencers, it was announced today by Judith Curr, President and Publisher of the Atria Publishing Group. Keywords Press will offer these authors new business, creative development and marketing models designed in recognition and celebration of the unique relationship between digital stars and their global networks of hyper-connected fans. In launching the imprint, Keywords Press also announced that it will publish original works by five of today’s most popular digital personalities, with books to be released in late 2014 and early 2015.
“Keywords Press is being built to work with new authors who not only have unique voices, but also have a special and direct relationship with their fans,” commented Judith Curr. “We believe that this generation of digital stars, who are unprecedented in how they’ve built their brands and relate to their audiences, gives us an opportunity to rethink the traditional publishing model. We are excited for our new authors to work directly with their fans to determine what stories they want told, and we anticipate publishing works ranging from serious to comedic, fiction to non-fiction, practical advice to personal memoir. We are delighted to work with United Talent Agency, which is known for its digital innovation, to make Keywords Press a reality.”
Keywords Press (https://www.thekeywordspress.com) aims to publish six to ten titles per year, in both digital and print formats, and with the flexibility to get books into the marketplace quickly to take advantage of new trends and opportunities.
The first books to be published by Keywords Press will be by Shay “ShayCarl” Butler, Shane Dawson, Justine “iJustine” Ezarik, Connor Franta and Joey Graceffa.
Shay “ShayCarl” Butler is the force behind one of the most beloved families on YouTube, the Butlers, or better known to millions of fans as “The ShayTards.” Shay got his start on YouTube as a sketch comedian and vlogger just five years ago, and has since spawned multiple channels and series across genres, attracting over 1 billion views. With original series such as the animated hit “Shaybeard,” inspirational healthy living tips and tricks on his weight loss channel ShayLoss, as well as daily vlogs featuring adventures with his wife and five children, Shay has secured a loyal family-friendly fan following. His online success encouraged his wife, sister, sister-in-law, and brothers to all join the platform creating hits such as The Mom’s View channel and more. Shay has served as host to the red carpet at the American Music Awards, has been featured on Anderson Cooper’s “Anderson” and ABC’s “America’s Funniest Videos,” as well as in The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, Variety, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, and Time, to name just a few. Shay is also a co-founding talent of the world’s largest network of online video content for millennials, Maker Studios.
Shane Dawson is one of the biggest comedians on YouTube, with over 10 million subscribers across his three channels and over a billion views. He has almost 2 Million Twitter followers and over 3.6 million Facebook likes. Dawson made his first YouTube video in 2006 and has been producing daily videos ever since. In 2012, he began self-releasing original music with each of his singles reaching the top 20 on iTunes. He has won Streamy and Teen Choice Awards and has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Forbes magazine recently named him the 25th most famous web celebrity. In June 2013 Dawson and producing partner Lauren Schnipper launched the podcast “Shane and Friends,” co-hosted by the duo, which hit number 1 on iTunes within 24 hours. In October, they sold a half-hour sitcom based on Shane’s life to NBC with Olive Bridge Entertainment and Sony TV. In March 2014, they wrapped production on a feature film directed by and starring Dawson and executive produced by Chris Moore. All of Dawson’s YouTube channels are within the Fullscreen Network.
Justine Ezarik a.k.a. iJustine is a one-woman new media phenomenon: techie, gamer, vlogger, and digital influencer. She is one of the top female personalities on YouTube having amassed over 3.2 million subscribers across her 3 channels, more than 1.6 million Twitter followers and more than 460 million views on her videos. In the same month Justine was named one of the Hollywood Reporters 50 most powerful digital players as well as one of Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100. In 2014, she was on Time’s Most 100 list and in 2012, she was ranked the #6 most influential personality by The Daily Beast’s Digital Power Index, amongst the rankings of Lady Gaga and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. A popular brand ambassador, Justine has worked with top brands from Mattel, Microsoft, Ford, GE, Intel, Sharpie, Doritos, Taco Bell, eBay, P&G, Banana Republic, Samsung, AOL, and Carl’s Jr. and has been featured in numerous magazines and publications from The Chicago Tribune to Fast Company and Maxim Magazine. Justine appeared in the 2012 television campaign, directed by Guy Ritchie, for Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, one of the fastest-selling video games in history! Justine voiced the character Passion Fruit on the hit Cartoon Network show The Annoying Orange. She also has been a host for MTV/Spike, E! News, NBC, and red carpet events for the 2014 Grammys, Oscars, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber film premieres as well as appearing on The Vampire Diaries, Law & Order and Criminal Minds. Justine is managed by Petar Mandich at Addition and is part of the Style Haul and Machinima networks.
Connor Franta strives to be a good role model for young people everywhere by spreading kindness and positivity through humor. Connor, managed by Fullscreen, in just one year has blown by 2.5 million subscribers and has continued growing exponentially bringing his aggregated subscriber total to nearly 5 million. Connor has worked with companies such as Amazon, Fox, AT&T, Nokia and most recently he collaborated with Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP) on a 5-part Coca-Cola campaign and acted as an official social media correspondent for the 2014 MTV Movie Awards. In the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2014, Connor will be wrapping up headlining a 16 city US Tour with his peers in Our2ndLife and focusing on expanding his brand across multiple media platforms.
Joey Graceffa is one of the fastest growing personalities on YouTube with one of the most engaged audiences, having amassed over 4 million subscribers across his two channels. Graceffa additionally has more than 1.3 million Twitter followers and has garnered north of 300 million views on his videos. A popular brand ambassador, Graceffa has worked with leading companies such as Top Shop, Audible, and H&R Block. In 2013, between his daily vlogs and game play videos, Graceffa found time to produce and star in his own Kickstarter-funded supernatural series, “Storytellers.” He has also starred in the 2013 season and the 2014 all-star edition of “The Amazing Race” on CBS. Graceffa is managed by Petar Mandich at Addition and is part of the Style Haul and Defy networks.
Atria developed the Keywords Press concept in conjunction with United Talent Agency, a longtime leader in online entertainment and agency of record for a number of high profile digital companies and influencers including the aforementioned iJustine, Shane Dawson and Joey Graceffa, as well as AwesomenessTV—YouTube’s most popular network targeting teens and tweens—which the agency helped to establish and ultimately sold to DreamWorks Animation.
“Many of our clients were interested in creating books, but when we surveyed the marketplace, we didn’t feel like there was a publishing apparatus created to really take advantage of the unique nature of online stars, and their relationship with fans,” said UTA’s Head of Digital Media, Brent Weinstein, who spearheaded the Keywords Press initiative on behalf of the agency. “We were thrilled with how enthusiastically Judith and the Atria team sparked to the idea, and are excited to work with them and these dynamic authors to reinvent the publishing model.”
Atria will hold world publishing and audio rights on all Keywords titles.
Atria Books is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information about Atria, visit our website at http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/atria.
United Talent Agency is a premier global talent and literary agency representing many of the world’s most widely-known figures in every current and emerging area of entertainment, including motion pictures, television, digital media, video games, books, music, theatre and live entertainment. The agency is also globally recognized in the areas of film finance, film packaging, corporate consulting, branding, licensing, endorsements and the representation of production talent. The agency operates the brand strategy firm UTA Brand Studio as well as New York and Los Angeles-based United Entertainment Group, a joint venture firm focusing on branded entertainment for Fortune 500 companies. UTA also owns leading broadcast and news agency N.S. Bienstock.
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