Random House Struik, the leading publisher of general books in South Africa, is thrilled to announce an innovative venture in response to the rapidly advancing new technology in book publishing. Their brand new, 'straight to digital' imprint, eKhaya, will take books straight from the edited typescript to an electronic book and then sell this online. eKhaya's first e-book will be available to readers next month.
eKhaya is unique in its approach in the South African book market, bringing professionally produced books directly into digital format and trading solely on the internet. The digital revolution has reached the South African shores in the last six months, and this imprint, which was originally created with the students of the innovative Random House Struik Creative Writing course in mind, is a significant expression of the faith that Random House Struik has in the future growth of book publishing within the ambit of this technology.
The name eKhaya, means "at home" in the Nguni languages. It ties in with the concept embedded in the name of not only Random House Struik, but also of Umuzi (which means "hearth"), another Random House Struik imprint. eKhaya will publish unillustrated fiction and non-fiction in black and white text.
Random House Struik has appointed Louis Greenberg as eKhaya's Commissioning Editor. Louis, whose debut novel The Beggars' Signwriters was published by Umuzi, is also the compiler of the anthology Home Away published by Zebra Press and, as S.L. Grey, he co-writes horror fiction with Sarah Lotz. He has worked in the marketing department of Exclusive Books, has done freelance website design and book editing, and holds a doctorate in English Literature.
eKhaya released its first title in August 2011. For Honour, a volume of short stories and the debut of S.O. Kenani, is also the first product of the cooperation between Random House Struik and online education company GetSmarter that has links with UCT. GetSmarter's Random House Struik Creative Writing Course has attracted just under 500 students with the three courses that they've presented to date.
Interestingly, the author of For Honour is a Malawian living in Switzerland who presented his work for publication to a South African publisher - a fine demonstration of the borderless nature of the world that technology will bring to every reader's device of choice.