Two book business veterans have joined forces to launch Apollo Publishers, a topical adult nonfiction publisher based in New York, with an inaugural list of books covering food, politics, war, and religion, among other subjects.

The press, led by co-publishers Alex Merrill and Julia Abramoff—who also serve as directors of sales and editorial, respectively—was founded in 2016 and its debut list of seven titles will be released in spring 2018. The publisher is aiming to publish 20 books in its first publishing year. “The thing with having seven books per season,” Abramoff said, “is you only publish books you believe in. It’s enough books to make people notice us and care about us and yet small enough to do each book justice.” That said, Merrill added, “we plan to double our size from year one to year two, and we’d like to keep growing.”

Apollo’s books will be distributed by Ingram Publisher Services—for now, exclusively in the U.S. and Canadian markets, although Apollo retains world rights for each of its books. Publicity will be handled by Justin Loeber and Janelle Dunbar and social media by Cydnie Lunsford, all of Mouth: Digital + Public Relations.

Among the press’s first titles are A Taste of Cuba: A Journey Through Cuba and Its Savory Cuisine, by Cynthia Carris Alonso, José Luis Alonso, and Valerie Feigen; Bittersweet: The Life and Times of the World’s Leading Chocolate Taster, by Angus Kennedy; The Colored Waiting Room: Empowering the Original and New Civil Rights Movements, by Kevin Shird and Nelson Malden; and Days of Lead: Defying Death During Israel’s War of Independence by Moshe Rashkes, a 1960s Israeli title to be published in English and outside Israel for the first time in conjunction with Israel’s 70th anniversary. Print run numbers have yet to be finalized for any of the titles.

The publisher, which is self-funded, intends to take a new approach to what some may call “current events” publishing, but which Abramoff instead refers to as books that are “timely and topical”—books that cover the sort of topics “people talk about at the water cooler.” Merill concurs: “We’re not pigeonholing ourselves to one small area of timely books. This is not current events publishing. This is topical publishing.”

Apollo hopes to take full advantage of Ingram’s large slate of publishing tools, with Merrill mentioning its email marketing platform and digital book marketing platform, Aerio, as tools it hopes to put to good use in promoting its authors.

Merrill and Abramoff met at Skyhorse Publishing, where Merrill served as COO and Abramoff as senior editor; before that, Merill served as publisher of Globe Pequot Press following a career in magazine publishing, while Abramoff had previously spent seven years as an editor at HarperCollins. Merrill and Abramoff will work with a familiar group of editors, and copy editors, plus art director Rain Saukas.

“Alex and Justin and Rain and I work with the same editors over and over again,” Abramoff said. “It’s a larger family.”

This article has been updated for clarity and to correct spelling errors.

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