Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Acquires Archway Self-Published Title Strays for Aladdin Books

Virginia Castleman’s Novel Initially Released Through Archway Publishing in February 2014

BLOOMINGTON and NEW YORK, August 6 – Aladdin Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, and Archway Publishing, a self-publishing service operated for Simon & Schuster by Author Solutions, LLC, announced today that Aladdin has acquired publication rights to Strays, a novel by Virginia Castleman. Ms. Castleman originally self-published Strays through Archway in February 2014, and the novel captured the attention of Aladdin’s editors shortly thereafter.

Strays is the first Archway title to be acquired for traditional publication by a Simon & Schuster imprint. “Virginia Castleman is a strong writer with a fascinating and emotionally wrenching story to tell,” said Mara Anastas, Vice President and Publisher of Aladdin Books and Simon Pulse. “I was immediately struck by her unique voice and storytelling ability, and we look forward to working with her to bring Strays to an even wider audience.”

Inspired by real-life events, Strays follows the trials of Sara and Anna Olson – a pair of young, orphaned sisters – as they seek out a sense of safety and security while navigating the foster system. At just nine and 11 years of age, the girls know more about the real world than adults twice their ages; knowledge that they’ve paid dearly to earn.

“In launching Archway we recognized that self-publishing was a viable path to publication for many authors and also a growing source of content for traditional publishers such as Simon & Schuster,” said Ellie Hirschhorn, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. “Editors at all of our imprints are actively monitoring the Archway catalog for possible publications, and we hope that Strays will be the first of many Archway self-published titles that we can help bring to a wider readership.”

Aladdin Books plans to initially release Strays in both print and electronic formats in Spring 2016, with a trade paperback to follow at some point thereafter.

“My experience with Archway has been a joy from the very start, and I couldn’t believe it when the editor there suggested that it had the potential to be published by Simon & Schuster,” said Virginia Castleman. "I really never thought it would get published, let alone acquired by this major publishing house, and I was literally speechless when I got an email confirming their interest in acquiring Strays for the Aladdin Books imprint. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I can only say that Archway was finally the right bottle and the Genie was indeed Aladdin. I can’t wait to get to work with my editor to get the book ready for publication.”

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