Midnight: A Gangster Love Story by Sister Souljah

A Gangster Love Story
By Sister Souljah

Publication Date: November 4, 2008

Article: The Sequel to ‘Coldest Winter Ever’ Slated for October
By Felicia Pride — Publishers Weekly, 5/20/2008 1:47:00 PM

Atria Books has announced plans to publish Midnight, the long-awaited sequel to Sister Souljah’s bestselling 1999 novel The Coldest Winter Ever, which is in its twentieth printing and has more than one million copies in print. Midnight is slated for an October release and will have an announced first printing of 500,000 copies.

World rights for the sequel were acquired by Emily Bestler, v-p and executive editorial director of Atria Books. Bestler originally acquired The Coldest Winter Ever, which she describes as an “evergreen” for the company. “For everyone who has read it,” she said, “there’s a new crop who haven’t.”

The Coldest Winter Ever, a gritty tale about the tumultuous street-ridden life of the daughter of a notorious drug dealer, is usually regarded as the predecessor of the urban lit genre. Bestler credits the book’s success to Souljah’s raw, yet message-driven storytelling and said that Midnight follows in this tradition. “People who love The Coldest Winter Ever,” she adds, “will devour the story.”

The sequel centers on Midnight, a secondary but intriguing character from The Coldest Winter Ever. For this book, Souljah conducted extensive research and traveled to three continents, a fact that Bestler said accounts for the long break between the two books.

Ernesto Martinez, buyer of African-American titles for Borders, said that customers have been asking about the sequel. “The Coldest Winter Ever is a perennial bestseller of the category for Borders,” he said. “We certainly have high hopes for Midnight, and have all the confidence that this book will be everything and more that fans of Sister Souljah have come to love.”

Although there isn’t an official embargo on Midnight, Atria is concerned about piracy and is being careful about how it rolls out the national marketing campaign. Judith Curr, S&S executive v-p and publisher, said “We’re going to make sure that everyone who bought and loved The Coldest Winter Ever will know that the sequel is arriving.” The company plans to use Internet marketing, strategic advertising in major urban areas and summer reading promotions with bookstores to spread the word.

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