Zola Books: Social Retailer and Publisher, to Officially Launch in September

Zola Books, the ambitious new ebook retailer that wants to challenge Amazon and others, is also now a fairly accomplished publisher of books.

The company announced the fifth book that it will publish, The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Real Target in Dallas by James Reston Jr., which posits that President John F. Kennedy wasn’t the true target for Lee Harvey Oswald. Zola will be the exclusive retailer for the book, which comes out in September, Zola’s planned public launch date.

“This is going to be one of the first books we publish when we have our big official launch this September,” said a spokesperson.

Previously, the company published four other ebooks, the spokesperson told us, and will also be the publisher and exclusive retailer of the ebook edition of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which will also be released in September. Zola’s founder, Joe Regal, had previously been Niffenegger’s agent and Niffenegger is one of Zola’s investors. The hit book has never been released as an ebook.

Part of Zola’s strategy to acquire users is to offer exclusive content they can’t get anywhere else, something Amazon, Apple Barnes & Noble and others are all doing.

Zola’s story is one of creativity and optimism. The company announced itself publicly to the book world last summer and there were plans for an imminent launch. Zola said its goal was to challenge Amazon and other dominant ebook retailers. Issues with technology and the normal course of doing business as an ebook retailer have pushed the public launch back to this fall.

[Press Release]

Zola Books announced today that they will be the exclusive eBook publisher of bestselling author James Reston Jr.’s explosive forthcoming book THE ACCIDENTAL VICTIM: JFK, LEE HARVEY OSWALD, AND THE REAL TARGET IN DALLAS, which puts forth the startling theory that Texas governor John Connally, not President Kennedy, was the actual target of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on that tragic day fifty years ago.

After Oswald attempted to defect to the Soviet Union upon his release from military service, he learned that his discharge had been changed from honorable to undesirable without a proper hearing. Oswald protested this unfairness directly to his fellow Texan John Connally, then Secretary of Navy. In February 1962 he received a classic bureaucratic brush-off; the boilerplate arrived in a campaign envelope bearing the smiling face of the gubernatorial candidate.

Saddled with an undesirable discharge, unable to find work in Texas, Oswald developed an obsessive grudge against Connally, Reston posits. Marina Oswald, Lee Harvey’s wife, testified three times that Connally was her husband’s target. Several important members of the Dallas Russian émigré community also spoke of the grudge. So why did the Warren Commission chose to ignore this evidence? It was political, Reston asserts; the Commission felt it could not sell the idea of President Kennedy being an accidental victim in Dallas.

Along with proof of Oswald’s animus toward Connally, Reston also presents ample evidence revealing that the back brace worn by President Kennedy contributed to his death. After Oswald’s first bullet passed through the president’s neck and into the back of Governor Connally, the president’s back brace (recently examined by the author at the National Archives) held Kennedy upright and virtually stationary in the presidential limousine, while Connally writhed in pain and fell into his wife’s lap. As the famous Zapruder film shows, President Kennedy’s rigid posture lasted five full seconds, allowing Oswald to reload and fire a second time. That second shot killed the president immediately.

THE ACCIDENTAL VICTIM will be available for purchase as an eBook this September at www.zolabooks.com.

James Reston Jr. is the author of 15 books, three plays, and numerous articles in national magazines. In 1976-77, he was David Frost’s Watergate adviser for the famous Frost/Nixon interviews. His account of that experience, THE CONVICTION OF RICHARD NIXON: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE FROST/NIXON INTERVIEWS, published in 2007, was British playwright Peter Morgan’s main inspiration in the making of his hit play “Frost/Nixon,” a drama later made into an Oscar-nominated movie directed by Ron Howard. His book about the third crusade, WARRIORS OF GOD: RICHARD THE LIONHEART AND SALADIN, has sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide. FRAGILE INNOCENCE, his memoir about raising a handicapped daughter, was a Washington Post top-ten bestseller. Reston is currently working on a 9/11-themed novel called THE 19TH HIJACKER.

About Zola Books:
Founded in 2011, New York-based Zola Books is a new brand of eBook retailer that provides readers with the eBooks they want and the authors they love… on any device they like. The first truly integrated open-platform social book site, Zola empowers readers to connect directly with writers, publishers, independent booksellers, and tastemakers in a dedicated bookselling and bookbuying community. Zola brings readers the latest news, the best curated information, the most insightful reviews, up-to-the-minute social media posts and feeds, and direct access to the writers that readers love most. Zola also offers a variety of exclusive original content and new eBook editions of beloved backlist titles in a wide selection of categories. Visit us at www.zolabooks.com.

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