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Today, Don Weise announced the launch of Magnus Books, an independently owned publisher of LGBT literature.
Magnus—set to launch Fall 2011—will be based out of New York City and publish 15 to 20 new fiction and nonfiction titles per year.
An industry veteran, Weise has worked with some of the most-recognized LGBT authors in the country, having held editorial positions at Cleis Press, Carroll & Graf and Alyson Books.
“As owner and publisher of Magnus, I have complete freedom for the first time in my career, working entirely on my own and independent of parent companies or affiliations,”* Wiese wrote in a statement to the press.
“I’m tremendously excited by this long-awaited opportunity. With 18 years in the business, the majority of that devoted to LGBT books, the path has been pointed in this direction for quite some time.”
According to PW, Weise has a distribution deal in place with Bella Distribution via Perseus Distribution (a subsidary of Perseus Book Group, which also distributes books for The New Press and Newmarket Press).
Bella Distribution, owned by LLF Board Member, Linda Hill, currently distributes titles for Bold Strokes Books and Spinster’s Ink.
“This is an especially exciting time in LGBT publishing,” notes Weise, who also serves on the LLF board.
“The literature is more varied and mainstream than ever before with more outlets to reach gay consumers, more publishing formats at hand, and more public awareness and support around LGBT issues. Magnus Books is proud to help lead our literature-and our readers—into a new epoch.”
We hope to have more coverage on this topic in the coming weeks.
*Weise’s mention of “independent of parent companies” is a direct response to his previous ties to Alyson Books.
In early October, Here Media announced that Alyson Books—once the largest independent publisher of gay and lesbian books, with sales of almost one million dollars a year—would restructure as an e-book only publisher.
Mr. Weise had pulled together a team of financial backers and presented Here Media with an offer to buy Alyson from the parent company.
After weeks of negotiations, the two parties could not agree on terms. Weise exited the company gracefully.