Anthony Cheetham's latest publishing start-up, Head of Zeus, will publish 24 titles between May and January 2013, with Fay Weldon among its launch authors. Another 36 titles are planned for the following year.
The publisher is currently renting the top floor of 55 Monmouth Street in Covent Garden from agency David Godwin Associates. Fiction editorial director Laura Palmer, non-fiction commissioning editor Tom Webber, and commissioning editor for fiction, non-fiction and paperbacks Mathilda Imlah have now joined Cheetham, the company's c.e.o., and his son Nicolas Cheetham, who occupies the role of digital publisher and deputy managing director. Palmer and Imlah both previously worked at Atlantic imprint Corvus, formerly headed by the Cheethams.
Head of Zeus plans to recruit nine further posts in finance, sales, marketing, production, rights and administration during the year, and to move to larger offices in the early summer. Faber Factory Plus will represent Head of Zeus for sales and distribution in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe, with Penguin to distribute further afield. E-book sales will be facilitated through Faber Factory and its US partner Constellation, with publicity for launch and selected lead titles provided by Riot Communications. The publisher is also tweeting from @HoZ_Books, using the company logo.
Among the first fiction titles will be Habits of the House by Fay Weldon, the first instalment in a trilogy which explores the lives of an English household in 1899. The Conductor by Sarah Quigley, set during the siege of Leningrad, will come in July, with The Silver Thread by Kylie Fitzpatrick, to be published in October.
In non-fiction, the publisher plans to create a "Great Lives" library, made up of newly commissioned as well as re-issued biographies, with Robert K Massie's biographies of Catherine the Great (coming in July) and Peter the Great (published closer to Christmas) to kick off the collection.
In genre fiction, début noir fiction Something You Are by Hanna Jameson will be the subject of a "major" push in December, with a 19-volume Alaskan-set crime series by Dana Stabenow also on the blocks. Fantasy début The Rook by Daniel O'Malley will be released in January 2013, and the publisher has formed a partnership with US house Poisoned Pen Mysteries to provide historical mysteries for the list.
Anthony Cheetham said: "We've had a busy first month. Sometimes you wake up at night full of dread, wondering why anyone would start a new publishing house in a crowded market with a full-blown recession just around the corner. But if a good book arrives on your desk in the morning, you remember why. The list is what counts."