Orion is launching a new standalone commercial fiction and non-fiction imprint called Trapeze.
The imprint, launching in October, aims to publish 20 books a year which "identify trends, break new voices and start conversations”. Spanning “all genres", the imprint will be home to celebrity autobiography, pop-culture, music, lifestyle, inspirational memoir, gift, humour and commercial fiction.
Anna Valentine, who is promoted to publisher, will head the imprint, reporting to Jon Wood. Sam Eades, senior commissioning editor, and Emma Smith, editor, complete the editorial team. To reinforce the "individuality" of the imprint, the Trapeze logo will be adapted to reflect which member of the ediorial team has edited the book.
Branded a "return to Orion’s start-up mentality", Orion says the imprint will be "bold and original, embrace new media, and challenge existing models", publishing "quality titles with a broad reach" that people will "want to talk about" across commercial fiction and non-fiction.
Valentine, a Bookseller rising star, joined Orion from HarperCollins in 2014 and is responsible for the publication of numerous top 10 bestsellers during her career, including books by YouTube sensation KSI, Madeleine Shaw, Alan Partridge, Russell Brand, John Bishop, Sophie Hayes, Frankie Boyle and Justin Bieber.
Trapeze's launch titles include the new autobiography from Alan Partridge, blogger Rubyetc's It’s All Absolutely Fine, Mick Wall’s Guns N’ Roses: The Last of the Giants, Hygge by Charlotte Abrahams and spoof cookbook The Walking Bread.
Trapeze has also made five new acquisitions for the list: Eades has bought world rights for three fiction novels: Tattletale by Costa-shortlisted author Sarah J Naughton (from Eve White at the Eve White Literary Agency), Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown (from Kate Shaw at The Viney Agency), and Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett (from the John Jarrold Literary Agency). Meanwhile, Valentine has bought world rights for Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food by nutritional health coach Lizzie King (from Felicity Blunt at the Curtis Brown Group) and UK and Commonwealth rights for The Fifty Things by Peter Dunne (from Clare Conville at Conville & Walsh).
Valentine said: “With so many opportunities open to us in the physical and digital space there has never been a more exciting time to be a publisher, and I’m thrilled to be launching Trapeze into this landscape. Our mission statement – to publish books that start conversations – will inform every aspect of the publication process, and we will innovate, experiment and be creative about how we bring our books to market. Encompassing fiction and non-fiction under one roof enables us to be dynamic with our publishing, and I look forward to launching our authors into new territories and building long-term careers that straddle genres.”
Wood, Orion's group publisher, said: “Putting together three of the UK’s most exciting, most connected and most dynamic young publishers was a big win for us. In a market that is so fast-moving and fluid, this nimble, proactive start-up model is very much the future of publishing. Trapeze’s list is already an exciting mix of big hitters and new talent – and there are lots more to come.”
David Shelley, c.e.o. of Orion and Little, Brown Book Group, added: “The key to successful publishing is creativity - and Anna, Sam and Emma are three of the most exciting, creative publishers in town. Under Anna's leadership, I can't wait to see what Trapeze goes on to achieve.”
The new imprint's Twitter handle is @trapezebooks.