Don Weise has launched Magnus Books, an indie press dedicated to LGBT literature. Weise was at Alyson Books until October, when he left the publisher amid mounting financial problems for its parent company, Here Media.

Magnus Books, which is independently owned, will be based in New York City with plans to release 15 to 20 titles a year, both fiction and nonfiction. Weise, who said funding for the press "came together just a few weeks ago," has a distribution deal in place, with Bela Distribution via Perseus. Magnus's first list is planned for fall 2011.

Weise, who also worked at Cleis Press and Carroll & Graf before taking over at Alyson, said: "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. 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."

Weise left Alyson after he was unable to find a buyer for the company and Here Media decided to shift the company's business model to a e-book only publisher. Weise said he is in the process of signing his first authors.