F+W Media is adding to its family of vertical segments and in the process getting in the fiction market with the launch of F+W Crime. To launch its newest community, F+W has acquired Tyrus Books and hired its founder, Ben LeRoy, as publisher and community leader, F+W Crime.

Through the new vertical, F+W Crime will publish a mix of e-books, hardcovers, trade paperbacks and print-on-demand titles. The first e-book only titles, which will have a mix of prices, will be released in June and F+W plans to release 200 in 2011. The list will be a mix of originals and, according to F+W communication director Stacie Berger, “rediscovered gems from the past inspired by some celebrity genre names.” While some e-books will appear under the Tyrus name, the celebrity genre titles will be released under Prologue Books, an initiative that LeRoy had been developing.

According to F+W, the mission of Prologue Books is to “create a literary ‘family tree’ that traces the roots and branches of today’s most prolific and influential crime fiction writers.” Prologue will bring influential out-of print books back into print in e-book form and chronicle the history of crime fiction across the genre including hardboiled, cozy, British, and private investigator sub-categories. The authors selected for Prologue will provide titles that were instrumental in shaping them as readers and writers of the genre, accompanied by a two-three paragraph piece explaining why the title was selected and its influence on their work.

F+W Crime will augment the release of e-books with a select number of print books that will start to be available this fall under the Tyrus Books name. “I am thrilled with the opportunity to head up F+W Crime, as it provides an opportunity to continue the growth of Tyrus Books and to invest my efforts into the development of Prologue Books,” said LeRoy. LeRoy founded Tyrus Books in fall 2009 after leaving Bleak House earlier in the year; LeRoy sold Bleak House to Big Earth Publishing in 2005.