Simon & Schuster shut down its Tyrus Books imprint last week, according to its publisher Ben LeRoy, who announced the news Friday afternoon on social media. LeRoy tweeted to his followers, “Hey! For all the folks who know me as Tyrus Books, Tyrus is closing down and now you can just know me as some dude on Twitter.”
LeRoy declined to say more on Friday afternoon. All of Tyrus’ backlist, as well as the forthcoming summer and fall releases will be published by S&S under its Gallery Books imprint.
S&S acquired Tyrus Books in November 2016, when it bought Adams Media from F&W. Tyrus Books was one of Adams Media’s three fiction imprints. There are more than 100 Tyrus books in print; the press released about 10 titles each year.
LeRoy founded Tyrus Books in Madison, Wisc., in 2009, after selling his previous company, Bleak House, to Big Earth Publishing. Tyrus then focused on hardboiled crime fiction. F&W acquired Tyrus in 2013 and its focus expanded; it began publishing literary fiction, including novels with ecological themes.
Disclosing that he will likely return to publishing at a later date, LeRoy said he now intends to focus on political and social justice activism. “After I help stop the world from burning, then I can go back to worrying about books.”
In further consolidation, S&S has moved Christian imprint Howard Books from Nashville to its corporate headquarters in New York City. The move, which will see Howard’s publishing, marketing and publicity efforts relocated to S&S’s Rockefeller Center office, results in the departure of Howard’s v-p and publisher Jonathan Merkh.
In an internal memo Atria president and publisher Judith Curr sent to staff on Friday, it was explained that Howard’s editors will remain where they have been based, with senior editor Philis Boultinghouse staying in Nashville, and senior editor Beth Adams staying in New York City. Both will now report to Atria v-p and editor-in-chief Peter Borland.
"There were a few reasons for moving to New York but I think it was mostly just streamlining the company, bringing Howard more firmly under Atria Publishing Group," said Adams."Not much will change for titles—we will build what we have. We are still acquiring titles and growing our list, and we will be bringing on staff."
Howard Books became part of the Atria Publishing Group in 2012; Curr said the move, which comes on the heels of editors Jennifer Smith and Lisa Stilwell leaving, offers "the opportunity to integrate Howard even more closely with their Atria colleagues."
Curr noted that Merkh, who joined Howard in 2009, was key in "positioning the imprint to serve both the Christian marketplace and a more general audience of readers."
According to Adams, five or six Howard staff members based in Nashville office are also losing their jobs.