English entrepreneur and ZE Records cofounder Michael Zilkha has launched ZE Books, a new small press that will publish "literary mix-tapes from visionary writers, artists, and musicians."
Joining Zilkha on the project is Lucas Wittmann, cofounder of the House of Speakeasy and an editor at large at Time magazine, as editor. Sarah Bumstead, formerly of Vroman's bookstore, handling publicity, and Jimine Ha of With Projects is designing the book covers. ZE has entered a publishing partnership with Unnamed Press, and operates out of their Los Angeles office.
The publisher plans to release two to four titles per year, with print runs of 7,500 to 10,000 for each book to start. Each book will feature full color photography and illustrations throughout. Unnamed's distributor, Publishers Group West, will also provide distribution for ZE.
The first announced titles include Intelligence for Dummies: A Portrait by the late Glenn O’Brien, GQ magazine's “Style Guy,” which will be published on October 22, and Stay by poet and memoirist Nick Flynn, which is due to release early in 2020. Upcoming authors include Nan Goldin, Claudia Rankine, Bun B, and Lynn Hershman Leeson, and two collaborative books—by Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss, and by Roni Horn and Tacita Dean—are also planned.
"I started ZE Books to publish a definitive collection of my friend Glenn O’Brien’s writing so that his prescience and versatility could be appreciated by a wide audience," Zilkha said in a statement, noting that he decided on publishing further works with the same design because he believed it would give the books a better chance of being noticed. He added: "The hope is that with time ZE Books is seen as a hip version of the Library of the Americas."