Despite the recent departure of Ben LeRoy and Alison Janssen, Big Earth Publishing will continue to publish hard-edged crime and literary fiction under the Bleak House imprint, Big Earth publisher Dave Oskin said. LeRoy founded Bleak House in Madison, Wis. in 2001 and the press became an imprint of Big Earth in 2005.

“[LeRoy and Janssen] were looking to do other things. We’d been talking for a while about what they want to do with their careers, and with the rest of their lives,” Oskin said of LeRoy and Janssen, whose last day with Big Earth was July 3. “We support them as they pursue a new direction.”

LeRoy and Janssen announced over the weekend on their website that they are launching a new press, Tyrus Books. Three titles — originally slated for publication under the Bleak House imprint — will be released this fall. LeRoy and Janssen are currently in discussions with a distributor, but no deal has been finalized.

LeRoy explains in a Youtube video posted on his new website that he felt “handicapped” by the Bleak House name, because it led to assumptions by those who had not read any of the press’s 50 releases that they published “gory, violent books.” “A literary sensibility was missing almost because of the name,” LeRoy says, subsequently explaining that Tyrus Books was named in honor of Ty Cobb, “one of the greatest baseball players of all time,” who had an “inability to accept failure.”

Like Bleak House, Tyrus Books will focus on crime and literary fiction, though LeRoy and Janssen hope to expand into nonfiction as well as fiction that “strays more from [their] crime roots.

Big Earth will publish eight books under the Bleak House imprint this fall, and Oskin has already taken steps to find a new publisher to replace LeRoy. [LeRoy and Janssen] did a great job developing Bleak House,” Oskin said, “And we’re continuing to publish [Bleak House] books.”