Amanda Ridout, former managing director of Head of Zeus and a prominent figure in the U.K. publishing world, has launched a new publishing house, Boldwood Books. The imprint will bring out its first list this autumn, and in 2020 will publish about 50 titles. It will specialize in commercial fiction.

Ridout has held senior positions at Reed Books, Hodder Headline, HarperCollins, and Phaidon as well as at Head of Zeus (HoZ), which she left at the end of 2017.

Her colleagues at Boldwood have both worked with her before. Caroline Ridding, whose departure from HoZ was confirmed at the end of last week and who set up HC's Avon list, will be publisher. Nia Beynon, who worked at HoZ before joining HC as head of digital publishing, will be sales/marketing and publishing director. There will be one further hire before the autumn. Ridout is CEO.

Boldwood Books will seek to sign world English rights "at the very least," and will publish in e-book, audiobook and print-on-demand, as well as in other print formats when appropriate. It is looking for established and new authors. "The joy of publishing now is that you can reach the whole world from a basement in Fulham," Ridout told BookBrunch. This potential meant that it was "a very exciting time for start-ups".

In a statement, Ridout added: "After a very long time in this industry I am so excited to be setting up a new company with a promise to myself, the team, our authors and our readers that this truly will be 'publishing reimagined'. Partnership, nimbleness and energy will be our watchwords."

A longer version of this story appeared in the U.K. publication BookBrunch.