Almost a year after he started building his new imprint at Penguin Putnam, Bill Shinker has announced the imprint's name and unveiled both his mission and launch list.

Gotham Books, as it will be called, will seek to create a "literary boutique with a commercial profile," Shinker told PW. He'll launch the nonfiction imprint in January 2003 with seven hardcovers and two trade paperback originals, led by Patti LaBelle's Lite Cuisine, a follow-up to LaBelle Cuisine, which was a bestseller for Shinker at Broadway. Other key titles reflect Shinker's desire to publish authors with, as he describes them, "fresh messages," such as John McWhorter's Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority and Real Love by Greg Baer, which Shinker describes as "a truly new take on building fulfilling relationships."

By the end of 2004, he expects to be at full capacity with 35 titles, including 20 originals. Shinker's list, with its emphasis on narrative nonfiction, self-help, spirituality, business, sports and travel writing will not differ all that much from his mix at Broadway, a comparison he acknowledges. But Shinker said he is happy with the less-is-more ethos of his new role. "I'm enjoying focussing my energies on a list as opposed to running a big staff," said the former publisher as he gestured to the enclave he shares with other editors.