Thorndike Press's Five Star imprint will begin offering some of its titles to bookstores beginning in March. Five Star was founded in 1995 by Thorndike, a Gale Group subsidiary, to publish hardcover editions of westerns for libraries at a time when many publishers were dropping their western lines, explained Thorndike publisher Karen Huyser. Five Star has added titles in the romance, mystery and, most recently, speculative fiction genres. Although Thorndike is a large-print publisher, all of Five Star's titles are done in regular print size.

Five Star will publish approximately 130 original titles in 2003 and will likely publish 32 for the trade market, said editor Russell Davis. Bookstore titles will be printed as trade paperbacks and will carry trade discounts. An in-house sales rep will call on the national accounts, and Five Star will reach the remainder of the retail market through catalogue mailings, wholesalers and advertising.