Venturing further into the general trade market, Thomas Nelson has formed a new imprint, WestBow Press, which will publish commercial fiction titles in a number of genres. Although the books will be written from a "Christian perspective," the imprint will include books in such areas as general fiction, international thrillers and chick lit. Allen Arnold, v-p of brand strategy for the Nelson Book Group, has been named publisher of WestBow.

Nelson has published a limited amount of fiction to-date; it accounted for less than 3% of publishing sales in fiscal 2003, said Michael Hyatt, executive v-p and group publisher of the Nelson Book Group. Nelson will now bring all fiction titles under the WestBow imprint, a move that gives the new line a roster of 20 authors including Ted Dekker whose Black will be one of four January titles.

In addition to Arnold, WestBow's editorial staff will consist of two acquiring editors and an associate editor. Once WestBow is operating at full capacity Arnold plans to publish about 24 titles annually.