It sounds like a roster of bands playing at the local music club this weekend: Park Avenue Tramp. Killing Cousins. Lovely Executioner. But instead, those are titles from a new e-book publishing house that aims to give a second literary life to pulp fiction authors and their works. On March 1, F+W Media announced creation of a new imprint, Prologue Books that will make more than 250 out-of-print novels available for the first time as e-books. These hard-boiled crime novels, written from the 1940s to 1970s by legends like Peter Rabe and William Campbell Gault, have long served as inspiration for contemporary crime fiction.
“I started thinking about how writers who are working in the contemporary marketplace were influenced, obviously, by authors who had come before them. And I thought, wouldn’t it be kind of fun to trace the genealogy of the genre?” explains Ben LeRoy, publisher of F+W’s Tyrus Books who is spearheading the project moving these works from pulp to pixels. “With technology being what it is, this would be a chance to put out a lot of books, put them into the general conversation, do it in a way that wasn’t cost-prohibitive, and give a second chance to those authors.”
Benjamin LeRoy is the Publisher of Tyrus Books, a division of F+W Media known for its crime and dark literary fiction. Before starting Tyrus Books in the summer of 2009, he helped to run Bleak House Books. Novels from both houses have been nominated for, and/or won, most of the major awards in crime fiction including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Anthony, and the Barry.