Caroline Ridding is to join Head of Zeus in August 2015 to set up a new fiction imprint. The imprint – to be called Aria – will publish original full-length mass-market fiction from both new and established authors mainly – but not solely – in ebook format. Caroline – who was the bookbuyer for Tesco and then the founder and publisher of the Avon imprint at HarperCollins – has had a highly successful career in both the retailing and publishing of commercial fiction, building a multi-million pound business with generous double-digit profit margins. Her authors included at least three Sunday Times bestsellers and dominated the Bookseller Heatseeker chart.
Amanda Ridout, our CEO, said, ‘I am thrilled to welcome Caroline to the company and look forward to working with her to build a successful epublishing imprint. When we started Avon together in 2007 I knew that Caroline’s instinct for spotting and supporting commercial fiction talent was second to none. The success of Avon over the past seven years proved I was right. Her entrepreneurial zeal and commercial instincts fit perfectly with the Head of Zeus ethos and she will work closely with our digital team to build further on their brilliant record of launching and establishing bestselling authors in e. It is a hugely exciting time for the company and she will help us in our next stage of development.’
Caroline Ridding said, ‘I am delighted to be joining Amanda and the fantastic forward thinking team at Head of Zeus. The chance to work with such a cutting edge, commercial, passionate and digital savvy team will be a great privilege and one that I relish getting started on.’
Anthony Cheetham, our Chairman, said, ‘Aria targets a mass-market readership in the true sense of the term. I know of nobody who can do this more effectively than Caroline. Her list will make a highly valuable contribution to our twin targets of 30 percent per annum growth over the next five years and to maintaining the 50:50 ratio between digital and print sales.’
Since publishing their first title in June 2012 Head of Zeus has sold 4m ebooks and achieved fourteen e number one positions for their authors across the world. Aria will publish its first titles in Spring 2016.