Barry Diller and Scott Rudin launch book publisher with startup Atavist

IAC(s iaci) chairman Barry Diller, film producer Scott Rudin and former Random House UK executive Frances Coady are launching a book publishing company called Brightline. Brooklyn-based digital publishing and software company Atavist will publish Brightline’s ebooks, and Brightline eventually plans to expand to print books as well.

According to the press release, “Brightline plans to publish original short and long form literary fiction and nonfiction, with its first titles expected to be released in mid 2013.” Atavist, which publishes e-singles in addition to licensing its technology platform, will also continue to publish independently.

Atavist is handling the technology but is also a large part of the venture — the ebooks will be published under the Atavist brand. (It’s unclear how print books will be handled or where they’ll be sold.) This summer, according to the New York Times, “Mr. Diller and Mr. Rudin discussed paying as much as $10 million for a controlling interest in Atavist. A partnership grew out of those discussions.” Through that partnership, “Atavist and Brightline will exchange an undetermined amount of minority equity interests in each other’s ventures, and IAC will provide $20 million in capital to build out Brightline as a publisher in addition to making investments in Atavist.”

“Publishing will change more in the next ten years than it has in the last hundred…” Diller said in a statement. “We have the resources and they have the ability, using Atavist’s technology and digital smarts, to play a continuing and significant role in that transformation.”

It’s unclear what kinds of authors Brightline is looking to sign up, though the NYT says it “will pay big advances to compete for big-name authors.” It’s also unclear if the ebooks will be available only through The Atavist’s website and apps or through other retailers like Amazon (s AMZN) as well. And since The Atavist does not publish print books, it is unclear how and when those will be available. However, in both the press release and the NYT article, one thing seems clear: Barry Diller is willing to spend a lot of money on the venture.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Jeff Howard