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HarperCollins to launch digital-first mystery imprint, with monthly royalty payments

HarperCollins’ William Morrow division (s NWS) will launch Witness, a digital-first imprint for mysteries and thrillers, this October, the company announced Tuesday. Witness is part of HarperCollins’ “Impulse” line of books, which also includes digital-first romance, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult books.

The idea behind digital-first lines is that they let publishers take a chance on unknown or new authors, they allow for a faster publishing process and they let authors release more types and lengths of books throughout the year. In many cases, the books are eventually released in print; HarperCollins says that “to date, more than 60 percent of Impulse titles have a print format, with thousands of printed copies sold for each of those books” (though in many cases this means print-on-demand books that don’t make it into bookstores). Publishers also use digital-first lines in the hopes of attracting self-published authors away from Amazon.

In another move to compete with Amazon,¬†HarperCollins announced that as of August 1, authors who sign with Impulse will receive monthly royalties. “There is a true financial benefit to signing with our Impulse imprints,” said Liate Stehlik, SVP and publisher of William Morrow. Amazon (s AMZN) Publishing¬†recently started offering monthly royalty payments to its authors.

The first ten titles from Witness will be released in October, and the company says it’s already acquired over 100 full-length titles for Witness. The imprint will also sell digital editions of Agatha Christie’s short stories, starting with the Hercule Poirot stories, which will be available both as e-singles and as a collection.


3 Responses to “HarperCollins to launch digital-first mystery imprint, with monthly royalty payments”

  1. meacham01

    I would love to join Impulse. I am currently with Amazon Kindle with a few short stories but have a paranormal in the works
    Regards ,
    Robert Meacham