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.
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