William Morrow to launch digital mystery line

Tuesday, HarperCollins announced that that their William Morrow imprint will launch Witness, a new digital-original mystery, suspense and thriller line – the first of its kind from a major U.S. publisher. Witness will debut in October 2013. Editors have already acquired more than 100 full-length books for Witness – with 10 titles publishing within the first month, and are actively seeking additional titles for the launch. Dan Mallory, executive editor at William Morrow is spearheading the publishing initiative.

“Our starting lineup gives an indication of the editorial scope of the imprint,” notes Mallory. “It’s an exciting collection of brand-new content, international bestsellers not previously available in the U.S., and newly digitized backlist classics. It runs the gamut from police procedurals to literary suspense; historical mysteries to action thrillers.”

Later this year, Witness will launch its website, www.witnessimpulse.com, featuring excerpts and author-reader interactivity.

Witness launch titles include:
Darkness First by James Hayman
Black Dog by Stephen Booth
Prince by Rory Clements
An Illustrated Death by Judi Culbertson
Hunted by Emlyn Reese
Blind Date by Frances Fyfield
The Drop by Howard Linskey

In addition, Witness will release Agatha Christie’s short stories, including a Hercule Poirot story omnibus edition with a foreword by Charles Todd.

Witness will feature the same royalty structure as William Morrow/Avon’s other digital-first imprints: authors receive a 50% royalty once their book sells 10,000 copies (initial royalties start at 25%). They will not receive an advance.