A far cry from the days when ebooks were denounced as a flash in the pan and the dire predictions rang out for the fad of digital reading, more and more publishers are finally coming on board with dedicated digital imprints of their own. While Harlequin, a pioneer in the concept of ebook-only was scoffed for its unheard of turn around time and royalty rate, was one of the first to establish a separate division to release ebooks, more companies are following suit.
Now, it’s Little, Brown UK, who announced the creation of Blackfriars this week. The digital imprint announced a list to be released in June of written by some well-known authors, including a title that was published in print in the US by Amazon.
“We know there are writers out there producing wonderful novels and memoirs, and we know there are readers of literary fiction and non-fiction who would welcome guidance through the digital labyrinth,” stated author Clare Smith in a press release on the launch of Blackfriars.
While it might be tempting to be amused by the publishers who are recognizing the value to their bottom lines in working in digital publishing, this actually does lend an even greater acceptance to ebook publication. Having a reputable brand in the publishing house and the industry experts who tackle these projects producing quality work, it does serve to raise readers’ perceptions of a medium that is overloaded with some less-than-quality titles.
In an interesting note, Little, Brown UK’s press release stated that this imprint was formed specifically to discover new talented authors or to bring back some well-loved writers who may have been on hiatus for some time. In addition to the recognition that ebooks are a sizable source of revenue for publishers, this also speaks to the understanding that there are a wealth of authors out there that the traditional publishing industry in its usual forms may not be willing to risk working with, but that digital lends itself perfectly to.