HarperCollins commercial imprint Avon is launching a new digital-first imprint, Maze, with the aim of releasing 15 new titles a year.
Senior commissioning editor Lydia Vassar-Smith said the expansion was a natural move for Avon following its current publishing programme.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our e-books, with titles such as C L Taylor’s The Accident. Because we’re a nimble, responsive division, it felt like it made sense to take advantage of that, and start doing digital first. We’ve been around to agents to talk to them, and they are really behind the idea.”
Maze’s first acquisition is Humbugs and Heartstrings by Catherine Ferguson, which will be released as an e-book in October. Editor Helen Bolton signed UK and Commonwealth rights from Elly James at Heather Holden Brown. Vassar-Smith said: “We think this will be a place to create and launch new brands. We’ve had success with women’s fiction, crime and sagas, but we’re also looking at other areas, such as fantasy.”
After e-book publication, the Maze team will then look at possible print runs, while the titles will also be available through print-on-demand.