Amazon’s publishing imprint Thomas & Mercer has acquired a new novel by Mark Edwards and Louise Voss right as it continues to up its UK publishing drive. Emilie Marneur, senior acquisitions editor at T&M, signed world rights to From the Cradle through agent Sam Copeland of Rogers, Coleridge & White and will publish this autumn.
The book is a police procedural-meets-psychological thriller and is the first of a series the authors plan to write together.
The deal is the second Edwards has done with Thomas & Mercer, after he signed world rights to two psychological thrillers last September, but it is the first done jointly with co-author Voss. The pair first achieved success together self-publishing on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform, with Catch Your Death, a Kindle bestseller. The duo were then snapped up by HarperCollins, with the company buying four titles in 2011 in a six-figure pre-empt deal. Edwards continued to self-publish with KDP, with his book The Magpies selling over 170,000 copies in 2013, leading to his solo deal with Thomas & Mercer.
HarperCollins published Catch Your Death, Killing Cupid, All Fall Down and Forward Slash, but only the first two novels have recorded sales in Nielsen BookScan’s top 5,000 (3,699 copies and 5,324 copies respectively). A spokesperson for HC said: “We were thrilled to acquire Catch Your Death and hoped that Mark and Louise’s legion of word-of-mouth fans would prove to be a loyal readership that would follow them through to physical and to their subsequent titles. Sadly, despite great support from both the supermarkets and the high street, that hasn’t happened. We would like to wish them success with their new venture.”
Voss told The Bookseller signing with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint “made sense” because it was the best way to target their audience of mainly digital readers. She said: “The novel was sent around [to other publishers] but we were secretly hoping that Emily Marneur would take it because our main relationship is with Kindle readers—it is that medium we have learned [about] over the past few years and it made sense to focus our efforts there. Going forward we will be concentrating on a mixture of self-publishing and Amazon publishing. It just seemed slightly less risky to do it through Amazon.”
She added: “It is so hard to get into bookshops these days. It would be lovely to see our book in W H Smith but it is just getting harder and harder and both Mark and I would like to make our living through writing books.”