Quercus makes £1m from digital in three months

Quercus makes £1m from digital in three months

Quercus has nearly matched the £1m digital revenue it made from e-books last year in the first three months of 2011.

In its financial results released this morning, the independent said e-book sales increased 16-fold last year and now account for 3% of Quercus' total sales of £31.8m. C.e.o. Mark Smith told The Bookseller half of that figure, almost £500,000, was made in the last quarter of 2010. He added Quercus had almost had the same value of digital sales in its first quarter as it had for the whole of 2010.

Smith added that he plans to make individual chapters and short stories available as e-books. He said: "Sometimes people want to read just a chapter of a book, which we could sell for, say, 39p. Selling collections of short stories is always difficult, but it is much easier to cut them up and sell them individually digitally."

Following this morning's announcement that HarperCollins' publishing director Susan Watt is setting up a new imprint called Heron Books, aimed at those aged 45 and older, further imprints will be announced over the coming year.

Quercus also wants to publish 225 new titles by 2013, up from 128 currently. Smith said: “We want to increase the quality of authors and commerciality of our titles."

He added the publisher is planning to set up websites for its science fiction and horror titles, offering author interviews and discussion forums for fans.