Italian publisher RCS Libri has launched Rizzoli First, a digital-first list that will publish Italian and English versions of novels ahead of any print version. The books will be released without Digital Rights Management (DRM), and will be available from online retailers worldwide.
Rizzoli said it was building on the success of War Horse by Michael Mopurgo, which was released in e-book format in Italy several months before the print edition and the Steven Spielberg movie adaptation were released.
The list will kick off with a romance novel written by Giulia Ottaviano titled Love will Tear You Apart, priced at £4.99 in the UK. It will be simultaneously published in Europe and the US both in Italian and in English. The new imprint will also feature four e-books by Italian movie director Umberto Lenzi, a series of mystery novels set in the showbusiness community of Rome, which Rizzoli First will publish on a monthly basis.
Rizzoli said it was the first large publishing group in the Italian market to offer a digital-first imprint and the first worldwide to publish in dual languages worldwide.
Alessandro Bompieri, chief executive of RCS Libri, said: "The opportunities offered by digital publishing enable us to try out different strategies to better and distinctively serve our authors at a national and international level. Digital publishing can be a complementary lever to foster a wider distribution—also in print—of the writings of our authors."