Studio 28, the digital-publishing arm of Curtis Brown Literary & Talent Agency, is to publish its first original title.
The Swiss Spy by Alex Gerlis will be published as an e-book on Monday 1st June.
Studio 28 officially launched in March this year, and will publish in the UK and other territories. It will seek rights from authors already on the agency’s books or work on “rediscovering and reinventing literary gems from 100 years of the agency’s backlist”.
The Swiss Spy is described as a “tense, atmospheric spy thriller, set in the early days of World War Two – in which a Geneva-based British agent, Henry Hunter, embarks on a series of increasingly perilous missions into Nazi Germany, all the time having to cope with different identities and competing spymasters”. In March 1941 in Berlin, haunted by a dark episode from his past, he makes a fateful decision, resulting in a dramatic journey to the Swiss frontier with a shocking outcome.
Studio 28 negotiated a limited licence for e-book and POD rights with Gerlis and his agent Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown.
Rufus Purdy, senior editor at Studio 28, said Gerlis “does not pay his agent a commission of his earnings on this title – the agent's commission comes from Studio 28”.
The Swiss Spy is the follow-up novel to Gerlis’ The Best of Our Spies, released in 2013 by CB Creative Books, a digital self-publishing programme Curtis Brown launched through Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace in 2012.
Studio 28 had a soft launch last year. Its first e-book release was restaurant critic and author Jay Rayner’s The Apologist, originally published by Atlantic.
It also released Giles Coren’s How to Eat Out, released in the UK by Hodder Paperbacks, as an e-book in the US in January, and Howard Jacobson’s The Very Model of a Man, originally released by Viking in the UK, was released in March.