The announcement that Curtis Brown is to release more than 200 titles as ‘self-published’ e-books via Amazon’s Kindle Direct publishing service is a blow for the paper and ink magnates perhaps – but it’s certainly a boon to online book-browsers, who will no longer have to wade through hundreds of badly spelled uploads on astrology and local history in search of something good to read. Authors involved in the programme – several of whom have personally designed new covers for these new editions – include bestselling writers such as Emily Barr, Colin Bateman, Rosie Goodwin, Jane Fallon and Sarra Manning, C K Kelly Martin and Tony Parsons,whose titles will now be available for download to Kindle, iPad and Smartphone in the territories that have – until now – remained immune to their talents.
The programme is designed to allow authors to retain rights and creative control, whilst opening their work to new readers worldwide. ‘I’m so delighted to be part of this evolutionary opportunity,’ says Adele Parks, whose entire backlist will be available on Kindle for the first time in the US. ‘The wonderful thing about publishing is that there’s always a real sense of adventure and excitement. My American fans have been continually calling for an e-book offering, so fingers crossed they’ll be as pleased as I am.’
The 200 titles – which will also be available to print on demand through CreateSpace – are to be grouped under the new CB Creative Books banner. This brand is an extension of Curtis Brown Creative, the company’s new initiative that has taken the submissions process online. ‘Curtis Brown Creative is all about empowering writers, both new and established,’ says agent and novelist Anna Davis, one of the tutors on CBC’s six-month novel-writing course. ‘It’s great that Amazon has enabled us to help our clients launch their fantastic backlists into territories where they have not previously been published and to promote their books effectively to readers.’
‘We are excited to work with Amazon on this initiative to find new markets for our authors,’ says Curtis Brown’s Joint CEO Jonny Geller, who broke the news at The Bookseller‘s FutureBook Conference yesterday. ‘It’s primarily geared toward breaking UK-based authors in the US, and we’re delighted to be able to work with our authors to find new ways of getting to the readers they so richly deserve.’
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