With new digital imprints, Random House taps self-published authors

Publishers are increasingly experimenting with digital-only imprints, where a book is published as an ebook first and may never appear in print. Earlier this week, HarperCollins launched a digital YA (young adult) imprint. Now Random House is launching three new digital-only imprints and revamping a fourth.

The new imprints, which fall under the Random House Publishing Group division, are called Alibi, which will publish mysteries and thrillers; Hydra, which will publish science fiction; and Flirt, which will publish new adult titles. (The “new adult” genre, also growing in popularity, aims at college students and recent college grads.) RHPG will also relaunch a fourth digital-only imprint, Loveswept, which focuses on romance.

“There are many readers out there looking for exactly what Loveswept offers—compelling characters and great stories published frequently at an affordable price,” Gina Centrello, RHPG president and publisher, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand this program.”

On the website for the new digital-only imprints, RHPG seems to be trying to reach authors who have previously self-published their books and don’t have literary agents. The company explains that “we offer writers a complete publishing package” and “each title will be assigned to an individual Random House editor.” Authors can submit proposals through a web form, where they are asked to provide a 1,500-word excerpt and a brief description of the title. RHPG also says it is “open to previously-published manuscripts as long as the submitting author now controls all electronic and print publishing rights.”

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