Oline Cogdill
About two years ago, the Avon Books imprint, which is part of HarperCollins, launched its digital romance imprint called Impulse.

Now HarperCollins/William Morrow is launching Witness, which is being called its “digital-original” mystery, suspense and thriller line.

Witness will feature new titles, international bestsellers not previously available in the U.S. and newly digitized backlist classics, according to press releases.

According to the publisher, 100 titles already have been selected for Witness with the first 10 titles to be released in October.

In addition to new titles, Witness will include digital versions of Agatha Christie’s short stories. All the Hercule Poirot short stories will be released as digital singles, and then together in a single omnibus edition.

The books will not automatically move into print but it seems likely that some will, especially given Impulse’s track record. More than 60 percent of Impulse titles also are available in print.

The price of Witness titles will range from 99 cents to $2.99. And, while I have no idea how any of this works, apparently author royalties will be the same as the publisher’s other digital-first imprints.

More details of Witness are here.

Anything that brings more authors to the publishing table is a good thing for all of us.