In a sign of the growing maturation of its publishing program, Amazon has sold trade paperback rights to 10 titles in its Encore and Crossing imprints to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The first title to be released by HMH will be Oliver Potzsche’s The Hangman’s Daughter. The novel was originally published in Germany in 2008 and was one of the first books to be released under the AmazonCrossing imprint in which Amazon publishes U.S. editions of foreign titles. Jeff Belle, v-p, Amazon Publishing, said the deal with HMH will extend the reach of its authors’ works. “Houghton has a great team and we’re thrilled to be working with them to bring our authors to a larger print audience,” Belle said. “Our goal is to maximize opportunities for all of our authors.” Distribution of print titles through other channels has been a problem for Amazon’s publishing program with some outlets reluctant to carry books from a competitor. Selling rights to another publisher is one way to get Amazon’s books into more retailers.
HMH’s Bruce Nichols did the deal with Amazon for the 10 titles and also acquired print rights to Potzsche’s three sequels to follow Hangman’s Daughter. A spokesperson for HMH said initial reaction to Hangman among accounts has been positive. “Early reaction from booksellers we’ve spoken to about The Hangman’s Daughter has been enthusiastic and they feel they have readily identifiable customers for this,” the spokesperson said.