Sterling Children’s Books will launch a new teen fiction imprint in January, called Splinter. The list will debut January 11 with the release of Tiger’s Curse, the first in a fantasy-romance saga by Colleen Houck, self-published before she signed with Sterling. Two sequels will follow in June (Tiger’s Quest) and November (Tiger’s Voyage). Frances Gilbert, v-p, publisher of Sterling Children’s Books, said the goal of Splinter “is to give teens what they want to read, when they want to read it and how they want to read it.” To that end, all books will be released simultaneously in hardcover and e-book formats, and the print editions will be imbedded with TAG codes that will enable readers with smartphones to scan the codes to access Web-only material. Sterling will also include options that take advantage of parent company Barnes & Noble’s “More in Store” features.

Sterling will print 250,000 copies of Tiger’s Curse and will support it with an aggressive ad campaign; in all there are five books in the Tiger saga. A second Splinter series is set to begin next fall, with a third planned for 2012. Splinter will also publish standalone novels, but will focus on books that deal with teens “looking to forge their own way," Gilbert said. "It will be a boutique list.”

Children’s editorial director Cindy Loh is acquiring titles for the imprint. The hardcover edition of Tiger’s Curse will be priced at $17.95, with the e-book at $9.99.