Bestselling author Dean Koontz signed a five-book deal with Amazon Publishing's Thomas & Mercer imprint. The agreement also includes a collection of six short thrillers for the company's Amazon Original Stories unit (which releases only digital and audio content). The deal follows a string of agreement Amazon Publishing has struck with bestselling authors recently; in 2018 alone, Thomas & Mercer inked multibook, seven-figure deals with Barry Eisler, T.R. Ragan and Robert Dugoni. Other top authors to come on board include Slyvia Day and Patricia Cornwell.
Grace Doyle, Thomas & Mercer's editorial director, acquired North American rights to the five standalone titles, while Amazon Original Stories' editorial director Julia Sommerfeld took world English rights to the collection. Richard Pine and Kimberly Witherspoon at Inkwell Management, along with Richard Heller at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, represented Koontz.
The first standalone under the deal, Devoted, is scheduled for spring 2020, Amazon said in a release, while the thriller short story collection, Nameless, will be available on November 12.
Koontz has published with Amazon before, having done audio titles with the Amazon-owned Brilliance Audio and short piece for Amazon Original stories. His most recent book from a Big 5 publisher, The Night Window, was released by Bantam in May. Speaking to that decision, Koontz said that Amazon "presented a marketing and publicity plan smarter and more ambitious than anything I’d ever seen before." He added: "The times are changing, and it’s invigorating to be where change is understood and embraced.”
His agents at Inkwell, Pine and Witherspoon, added that, while Koontz has been incredibly successful--they noted that he has sold over 500 million copies--more is possible. They said in the release: “Dean is at the peak of his storytelling powers and Amazon has committed to a highly ambitious and creative publishing plan that’s certain to delight his existing fans and create millions of new ones.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the titles of Grace Doyle and Julia Sommerfeld.