What happens when you build up a pair of authors, get their hardcover on the New York Times bestseller list and see a movie tie-in lead to a 1.5 million copies sold for the mass market paperback? You lose them to a bigger house, of course.

That's the fate of Forge publisher Tom Doherty. Relic authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are moving to Warner Books with a $2.2-million, two-book deal negotiated by their new agent, Eric Simonoff, and Warner Books editor Betsy Mitchell -- regardless of the $1.5 million offer Doherty put on the table. The authors get quite a jump in advance from the rumored $200,000 they received for the Relic sequel, Reliquary, which has a 120,000-copy laydown this May. The first book out from Warner will be Riptide, a story of pirate treasure off the coast of Maine. No pub date is set.