HarperCollins will soon join the ranks of other mass market paperback publishers that have their own sales and marketing forces selling to the mass merchandise channel. The company is in the process of establishing an in-house sales and marketing team that will sell its paperback titles to ID wholesalers, a function that is currently being handled by Comag Marketing Group.

According to HC chief operating officer Glenn D'Agnes, HC felt that with the addition of Avon, its paperback program was large enough to warrant its own salespeople. Brian Grogan, director of wholesale sales, is assembling the new team, and D'Agnes hopes to have the unit in place by November. HC's contract with Comag expires at the end of the year, and D'Agnes wants the new sales force "to hit the ground running" in January.