Octopus, the Hachette-owned illustrated publisher that until now has concentrated primarily on the European market, is expanding to the U.S.

The company has hired a new sales and marketing team that will allow it to publish U.S. co-editions via its Hachette Illustrated imprint beginning this spring. In the fall, Octopus will also start to distribute a number of original books, published simultaneously with—and originally acquired in—the U.K., as many as 35 for the season.

"We've come to understand the market now in a way that makes us feel we can finally do this," said Inger Forland, v-p of marketing for Octopus in the U.S. The sales reps will be based in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

A number of titles from Octopus's various imprints are distributed stateside by Sterling and Phaidon. The publisher said it will continue those arrangements in the U.S. even as it bolsters its own publishing and distribution efforts.