Titles published under the Friedman Fairfax name in Barnes & Noble's publishing operations are being split up and will be put under the imprints of Sterling and Barnes & Noble, in a move that will lead to an expansion of Sterling's promotional books publishing program.

Sterling's promotional books imprint, Main Street Books, will absorb the titles that had been published under Friedman's MetroBooks imprint. Beginning in spring 2004, Main Street will publish 40 titles a season, "so it's quite an aggressive program," said Sterling president Charles Nurnberg.

Main Street's books will be a combination of reprints of Sterling books, reprints of other publishers' titles and some books specifically developed for the line, he said. Nurnberg said his goal is to publish an extensive line of high-quality, value-priced books, similar to those published by the old Crown-Outlet program. "We'd like to fill that niche," he said. As part of the effort, Nurnberg said he's looking to hire staff, including acquisitions editors and sales representatives.