February 13th 2014


Digital re-launch gives British author a US bestseller


In the USA, British crime novelist Stephen Booth has hit the number 1 spot in Barnes & Noble's ebook bestseller list - with a book first published in the USA nearly 14 years ago.

The first title in his award-winning Cooper & Fry series, BLACK DOG was originally released in 2000. It was published in the UK by HarperCollins and in the USA by Simon & Schuster, with traditional hardcover and paperback editions. But S&S allowed the book to go out of print after a few years, and the author regained his rights.

Twelve books later, Booth licensed his entire series to the new HarperCollins digital imprint Witness Impulse, launched last October. BLACK DOG was one of their launch titles, with another book in the Cooper & Fry series being released each month, rising to two a month in June and July.

This week, BLACK DOG topped the Nook ebook chart at US booksellers Barnes & Noble, with the second book in the series, DANCING WITH THE VIRGINS, coming in at number 16.

"I thought BLACK DOG did pretty well when it was first published in 2000," said the author. "It was nominated for a couple of awards in the US and won the Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel of the year. But Simon & Schuster never seemed able to break the series into the mass market."

"Since then, ebooks have made a big difference, and Witness Impulse have done a fantastic job bringing the series to a wider readership in the States."

"Interestingly, BLACK DOG's highest sales figures have come in three or four months after publication, and are still rising."

The Witness Impulse list is headed by Dan Mallory, the same editor who previously signed Booth to Little, Brown in the UK.

The author is a CWA Gold Dagger nominee, winner of the Dagger in the Library, and twice a finalist for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year. His series features two young Derbyshire police detectives, DC Ben Cooper and DC Diane Fry, and is set in and around England's Peak District. 

BLACK DOG was the book which first introduced Ben Cooper and Diane Fry to the world, along with their 'E' Division colleagues and the fictional Peak District town of Edendale. Described by reviewers as "Dark, intense and utterly compelling" and "Simultaneously classic, contemporary and haunting", BLACK DOG tells the story of a murdered teenager whose death rips apart a sleepy village, and the two police officers who become involved in the subsequent investigation. On its original publication, it won the Barry Award for the Best British Crime Novel in the USA, and was a finalist for an Anthony Award for Best First Mystery.

Meanwhile, the 14th Cooper & Fry novel, THE CORPSE BRIDGE, will be published by Little, Brown in the UK on 19th June, with book 13 ALREADY DEAD released in paperback on 8th May.

Stephen Booth is represented by the Teresa Chris Literary Agency.























Posted 13th February 2014


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