Tackles E-Publishing will launch an electronic publishing imprint called Barnes & Noble Digital in an effort to create a "direct link between authors and their readers," the company said in a statement yesterday.

In order to attract prospective authors, the company will set a higher royalty rate than royalties for other electronic book publishers.

Barnes & Noble Digital will also develop original electronic books from well-known authors. The unit's first title will be "The Book of Counted Sorrows" by Dean Koontz.

The electronic titles will be available this spring.
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