Sharp label bookmarks first

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Sharp Independent at HarperCollins, the banner set up by veteran indie producer Jeff Sharp at the News Corp. publisher, has signed its first project.

The division has acquired and will develop "Now You See Him," a mystery from novelist Eli Gottlieb. The book, which centers on a murder-suicide in an upstate New York town, is set for release this month from HarperCollins division William Morrow.

Sharp's label aims to mine the Morrow and HarperCollins frontlist as well as its catalog for potential feature projects. While no financing pipeline has been set up, Sharp ("You Can Count on Me," "Boys Don't Cry") has what is essentially a first-look pact at the publisher as well as an office at the New York house.

The effort marks a crossover between the book industry and the specialty business. Sharp Independent and HarperCollins executives will be at the Sundance Film Festival beginning next week, where, among other things, they will hold a panel hosted by the Wall Street Journal on literary adaptations.
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