The Killing author David Hewson opts for audiobook release of latest novel a year ahead of print version
The author said he was considering audiobook-only work in the future
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 29 July 2013
The latest work by David Hewson, the bestselling-author of The Killing novels, will be released later this week. Yet his fans will be able to hear The Floods a year before they can read it following an innovative publishing deal that could spark a wave of similar changes.
The thriller, following a retired detective on the trail of art vandals in Florence, is released exclusively as an audiobook on Thursday for digital download and on CD. Next year it will be available in print.
Mr Hewson, who is known for his Nic Costa mysteries set in Italy, said it was the first time he had done such a deal, but that he was considering audiobook-only work in the future.
The author, who revealed he had rewritten parts of The Flood to suit the audio, added: “It has moved up the list to be a mainstream thing. Some of these audiobook deals I would think are better than some authors are getting for print. Publishing is finding different ways of telling stories.”
The audiobook market in the UK was worth £5 million last year, according to The Publishers Association. The body has found that consumer downloads rose almost 340 per cent between 2008 and 2012.
The exclusive arrangement is the first of its type involving an established writer, according to a senior executive at the company that secured the deal, who added audiobooks were “becoming core to the industry”.
Dominic White, head of publishing and commerce at WF Howes, said: “This is something that has happened but not in a very purposeful way, or with a high-profile author; maybe a few weeks before the print release but never as a complete exclusive as an audiobook.”
The audiobook will be read by actor Saul Reichlin, who has narrated a series of Mr Hewson’s works as well as works by Henning Mankell, David Peace and Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.
Mr White said: “Audiobooks have been steadily increasing over the years. When we started 15 years ago there were only a few of us in the office and we’ve grown steadily since then. It was seen as a fringe activity but it’s not anymore. There is a definite audience there.”
The first full audiobooks were recorded in the 1930s for war-blinded soldiers. The format was given a huge boost in recent years by the advent of digital downloads. Audible, which provides audiobooks for iTunes, has grown at 40 per cent a year since 2011.
Mr Hewson said: “I’ve always loved audiobooks but for years and years, they were a real minority thing. They were CDs and tapes for libraries. Then Audible came along and started doing consumer downloads, which has taken off in an amazing way.”
One publisher added that those in the industry were thinking more creatively, which would see more innovative deals emerge.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Mike Tindall, Jodie Kidd and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' goes viral 35 years later
Martin Scorsese 'in shock and sorrow' after death on set of new film Silence
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures