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.
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
London art exhibition features portrait of Iraqi migrant shot dead in Iraq after being refused UK asylum
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds