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.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Jimmy McGovern's new TV series 'Banished': Why Australia's past has such resonance today
The Walking Dead, Remember, review: The discovery of a new community leads Rick to a dark decision
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'