Canongate and Faber are teaming up for an audio co-publishing venture, with Canongate handling the sales and production of the audio editions of Faber's titles.
The jointly branded list will be launched this summer with titles including The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Country Girl, A Memoir by Edna O'Brien, and David Peace's The Damned United. The collaboration will also make all the works of Milan Kundera, both fiction and non-fiction, available in unabridged form for the first time. Titles will be selected from across Faber's fiction, non-fiction and children's lists, with Faber to continue to handle publication of audiobooks of its poetry titles itself.
The publishers said they are planning on "no more than a dozen" titles each year, with Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page saying the emphasis will be on creating downloadable and unabridged material to target owners of smart phones and other portable devices, though physical CDs will also be available.
Page said: "Canongate's passion is backed by extremely smart investment, as anyone can see from its acquisition of CSA [the specialist audio publisher that Canongate acquired in 2010]. This has brought them exceptional production and sales infrastructure, and invaluable experience in audio publishing."
"Jamie [Byng] has such a commitment to audio, this is more of a chance to reach a bigger audience. Podcasts, digital audiobooks—all of this can be seen as part of the development of non-scheduled radio. We all see it can remove certain barriers, and has broadened the market. We are stepping up our involvement in this area."
Canongate's audio publisher Victoria Williams said: "This is an exciting opportunity with so much rich material to draw from. More and more people are trying audiobooks as downloads now and we have the necessary structures and relationships in place to cultivate that trend in addition to the more traditional retail and library market channels."
Canongate has also signed an exclusive deal with W F Howes which will sell its audio list into the library market.
Canongate c.e.o. Jamie Byng added: "Audio publishing is an area that we are very committed to and one that we feel is increasingly exciting in a digital era. This partnership with Faber is a perfect fit and will help us to develop further what is fast becoming one of the most prestigious and interesting audio lists in the English language." He said there was a possibility of collaborations with additional publishers on audiobooks in the future.