Winner: Audiobook of the Year
Penguin Random House Audio
The success of Becoming at this year’s awards reflects not just the rapturous reception it received, but the new level of professionalism and popularity that the audiobook sector has now reached.
This was an audiobook that got the same five-star treatment as the text version. Penguin Random House Audio—for which this is a second successive Audiobook of the Year, after Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage in 2018—pulled out all the stops, giving the spoken version sales, marketing and publicity strategies of its own, while synchronising with other formats.
PRH started with in-depth research of the book’s likely markets, including two key segments: people whose print or e-book buying had lapsed, and those who had never listened to an audiobook. That led on to activity including effective partnerships with audio retailers including Audible, extensive Apple, radio, podcast and social media advertising, and placements including a spot on Radio 4’s “Book of the Week”.
Obama herself proved to be a superb narrator of her own work—far from a given in the world of autobiographical audio. Her smooth delivery was immensely popular, and added new dimensions to her writing that couldn’t be experienced on the page
MilkmanAnna Burns (author), Brid Brennan (narrator)
Their Lost DaughtersJoy Ellis (author), Richard Armitage (narrator)
Lethal WhiteRobert Galbraith (author), Robert Glenister (narrator)
Brief Answers to the Big QuestionsStephen Hawking (author), Ben Whishaw (narrator)
First Man InAnt Middleton (author and narrator)
BecomingMichelle Obama (author and narrator)