Audiobooks are to be included in the FutureBook Awards for the first time. Three shortlists will be announced in The Bookseller this week, with the winning audio titles to be unveiled at the FutureBook Conference (4th December).
The audio awards, run in association with audiobook business Audible, recognise the growing importance of audio in publishers’ businesses, as well as their transition to the digital format. According to Publishers Association statistics, the digital audio market rose nearly 25% in 2014 to £10m of invoiced sales—actual value sales would be far higher. Invoiced sales have jumped 170% since the start of the decade. Audio has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital book market, findings from The Bookseller’s Digital Census has hown.
Three awards will be made at the The Bookseller’s FutureBook Conference as part of its FutureBook Awards, for best front list fiction audio title; best front list non-fiction audio title, and best backlist audio title.
Philip Jones, editor of the The Bookseller and programme director for FutureBook, said: “Audio has experienced its own format shift and has emerged as one of the industry’s most vibrant and innovative sectors. I’m delighted this year to be able to publicly recognise the huge efforts that go into making these products. Audible has played the key role in this transformation and has expanded the audience for audio listening, and I’m grateful for the company’s help in launching these awards at FutureBook.”
Laurence Howell, director of content at Audible.co.uk, said: “We are pleased to be working with The Bookseller to bring audiobooks into the FutureBook awards. Building on the publication of the first UK audio download charts in The Bookseller in August this year, this is another chance to celebrate the phenomenal success and growth of the audiobooks market in the UK.”
Audio publishing has a strong presence at the conference this year, with Howell, joining Caroline Raphael editorial director, audio, at Penguin Random House UK, and HarperCollins’ audio editor Abi Fenton, at the event.
Early bird bookings for the event closes this Friday, to view the programme or book tickets, visit www.thebookseller.com/futurebook/2015.