Canongate has promoted Joanna Lord to the newly-created position of audio and online sales manager and will recruit an assistant into another new role, as part of its "increased focus" on audio.
Formerly the Edinburgh-based publisher’s online key accounts executive, Lord will now be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s audio publishing. This will include commissioning audio editions of frontlist titles through to identifying opportunities from within the company’s backlist. She will also develop new sales relationships and continue to manage the online retail accounts across physical and digital formats.
A spokesperson said that "in recognition of the company’s increased focused on its audio list" Canongate will also recruit for an audio and online sales assistant later this month. The successful candidate will work closely with Lord and will help with the audio publishing process as well as assisting the wider sales team.
The development coincides with the boom in the audio market, highlighted by The Bookseller in April when the Publishers Association’s annual statistics revealed the value of audiobook downloads to UK publishers increased by 28%, to £16m in 2016. A report from Nielsen in December put the market as even larger, with around £91m spent on 10.9 million units in 2015, of which 60% were downloads.
Lord said she was “thrilled” to be working more closely on the publisher’s audio list.
She said: “The audio market is so exciting at the moment and I’m looking forward to building on my successes so far to grow sales even further and develop new content.”
Jamie Byng, Canongate’s c.e.o, said “Canongate has always taken audio seriously and over the years we have built a strong and diverse catalogue of outstanding recordings by world class readers.”
He added: “Jo’s thoroughly deserved promotion signals our ongoing commitment to growing this side of the business and I cannot think of a better person to be heading up our audio publishing whilst continuing to drive our online sales.”
Before joining Canongate in December 2014, Lord worked for the Guardian Media Group, where she ran the Guardian Bookshop and worked on titles published under the newspaper’s own imprint.