Women's fiction publisher Choc Lit has agreed a deal with unabridged audiobook publisher Soundings to co-brand audiobooks.
The deal will see Soundings, which is part of the Ulverscroft Group, record all of Choc Lit's publications at its Whitley Bay studios in line with Choc Lit's digital e-book and paperback releases.
Lyn Vernham, Choc Lit's managing director, said that the deal was driven by the recognition that audiobooks are becoming increasingly more important to readers and by "the need to maintain the Choc Lit brand and quality".
She said: "We are determined to be at the forefront of this change – for the brand, our authors, and our readers.
"We've been very impressed with Soundings and are confident that the two brands can work together to produce the very best in audiobooks."
Gillian Bell, manager at Soundings, said: "This will, without a doubt, strengthen our romance genre."
Soundings release 12 audiobooks per month and intends to produce three books per month with Choc Lit and its Ruby Fiction imprint.
Spending on audiobooks has more than doubled since 2013, jumping from £12m to £31m in 2017, according to figures released by the Publishers Association.
The first co-branded audiobooks will be released this month – Here Comes the Best Man by Angela Britnell and The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall. They will be available to download worldwide from a range of platforms including Audible and Ulverscroft’s digital platform for libraries, uLIBRARY.