HarperCollins buys full audio rights for nine Philippa Gregory backlist books

HarperCollins buys full audio rights for nine Philippa Gregory backlist books

HarperCollins has closed a deal with historical novelist Philippa Gregory for full audio rights for nine of her backlist titles.

The deal includes the six Tudor Court titles, and were all originally published by HarperCollins before Gregory’s move to Simon & Schuster UK. The audio versions will include new insights narrated by the author.

The launch title will be The Other Boleyn Girl in summer 2018 followed by anti-slavery novel A Respectable Trade and the 17th century historical novels Virgin Earth and Earthly Joys.

The deal, done through Anthony Mason of Mason Ventures, will bring digital unabridged versions of the novels to market for the first time, with new recordings, some single voice and some multi-voice. The books have previously been released as abridged audio recordings.

Gregory will record new a new afterword for each title explaining her inspiration and writing as well as where "history leads the characters". Casting is currently underway with the focus on "strong new television acting talent", according to a HarperCollins spokesperson.

HarperCollins’s head of audio Rachel Mallender said: “Having the chance to produce and publish nine of Philippa Gregory’s titles is a huge opportunity in audio publishing. HarperCollins is at the forefront of innovation in the booming audio industry and this is the perfect time to deliver these amazing titles to listeners new and old.”

Gregory said: “I am very happy to be working with the audio team at HarperCollins. These novels are loved by so many readers and it is so exciting to be able to share them in a new way.”

HarperCollins is the only publisher with a ‘Total Audio’ policy and records all frontlist narrative print titles for release on the same date as first print publication.

Gregory’s 30-year-long publishing history was celebrated  by HarperCollins and current publisher S&S UK with an event in May.

In April, it was revealed she was taking her fiction in a new direction with a four-book global deal with S&S UK for three works of fiction and one of non-fiction.