Penguin channels audiobook growth

Penguin channels audiobook growth

Penguin Children’s is planning to build on audiobook sales growth, as it launches a new series of Roald Dahl recordings narrated by actors including Kate Winslet and Dan Stevens. The publisher has worked with Pinewood Film Studios to develop unique sound effects to accompany the narration.

The starry recordings feature well-known names such as Stephen Fry, David Walliams, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig, with the 16 CDs being released between June and September. The first versions—including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG—came out on 6th June, and the other titles, including James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, The Witches and Going Solo, are lined up for release on 25th July and 5th September, ahead of Roald Dahl Day on 13th September. Prices range from £9.99 to £12.99, with digital downloads to be released at a later date.

Managing editor of Penguin Audiobooks Ravina Bajwa said: “We are interested in finding ways of connecting our content and audiences through different types of entertainm ent,” and added: “By working with leading sound designers from Pinewood Film Studios, we’ve aimed to create a new kind of listening experience, colouring the recordings with specially-produced sound effects.”

Meanwhile in July, Penguin Children’s is releasing its first Peppa Pig audiobook—a compilation of 13 stories featuring newly-recorded narration and sound effects taken from the television series.

Bajwa reported the audio department has already seen “significant growth” across its audiobook publishing this year, with CD sales “holding strong” in children’s and digital downloads growing mainly for the adult market. She said: “In CDs, children’s is more dominant. I think people still look to audio for gifts and for long car journeys in this market.”