W F Howes bolsters editorial team to meet audiobook demand

W F Howes bolsters editorial team to meet audiobook demand

Audiobook and large print publisher W F Howes is boosting its editorial team to “bolster” its acquisitions programme.

Rachel Gregory has moved from Troubador publishing to become acquisitions editor leading a new digital audio imprint. Jodie Coles has been promoted to senior acquisitions editor alongside Ellis Moore, whose new role was revealed last week.

A spokesperson said the new structure would “further cement its position as the UK’s audiobook market leader”.

Rachel Gregory joined the Leicester-based company on 31st May, from indie publisher, Troubador, where she was group e-book manager. In her new role, she will establish a new digital audio imprint focused on commercially-driven, mass-market trends.

Coles and Moore’s promotions with immediate effect will enable further expansion of acquisitions. Coles joined the company as a rights assistant in 2011, before being promoted to acquisitions editor the following year.

Moore has been with W F Howes since 2014, first as a marketing assistant before joining the editorial team responsible for acquiring cross-channel audio and large print rights, she was recently named one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars.

“The strength of our acquisitions team is integral to our business, and I’m delighted to see the team grow both in terms of size and responsibilities. As a company, we are committed to acquiring and publishing the best audio content, and these changes position us to do exactly that.” commented Dominic White, head of publishing and commerce at W F Howes.

In 2014, the company announced it was expanding its publishing by 50% with the launch of two imprints, Lamplight and Avid to meet "the growing demand for audiobooks", according to White.

Last December, it published an accessible large print edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the screenplay edition.

Digital audio book sales are one of the fastest-growing areas of publishing in the UK at the moment, with the value of audiobook downloads to UK publishers increasing by 28%, to £16m in 2016, according to the Publishers Association’s annual yearbook. As a result, publishers have been 
responding to the surge by hiring new staff, upping the number of titles they publish and exploring audio-first opportunities.