W F Howes expands to meet 'rapid growth in audiobook demand'

W F Howes expands to meet 'rapid growth in audiobook demand'

Audiobook and large print publisher W F Howes Ltd has made a raft of senior appointments as it prepares to install new audiobook facilities at its Leicestershire offices.

The improvement will enable the company to expand its annual audiobook output to meet the "rapid growth in audiobook demand", it said.

The firm has hired 15 year "veteran" of film and audiobook production Lauren Fox as the studio manager. Following her degree in Performing Arts from Hertforshire University, Fox co-founded FoxYason Music Productions, which supplied and composed music for films, television and radio. In 2002, FoxYason Music Productions began producing audiobooks for Hachette UK, and in 2008 Fox became the first female engineer to record audiobooks for Big Finish Productions.

“I’m thrilled to be joining W F Howes to use my experience and passion for audiobook production and to continue building on W F Howes’ track record of high quality audiobook production,” Fox said. “We’ve created a state-of-the-art facility and a really brilliant team to bring out the best in our books for authors and listeners.”

The editorial acquisitions team has been restructured with senior acquisitions editor Jodie Coles promoted to UK acquisitions manager. Coles joined W F Howes in 2011 as a rights assistant. Her acquisitions include titles by bestselling authors Lucinda Riley and B A Paris, and Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith, recently shortlisted for the British Book Awards as Audiobook of the Year.

“I'm excited to be taking on this role given the explosive growth of audiobooks,” Coles said. “We have a world-class list of titles and I’m looking forward to expanding our relationships with authors, agents and publishers.”

Meanwhile, Laura Smith has been promoted to senior acquisitions editor. Smith joined the company in 2010 as a rights assistant and has acquired titles including international bestseller Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and Tony Parsons’ Max Wolf series.

The studio and editorial teams will report to Dominic White, head of publishing and commerce.

He said: “Lauren and Jodie bring a wealth of experience and energy to the publishing team. I’m confident they will help lead and drive the business as it pursues even more ambitious plans.”

The onsite studios will open and begin production on 30th April.