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03 December 2019

Audiobook publisher W F Howes is celebrating its 20 year anniversary. 

Established in 1999 to bring a wider selection of unabridged audiobook titles to market, the Leicestershire-based company has published over 1,000 audiobook titles, an increase of 156% since 2012 and now employs more than 50 permanent members of staff.

The company has published audiobooks including Harlan Coben’s Tell No One, David Nicholl’s One Day, and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, working with big name narrators—from David Tennant and Caroline Quentin, to Surrane Jones and Greg James—to bring their audiobooks to life.

Miles Stevens-Hoare, general manager at W. F. Howes, said: “To many people, audiobooks are something of a recent phenomenon. But we here at W F Howes have been living and breathing audio for 20 years, dedicating ourselves to unlocking the category’s understated potential and helping audiobooks to reach a wider audience. During this time, we have witnessed disruption, widespread digital adoption, and rapidly evolving consumption habits, and have moved with the times to grow the market and build on our success.”

The company launched at a time when audiobooks were  being published—predominantly in cassette format for the elderly and visually impaired, it invested heavily in high-quality production with state-of-the-art studio facilities and expert production staff to drive mass market appeal. More than 90% of libraries in the UK now use RBdigital, its digital download lending service.

To mark the anniversary, the firm is running a special library promotion offering 30% off on a collection of 20 of its favourite audiobook titles from the last 20 years.

Stevens-Hoare added: “We have established a leading position in the library market and strengthened our retail offering, while smoothly managing the various format transitions which have taken place as technology has developed at break-neck speed. I am extremely proud of everything W F Howes has accomplished over the last 20 years and feel privileged to be part of this company’s success story. Long may it continue.”

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