W.F. Howes, a leading RBmedia’ international publishing brand, today launched its new imprint WFH ORIGINAL, which will publish the company’s audio original titles as it rapidly expands into the world of exclusive audiobooks.
The publisher has snapped up seven high-profile authors and front-list titles to springboard the imprint’s launch, three of which will publish in the first half of 2022.
The imprint’s debut, All Creatures Small and Great by entomology expert and explorer George McGavin, will launch in March, followed by The World’s Strongest Audiobook by former World’s Strongest Man Eddie “The Beast” Hall in May, and Combat Life by former paratrooper Coach Mike Chadwick in June.
A major departure for W.F. Howes, all titles on the WFH ORIGINAL list will contain entirely originated content, commissioned and produced exclusively for audiobook format. Many will combine podcast and radio documentary styles, on-location recording, binaural sound techniques, and celebrity guest interviews, ranging from Sir David Attenborough to Paddy McGuinness.
Dominic White, Head of Publishing and Commerce at W.F. Howes, said: “For the past year, we have been working extremely hard behind-the-scenes to make the vision of WFH ORIGINAL a reality and I’m delighted with the progress we have made and the rich, absorbing titles we have acquired to date. Our productions will offer listeners an immersive audio experience that complements their favourite podcast, radio, and TV streaming content. It is also exciting for authors who can start their publishing journey with a creative audio launch, which can then be followed by other formats. Originals represent huge growth potential for us, both in terms of showcasing the full breadth of our expertise and innovation in audio through a more creative, freestyle approach, but also in terms of the future opportunities that being content creators and having primary author relationships may bring.”
Miles Stevens-Hoare, General Manager at W.F. Howes, said: “The audiobook market’s continued strong year-on-year growth, alongside the popularity of podcasts and consumers’ insatiable appetite for engaging and entertaining audio content, has created the right environment for our very own originals.”
Stevens-Hoare continued: “WFH ORIGINAL is a logical next step in the company’s evolution. It will enable us to explore new business models, work even more creatively, and forge our own exclusive relationships within the publishing ecosystem. We have already sold print publishing rights to one of our forthcoming audio originals and are in active negotiations on the others. It is becoming clear that there are significant growth opportunities which can arise through flipping the traditional publishing model on its head and leading with exclusive audio rights.”
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