International Industry Notes: Australia’s Jefferis Shortlist, Hachette Audio’s Audiobook Soundtracks

In News by Porter Anderson

Although open to men as well as women, the Jefferis Award has yet to go to a male writer. And some Hachette Audio YA titles have Booktrack scores.


By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Depicting Women and Girls in a Positive Way’

australian-society-of-authors-logo-linedThe Australian Society of Authors has announced the shortlist for this year’s Barbara Jefferis Award.

The list comprises six novels:

The winner is to be announced later this month, and commendations were also offered to authors Vikki Wakefield and Mireille Juchau.

According to a prepared statement, prize monies on the line amount to AU$55,000 (US$41,874), among the richest prize pools in Australian literature.

barbara-jefferis-award-logo-linedFunding for the award comes from the Jefferis Literary Fund, established by a bequest from Barbara Jefferis’ husband, the film critic John Hinde. “The award is made available from the Barbara Jefferis Literary Fund,” according to press materials, “established by a bequest from Jefferis’ husband, much-loved film critic John Hinde.”

Jefferis was a novelist, a founding member of the Australian Society of Authors, and its first woman president.

The Jefferis Award is given to “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society.”

While the competition is open to male authors, organizers say that to date only female authors have won. And this year, of course, the shortlist is made up entirely of women.

Booktrack Scores Applied to Audiobooks

300 Booktrack logoBooktrack, based in Auckland and San Francisco, is expanding its offerings made in partnership with Hachette Audio, releasing young adult (YA) novellas with Booktrack’s soundtracks.

The partnership is not new. Publishing Perspectives reported on it in July.

There is a distinction here, however, that might be missed.

In the past, Booktrack’s basic product has been the generation of soundtracks to accompany reading—background music that adjusts its length according to a reader’s rate of speed. These soundtracks’ music and sound effects accompanied the text. The consumer, in other words, did the reading.

hachette-little-brown-for-young-readers-logo-linedBut in this partnership, Booktrack and Hachette are putting soundtracks to existing narrated audiobooks to enhance the aesthetic elements of a story. The original product is read. The user listens to this product, as he or she might listen to any audiobook.

Announced as autumn releases are three titles from authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories series:

  • The first book, Beautiful Creatures (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009), read by Kevin T. Collins, is known for its 2013 film from Warner Bros. studios. It has been translated into 39 languages, according to Booktrack;
  • Before the Claiming (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015) is read by Khristine Havm and is the third book in the series ; and
  • A Gatlin Wedding (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016) is read by Collins and is the final installment in the series.

In addition, author Laini Taylor’s Night of Cake & Puppets (Little, Brown Teen, 2013) is read by Collins and Hvam, a volume of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, was taken to market in August. There are more titles on a Hachette sales page at Booktrack.

Paul Cameron

Paul Cameron

In a prepared statement, Paul Cameron, Booktrack CEO and co-founder with Mark Cameron of the company, is quoted saying, “We were thrilled with the reception of Booktrack ebooks from Little, Brown for Young Readers when we launched the titles in the Booktrack format this summer.

“Hachette Book Group has always been a leader in the publishing industry and is once again ahead of the curve, leveraging Booktrack’s technology. Beautifully narrated audiobooks from Hachette Audio now join their ebook counterparts in harnessing Booktrack’s creative potential for authors to deliver a new experience to their fans. The soundtracks add a totally immersive, enhanced experience to the amazing Hachette audiobooks.”

For Hachette, the statement includes this comment from Tina McIntyre, senior executive director for content development:

Tina McIntyre

Tina McIntyre

“Booktrack is doing exciting things in the digital space, and we’re happy to be the first major publisher to expand their technology to a list of audiobooks. We love creating new ways for our YA fans in particular to consume content from their favorite authors.

“We are eager to expand our offerings to established fans and neophytes alike by making these newly imagined editions of original YA audiobook recordings available.”

Anthony Goff

Anthony Goff

And Anthony Goff, audio publisher and senior vice president for content development, is quoted:

“I’m proud of Hachette Audio’s reputation as a forward-thinking publisher.

“Working with Booktrack, we hope to expand our authors’ audiences, giving current audiobook fans the ability to experience some of their favorite stories in a fresh, new way, while attracting those who may be new to audiobook listening with a ‘cinematic’ gateway experience.

“We look forward to growing our catalog and partnership with Booktrack in the seasons to come.

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About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.