By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Creativity and Ambition in the Audio Space’Based in Frankfurt, and a very familiar company to Publishing Perspectives readers, Bookwire today (March 21) has announced a new partnership with the Los Angeles-based digital-first publisher Podium.
The company is known for focusing on genre fiction—science-fiction, fantasy, and romance being predominant. It has developed specializations in sub-genre interests including “gamelit,” in which characters or story-worlds, or both, are presented with gaming elements essential to the narrative; “litRPG” in which role-playing comes to the fore; and “progression fantasy,” in which the lead character gains power and/or skill over time, again related to the context of gaming and interactive narrative.
If the company name is ringing a bell for you, it may be because in 2013, Podium Publishing co-founders Greg Lawrence and James Tonn—the company was then based in Newmarket, Ontario—made a deal to produce an early audio evocation of Andy Weir’s self-published The Martian in a journal style format. When Penguin Random House (Crown) became interested in the property, Tonn has told Lynn Neary at NPR in 2016, the Podium team allowed a buy-back of the print rights.
Podium lists The Martian as being among 16 Audie Awards and 21 Voice Arts Awards for some of its work. The company has acquired BookStat for tracking sales and has a partnership with
The partnership with Bookwire is primarily a distribution arrangement, with the Bookwire OS platform boosting international reach and providing Podium with tools that Bookwire describes as “enhanced sales analytics, windowing, metadata optimization, and end-to-end production.”
Scott Dickey, now CEO and board director at Podium, is quoted in today’s media messaging from Bookwire, saying, “As our business has evolved and increased in complexity it was critically important to shore up our production and distribution capabilities.
“After evaluating the landscape of potential partners and resources available to our team it became clear that Bookwire was the most capable and trusted option. Partnering with Bookwire has enabled Podium to accelerate our growth.”
Videl Bar-Kar, now vice-president for audio at Bookwire, says, “I have long admired Podium’s creativity and ambition in the audio space, and we are thrilled to partner with them to help accelerate their continued growth.
“Our mission is to provide the No. 1 audiobook service to publishers worldwide, and Podium is simply one of the very best in the business.”
Brittyne Lewis, Bookwire’s country manager for the United States, is also heard from, saying, “The Bookwire OS platform provides publishers with a powerful tool to optimize their digital distribution strategies in one solution.
“By leveraging Bookwire’s technology, Podium is gaining efficiencies and the ability to scale their business more easily. We’re excited to offer this innovative technology to Podium as part of our partnership.”
In 2021, Podium opened AudioCollab, to “elevated the influence” of voice actors who read audiobooks. The company has also gone on to publish in ebook and print formats. The company also has a partnership with Copenhagen’s Saga Egmont for translation of their output into non-English editions for international sales.
More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks in international publishing is here, more on subscription and subscription models in book publishing is here, more on Bookwire is here, more on its base market in Germany is here and more on Podium’s base market in the United States is here. Publishing Perspectives is a media partner with Bookwire’s ‘All About Audio’ conferences.