Publishers embrace, and ponder, audiobooks’ rise
NEW YORK (AP) — As the audiobook market continues to boom, publishers find themselves both grateful and concerned.
The industry gathered over the past week for BookExpo and the fan-based BookCon, which ended Sunday at the Jacob Javits center in Manhattan. The consensus, as it has been for the past few years, is of a stable overall market: physical books rising, e-book sales soft and audio, led by downloaded works, expanding by double digits.
…Conventiongoers lined up to meet Sally Field, Tony Kushner and Charlaine Harris, among others. They also stood (and sat) patiently for the once-notorious James Frey, whose “Katerina” will be publushed this fall by Gallery Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint.
A decade ago, Frey’s addiction memoir “A Million Little Pieces” was revealed as being extensively fabricated and the author himself was chewed out on television by Oprah Winfrey, but not before her initial endorsement had helped the book sell millions. But Winfrey and Frey later reconciled, Frey now openly writes fiction and Gallery is openly promoting his old work, whether billing “Katerina” as “Written in the same percussive, propulsive, dazzling, breathtaking style as ‘A Million Little Pieces'” or highlighting the memoir in a billboard ad for his new novel.
“‘A Million Little Pieces’ is a beloved and brilliant book, regardless of the controversy, so we did not think twice about using it in our advertising,” Gallery spokeswoman Jennifer Robinson said.
But one change was made for the convention.
“The Javits Center did reject our first design for the billboard as it showed a bit too much flesh,” Robinson said. “We had to make a little less of ‘Katerina’ visible.”