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Bonnier Publishing launches new audio division led by Jon Watt

Bonnier Publishing is launching a new standalone audio division to coordinate its audio strategy across its fiction, non-fiction and children’s publishing.

The new division will be led by Jon Watt, who joins Bonnier Publishing from sister company Bonnier Books Ventures. A former journalist, Watt was associate publisher at Quercus before joining Bonnier to launch tech start-up Type & Tell in the UK. Watt will report into Group Commercial Director, Julian Shaw.

Bonnier Publishing has published nearly one hundred audio titles in partnership with Bolinda and the Melbourne headquartered audiobook publisher will continue to handle the company’s library distribution.

“It’s an exciting time for audio, with the market continuing to grow at a prodigious rate.”

Jon Watt, Head of Audio, Bonnier Publishing

Watt said: “It’s an exciting time for audio, with the market continuing to grow at a prodigious rate. We’re increasing our focus and investment in audio to ensure that more of our titles are available in more formats and through more retailers. Over the next three years, our aim is to double Bonnier Publishing’s audio output.”

Under the new structure Bonnier Publishing will also produce its audio content in house. “By bringing audio production in house we can ensure that we work closely with all departments, coordinating our focus across all formats to create the highest quality content,” continued Watt. “We’re looking forward to working with the narrators, production partners and retailers to create unique, memorable audio experiences which will be bring new audiences to our authors.”

Julian Shaw, Group Commercial Director, said: “Given the huge success of audio publishing at our parent company Bonnier Books, now is the perfect time for Bonnier Publishing to launch its own audio division and I’m delighted that Jon Watt has agreed to lead our ambitious publishing programme. Our relationship with Bolinda has been hugely beneficial and we look forward to continuing to work with them to grow the volume and reach of our audio titles in library markets.”

The company’s most significant audio success to date is Maestra by L.S. Hilton, narrated by Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox.

Bonnier Publishing’s first audio titles will include Wilbur Smith’s autobiography On Leopard Rock, David Coulthard’s Winning Formula, One Show Alex Jones’ Winging Itand Stephanie Butland’s The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae.