John and Lisa Hunt, who sold their Audio Literature company to NewStar Media about one year before NewStar filed for Chapter 11 (News, July 17, 2000), have had their $4-million offer approved by the bankruptcy court for the purchase of NewStar's publishing assets. The purchase includes as many as 2,000 spoken-word audios, including about 325 Audio Literature works.
The Hunts plan to release audios under three different imprints: Audio Literature, which will publish spiritual, self-help and related titles; Phoenix Audio, which will publish much of the former Dove Audio's general fiction; and a new imprint, Fantastic Audio, which will focus on science fiction and fantasy works. All three imprints will be part of the newly formed American International Publishing Group. John Hunt told PW that the imprints will release not only backlist titles this year, but new audios as well. Distribution will be handled by Publishers Group West, which has sold Audio Literature's titles in the past.
American International Publishing will be based in Audio Literature's old headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., with a production office in Los Angeles. The new company will begin with a six-person staff, including producer Stefan Rudnicki. Hunt, who noted that he and his wife were among the biggest losers when NewStar went bankrupt, said he plans "to do all I can to help authors recover lost royalties." Hunt stressed that American International "will pay monies when monies are due going forward. We will take care of our authors like we did at Audio Literature."