Wattpad, the online writing and reading community and entertainment platform, is partnering with the Hachette Book Group to launch Hachette Audiobooks: Powered by Wattpad, a joint venture that will produce 50 audiobooks based on Wattpad stories.
The 50 initial Wattpad audiobook titles will be available beginning in the Summer 2017. Authors and titles will be named at a later date. The partnership will focus on popular Wattpad writers, using actors to adapt their stories into audiobooks for distribution beyond the Wattpad platform.
Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad’s head of partnerships, said Hachette Audiobooks: Powered by Wattpad is the latest effort by the online community to bring the works of its writers to a broad audience. Wattpad writers continue to sign book deals with conventional book publishers, but Wattpad has also added content deals with film and TV companies such as Turner Broadcasting and Universal Cable Productions to expand the reach of its content.
Gardner said the Hachette partnership will experiment with audio formats other than the standard audiobook format. Hachette also plans to produce Wattpad audiobooks in the physical CD format for libraries and on demand for other interested parties.
The initial release of Wattpad audiobooks will include a wide variety of genres. The titles will be sold digitally and will be available via major online retailers, among them iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Audible.com, Audiobooks.com, Bandcamp, and eStories.
Anthony Goff, senior v-p content development and audio publisher at Hachette Book Group, said “content development is an important initiative for Hachette. We are excited to be working with Wattpad to amplify the audience and broaden the channels of discovery for their unique brand of storytelling.”