Audiobook publisher RBmedia has acquired Berrett-Koehler’s audiobook publishing business. The deal includes the entire backlist at Berrett-Koehler, which is focused on nonfiction titles in the business, personal development, and social justice spaces, and includes what it called "hundreds" of books by such authors as Brian Tracy and Sonya Renee Taylor.
In addition, the two companies have entered an exclusive multiyear agreement in which RBmedia will publish audiobook editions of new Berrett-Koehler titles beginning this year under RBmedia's business imprint, Ascent Audio.
“We are excited to partner with RBmedia to serve and expand the audience for our authors’ works,” Lesley Iura, v-p of editorial for Berrett-Koehler, said in a statement. “As an industry leader and partner with other top business publishers, they have a deep understanding of the markets we serve. We believe that leveraging RBmedia’s unique abilities in spoken audio will help amplify the voices of our authors and the impact of their ideas.”
The move comes following the announcement, earlier this month that Praveen Madan, former CEO of Kepler's Books, was named Berrett-Koehler's new CEO and publisher. That appointment itself followed what Berrett-Koehler called, in a release, “financial difficulties over the past year due to several factors, including the lingering effects of the pandemic and market pressures within BK’s areas of publishing.”
RBmedia reported “another year of record-breaking growth” in 2023, although the company did not provide details. Prior to its purchase, from private equity firm KKR, by investment firms H.I.G. Capital and Francisco Partners last September, the company has been on an acquisition streak, purchasing, among other companies, John Verlag’s German-language audiobook catalog, the audiobook publishing business of Upfront Books, and French audiobook publisher Éditions Thélème