Independent science fiction and fantasy publisher Baen Books has partnered with audiobook company RBmedia for an audiobook program. Under the agreement, the two companies will publish more than 170 audiobooks over the next three years.
The partnership includes publication of both frontlist titles, with a primary focus on alternate history and sci-fi, and a number of titles from Baen’s backlist, in audio format for the first time. RBmedia will publish Baen titles across its imprints, including Recorded Books and Tantor. The first audiobooks published under the agreement will be available this month via Audible, iTunes, Google Play, Audiobooks.com, public libraries via RBdigital, and other services, with the remaining titles to be released over the next three years.
“Audiobooks are an ideal format for busy consumers, turning your daily commute, exercise, or that rare free time into a journey to distant galaxies or worlds where dragons still roam,” Brian Sweany, director of acquisitions for recorded books at RB Media, said in a statement. “RBmedia’s long-time goal has been to grow its presence in the science fiction and fantasy markets. With Baen Books, we’ve found the perfect partner for this popular segment.”
Recent and forthcoming audio titles produced through the partnership include:
- In Fury Born by David Weber
- The Council Wars series by John Ringo
- The Belisarius series by David Drake & Eric Flint
- The General series by David Drake, Eric Flint, S.M. Stirling, and Tony Daniel
- The Domination (Draka) series by S.M. Stirling
- SERRAted Edge: The Doubled Edge series by Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis
- The Witchy War trilogy by D.J. Butler
- The Chronicles of Kencyrath by P.C. Hodgell
- The Technic History series by Poul Anderson
“Given the soaring demand for audiobooks, especially in the realms of science fiction and fantasy, Baen is thrilled to be entering into this partnership with RBmedia to make sure our rousing tales of adventure are available in all formats,” James Minz, director of subsidiary rights for Baen Books, said in a statement. “With this deal, Baen Books will have licensed as an audiobook virtually every available title on our extensive list.”
The Baen-RBmedia deal is just the latest agreement between independent publishers and companies that publishing digital audiobooks that allow indie publishers to publish their own audio titles rather than license them. Perhaps the most ambitious deal is between Chronicle Books and Hachette in which Hachette Audio will handle production, sales, and distribution for Chronicle's ,new audio unit while Chronicle will handle marketing. The two companies will collaborate on the selection of narrators for the different books.