After 12 years, 65 titles and many 12-hour days, publisher Heather Frederick has sold Audio Bookshelf, the unabridged audiobook company she founded in Northport, Maine, in 1992. The company's new owner is David Dittmann of Rhode Island. Dittmann has extensive experience in merchandising management as well as product development and small business development. In the coming months he will be moving the Audio Bookshelf operations to the Newport area.
"David has a passion for small business and is keenly interested in family listening and working with young listeners," said Frederick. "There will be a learning curve, but I'm confident that he is up to it."
An outspoken advocate of using audiobooks as both entertainment and as educational tools/enhancements in the classroom, Frederick traveled extensively to library and educational conferences, a practice that provided high visibility for her product line. Popular titles include Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt and Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey.
According to Frederick, one reason she decided to sell was that after years of steady growth Audio Bookshelf needs to "expand its management base. David has the expertise and experience to take the company to the next level and fill the role of publisher in the years ahead. I'm ready to move on and couldn't be happier about the circumstances."
For now, Frederick will continue to assist Audio Bookshelf with title acquisitions. Moving forward, she will work as a producer under the auspices of her new audiobook production company, Vox (firstname.lastname@example.org). She said, "I hope that people will take notice that companies like mine can sell and that they have value. The audio industry is vibrant and I think this really underscores that."