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Grammar Girl Sells Audiobooks, Too

The New York TimesAndrew Adam Newman is the latest to jump on the Grammar Girl Podcast bandwagon, focusing on Mignon Fogarty‘s quick turnaround in producing the audiobook of her book, which Henry Holt won’t publish until next year. The reason for speed? An appearance on Oprah, which then propelled said audiobook to the top of iTunes’ bestselling books list. Unlike most authors, Fogarty owns a mixing board for recording her podcasts, which allowed her to gin up a quickie audio version of the book she plans to write. The effort was spearheaded by Mary Beth Roche, publisher of Audio Renaissance, the audiobook division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, which also publishes Henry Holt.

The resulting success has Holt publisher John Sterling feeling very happy. “We didn’t break out Champagne because we weren’t selling tens of thousands, but we certainly broke out the sparkling water,” Sterling said. “We are accustomed to working with product cycles one measures in months, but in this case we were working with a product cycle of days and even hours.” An audiobook would normally appear after – or simultaneously with – a published book, not before. “Traditionally, we would see the audiobook as the tail on the dog, and here the tail is wagging the dog.” And as with all success stories, expect this to be emulated over and over…

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