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Wednesday, March 20


Speccing the Void: Adventures in the Audiobooks Abyss
Kobo audiobooks launched in 2017 and as a QA on the project with a passion for EPUB, my first question was, “So what is the spec for audiobooks, it’s like EPUB right?” Instead of being offered a link to a spec doc, I got shrugs. Later in 2017, I joined the W3C Publishing Working Group with the hopes we’d be discussing the matter of audiobooks, and in 2018 it was decided to create a task force to figure out audio formally. I jumped on the task immediately, and in the months since we’ve made a lot of developments in the space, but the true test is whether the industry will accept our best intentions.

In creating a spec where there isn’t one already the important thing to consider is whether or not your expected audience even wants it. On top of working with passionate ebook people on creating something that aligns with what the publishing industry uses already, we need to work with the industry we’re about to disrupt. We also have to consider the needs and expectations of users and user agents. There are more questions than answers.

This presentation will introduce everyone to the process of creating something where there wasn’t something before, and demoing what we have done so far.

avatar for Wendy Reid

Wendy Reid

Senior Quality Analyst, Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Wendy Reid is a Senior QA at Rakuten Kobo, where she works with kobo's mobile apps and device teams to improve reading experiences, promote accessibility, and raise quality. At her other day job she is one of the chairs of the Publishing Working Group at the W3C, and editor of the... Read More →

Wednesday March 20, 2019 11:10am - 11:55am
CR-2 (ground floor, MaRS) 101 College St, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada


Readers are Listening: Best Practices in the Production and Distribution of Audiobooks
Jessica Albert and Brendan Ouellette will discuss the many options available to large and small publishers when creating an audiobook program from the ground up. Learn how to develop an audiobook strategy, including the considerations that come with creating audiobooks in-house, how to sell audio rights, and how to work with third-parties and freelancers. Using their experiences at ECW Press and Annick Press, as well as sharing updates from other houses , Jessica and Brendan will share lessons learned and the hurdles still to overcome in the Canadian audiobook landscape.

avatar for Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert

Digital and Art Director, ECW Press
Jessica Albert is the Digital and Art Director at ECW Press where she works on ebooks, accessibility, audiobooks, book covers, and metadata — sometimes all at once. When not playing fetch with her dog, Jessica has been working to overhaul the digital production and metadata systems... Read More →
avatar for Brendan Ouellette

Brendan Ouellette

Digital Project Manager, Annick Press
As digital project manager for Annick Press in Toronto, Brendan works with producers, voice actors, authors and industry experts to translate print content for kids and teens into exciting audiobooks. 

Wednesday March 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:45pm
CR-2 (ground floor, MaRS) 101 College St, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada


The Audiobook's Tale
A view across international publishers and how audio has been integrated with existing workflows. Tricia will offer insights on how you can anticipate everything from costing and estimating to contracting, rights sales, and royalties for audiobook formats.

avatar for Tricia McCraney

Tricia McCraney

Project Implementation, Virtusales BiblioLIVE
Tricia McCraney is a Projects Consultant with Virtusales, implementing BiblioLIVE publishing management software for publishers of all sizes in North America and beyond. She is the current chair of BISG's Rights Committee, and has a particular interest in book metadata.   


Case Study: Penguin Random House Canada's Audiobook Program
Join Penguin Random House Canada's Marion Garner, Deputy Publisher, and Ann Jansen, Director of Audiobook Production, to celebrate and revisit 18 months of made-in-Canada audiobooks. Learn how PRHC adopted an audio-first strategy to release audio content simultaneously with print and digital editions, using Canadian acting talent for Canadian-authored books, while recording in studios both in-office and across the country.

Marion and Ann will discuss the pains and successes experienced in securing in-house buy-in, liaising with traditionally print-focused departments, and developing manageable workflows as they discuss their plans for the future of PRHC's audiobook program. This wide-ranging conversation will be moderated by BookNet's Zalina Alvi.

avatar for Marion Garner

Marion Garner

Vice President, Deputy Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada
Marion Garner is a veteran of Canadian publishing. Over her vast career, she has worked many places doing many things, but her 25 years at Penguin Random House Canada sum up things nicely. She began her time at Random House Canada as a sales representative, eventually bringing her... Read More →
avatar for Ann Jansen

Ann Jansen

Director, Audiobook Production, Penguin Random House Canada
Ann joined PRHC in 2017 to create a made-in-Canada audiobook program. The audio team has already produced more than 100 titles, many recorded in an in-house studio launched in early 2018. Before switching to publishing, Ann worked at the CBC, where she led the launch of CBC Books... Read More →
avatar for Zalina Alvi

Zalina Alvi

Marketing & Communications Manager, BookNet Canada
As a member of the BookNet team, Zalina uses the power of marketing to help the book industry publish, sell, and envision the future of books, whether they be in print, digital, or directly transmitted into the brain via biblio-lasers (patent pending).">As a member of the BookNet... Read More →