posted on by Alex Mateo
Yen Press announced Yen Audio, its new imprint for audiobooks, on Tuesday. The company is partnering with Hachette Audio to produce, sell, and distribute digital audiobooks for select titles. Yen Press revealed five novel series titles that will receive audiobooks this year as well as a release schedule:
- Solo Leveling Volume 1 of Korean novel series by Chugong – July
- Sword Art Online Volume 1 by Reki Kawahara – August
- Overlord Volume 1 by Kugane Maruyama, so-bin – September
- Solo Leveling Volume 2 – October
- Sword Art Online Volume 2 – October
- The Miracles of the Namiya General Store Volume 1 by Keigo Higashino – November
- The Saga of Tanya the Evil Volume 1 by Carlo Zen, Shinobu Shinotsuki – November
- Overlord Volume 2 – December
- Sword Art Online Volume 3 – December
After these initial releases, Yen Press and Hachette Audio plan to release regular seasonal adaptations. The companies will announce the voice cast and narrators for the audiobooks at a later date.
Publisher and managing director Kurt Hassler is working with Hachette Audio’s publisher and senior vice president Anthony Goff, who negotiated the world rights deal for Hachette Book Group, for Yen Audio.
Hassler stated in an interview with ICv2 published in March that 2020 was a record year for Yen Press. Hassler added that the manga market took a significant hit in the second quarter of 2020 due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The manga market then took a significant upswing last summer, and by fall, the company experienced sales significantly higher than in 2019. Hassler reported that the positive momentum has continued into 2021.
Due to Yen Press‘ increased sales, the company has been having some difficulty scheduling printer time and stocking books due to printer capacity issues in the publishing industry.
Hassler added that Yen Press‘ manga output over the last five years has increased since the business was spun off as a joint venture between Kadokawa and Hachette, and he attributed some of that growth to an expansion of Kadokawa content, while continuing to work with other licensors. He commented that the company’s relationship with Kadokawa is much closer than it was prior to the joint venture, and they are constantly engaged in discussions to further business and the market.
Sources: Yen Press, press release