The Bookseller – Rights – WF Howes swoops for TikTok star Aster’s Lightlark

Audiobook publisher RBmedia has bagged exclusive audio rights to Lightlark (Amulet), the debut young adult fantasy novel from author and TikTok star Alex Aster.

The company secured audio rights at auction from Talia Behrend-Wilcox, subsidiary rights senior manager at Abrams Books. Lightlark will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by WF Howes in the autumn, and throughout the rest of the world by Recorded Books, the audiobook home for the author’s Emblem Island series

Lightlarkthe first audiobook in the series, follows the story of six rulers competing in a grand high-stakes game set on a magical island, with 100 days to break the deadly curses that have plagued their realms for centuries.

Aster said: “I am thrilled to continue working with RBmedia on the Lightlark audiobooks. Audio is such an important part of TikTok, and RBmedia’s innovative marketing, as well as incredible narrator casting, make it the perfect home for Lightlark. In fact, their first suggestion for narrator casting was so spot-on, I enthusiastically agreed within seconds of listening to the sample. I couldn’t be more excited for my audience to see (or hear!) everything that we’re working on.”

The Emblem Island series author, whose first middle-grade novel Curse of the Night Witch (Sourcebooks) was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2020, has more than 800,000 followers on TikTok. Her from her first Lightlark trailer post on the platform garnered 1.6 million views and 350,000 likes, followed by a Times Square cover reveal for the book with a combined three million views and 400,000 likes.

Publishing director at WF Howes Dominic White said: “Lightlark is pitch perfect for audio, a dazzling fantasy world filled with romance and dark twists—we can’t wait to introduce Alex Aster to audio fans internationally.”

Director of children’s and YA publishing at RBmedia Andrea Wollitz commented: “Alex is a rare and unique talent. Not only is she an incredibly gifted writer, whose captivating and imaginative novels are attracting both rave reviews and reader plaudits alike, but she is also someone who has clearly demonstrated the indisputable power of BookTok. She has a deep-rooted understanding of her audience, readers, and fanbase and takes them with her on every step of her writing journey in a natural and engaging way. We are delighted to continue working with Alex to bring her her fantasy worlds to life for audio fans around the world.”

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