Each year, the APA holds this industry event in conjunction with BookExpo. The APAC committee plans the educational tracks of this premier event for audio professionals with focuses on business and performance. Planning committee members help line up speakers, craft programming focus, write copy for the conference brochure, and assist in helping the day run smoothly. Phone meetings are held throughout the fall and spring with the association events team to build a strong and worthwhile day with plenty of networking opportunities for all.
Business Track Co-Chairs:
- Ralph Lazaro, Findaway
- Samantha Edelson, Macmillan Audio
- Amy Metsch, Penguin Random House
Production Track Chair:
- Tanya Eby, Blunder Woman Productions
The Audie Awards® Competition
The Audie Awards® competition is the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. This committee administers and ensures the integrity of the competition, coordinating the work of over 200 dedicated judges.
- Mary Burkey, Librarian
The Audie Awards® Gala
The finalists and winners of The Audie Awards® competition are honored at a gala event. Members of the Audie Awards® Gala committee assist with the planning of this celebration including choice of venue and emcee, theme selection, program and script writing and presentation preparation. Phone meetings are held throughout the fall and spring with the association events team. Onsite visits to determine the venue and decorations are attended by local committee members.
- Melanie Donovan, Recorded Books
- Ana Maria Allessi
Public Relations and Events (PRE)
Professionals from various areas of the audio publishing industry work together to enhance the APA programs as well as develop new ones – all to increase the visibility and profile of audiobooks. Members of this committee meet once a month either in New York or via conference call. This committee works to improve PR opportunities, including through tradeshows, and to share PR opportunities with members in new ways – member calls, increased committee membership, inclusion in e-newsletter. This committee also hosts the PLA Audiobook Supper, the BookExpo Audiobook Tea and the post-Odyssey Award reception. Committee members do everything from coordinate events to write press releases to stuff goodie bags to design creative marketing campaigns to get the word out about audiobooks.
Major projects overseen by the PRE have included:
- The Audiobook Mobile that toured the East Coast of the US in 2014 bringing information about audiobooks and fun giveaways to book festivals, libraries, and Baltimore Comic Con.
- The Summer 2016 video campaign with Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen King, James Patterson, Chelsea Clinton, Tyler Oakley, and many other authors and narrators, encouraged listeners to share why they #loveaudiobooks.
- Jemma Wolfe, Audiobooks.com
Sound Learning is a subcommittee of the PRE focusing on expanding the information about the importance of audiobooks within the literacy cycle.
- Francisca Goldsmith, Librarian and Consultant
The Membership Communications Committee is responsible for the content, look and tone of the APA eNewsletters, Email Alerts, and Industry News Blog. They work to provide APA members with up-to-date information on programs and services as well as other industry news. APA's eNewsletter is distributed monthly to its membership as an exclusive member benefit. This committee meets via phone throughout the year to plan, create, and execute direct-to-member communications.
- Robin Whitten, AudioFile Magazine
The Membership Committee works to spread the word about the APA and its mission across the globe. This includes working with other committees to enhance APA's membership benefits and create new ways to better serve APA members. Committee members' participation includes such tasks as making Welcome Calls to new members, assisting with the writing of membership materials, planning and executing webinars.
- Anthony Goff, Hachette Audio
- Jessica Kaye, Big Happy Family Audio
- Linda Lee, Scholastic Audio
Members who greet new members via phone, introduce them to the organization, and are available to answer questions about membership.
- Romy Nordlinger, Narrator
- John McClain, Narrator
Monthly webcasts focused on voice talent education.
- Suzanne Elise Freeman, Narrator
The Research Committee is responsible for identifying and distributing data to APA members to help them understand and manage their audio businesses. The committee’s two largest projects are the Consumer Survey (completed approximately every 2 years) and the annual Sales Survey. For both projects the committee determines what information the APA wants, identifies a firm to conduct the research, works with that firm to develop a questionnaire, identifies funding sources for the survey, and works with the PR & Events Committee and APA management to share results with members and to generate media interest in the results. For the Sales Survey, the committee also plays a role in encouraging members to submit their results. In addition, the committee looks for relevant data from other organizations to share with APA members. Phone meetings are held throughout the year on an as-needed basis.
- Chris Lynch, Simon & Schuster
- Brad Rose, Hoopla Digital
Ready to volunteer?
The APA encourages participation in committees by all of our members. Contact APA headquarters and let them connect you with the committee of your choice.
Michele served on the board from 2001, as a director and officer, becoming Executive Director in 2015. She is a partner in Forté Business Consulting, which provides PR, Sales, Marketing, and Business Development services for the publishing industry.
Linda is the Vice President/General Manager of Weston Woods Studios, the largest producer and distributor of audiovisual materials based on children’s literature, and Scholastic Audio, the award-winning publisher of unabridged audiobooks for children and young adults.
Amy Metsch is Vice President, Associate Publisher, and Editorial Director of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. She has worked in the audiobook industry for 15 years and in publishing since 1991.
VP, Member Communications
Robin is the founder and editor of AudioFile Magazine, an independent source of professional audiobook recommendations and reviews.
Anthony started his career in book publishing in 1995. He started at Hachette in 2003 where he has published five Grammy Award winning audiobooks as well as three Audiobook of the Year recipients.
Tanya is an award-winning performer and has narrated over 600 audiobooks. She’s the owner of Blunder Woman Productions, an indie audiobook publisher, and winner of the 2017 Audie for Best Short Story Collection.
Ana Maria Allessi
Ana Maria worked for HarperCollins Publishers for 17 years, overseeing publication of HarperAudio’s unabridged audiobooks and acting as host of the podcast HarperAudio Presents, a weekly exchange of ideas with leading authors and book editors.
Beth is the Executive Vice President and Publisher of Audible. Beth spent 15 years in the book publishing industry at Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. She has served on the board in many capacities since 2000.
Melanie Donovan is Director of Children’s Acquisitions for Recorded Books. Previously, Melanie was an executive editor for HarperCollins Children’s Books among other positions in children’s publishing.
Samantha is the Marketing Director at Macmillan Audio where she has worked for the past nine years. She oversees all of the marketing and publicity efforts there, including advertising, social media, and sales management.
Jessica has produced or directed nearly 1,000 audiobooks, including directing the 2018 Grammy Award winner, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. A former President of the APA, she founded audiobook distributor Big Happy Family, LLC, and is a partner in the law firm of Kaye and Mills.
Ralph is currently the Chief Digital officer for Findaway, driving the creation and execution of a global digital business strategy that is experiencing record revenue growth. Prior to joining Findaway, he led the launch of Baker & Taylor's digital business by developing an industry-leading eBook platform.
Chris is President & Publisher for Simon & Schuster Audio. He has overall responsibility for acquisition, production, sales, marketing, and licensing activities on behalf of the division’s many titles and product lines, including the company’s fast-growing Pimsleur Language Programs.
As VP of Content Strategy for Midwest Tape, Brad is responsible for directing content strategy for the market leader in media distribution to public libraries in North America.
A 35-year veteran of the publishing and entertainment industries, Steve Smith joined Oasis Audio as its Director of Sales and Marketing in August 2010. In 2012, he was named publisher, and in 2017, president.