Sterling Publishing Announces New Audiobook Partnership with Hachette Audio

New York, NY, March 18, 2021

Sterling Publishing has announced a new partnership with Hachette Audio to produce, sell, and distribute digital audiobook editions of select titles. Heading up the audio program for Sterling is Emily Meehan, Chief Creative Officer and Publisher of Sterling Books, who is teaming up with Hachette Audio’s longtime Publisher and SVP Anthony Goff, who negotiated the deal for Hachette Book Group.

Sterling Audio will launch its first three titles in Spring 2021, all based on the well-established Spark Notes Audio “No Fear Shakespeare” line, beginning with the beloved classic Romeo and Juliet March 23, 2021. Macbeth and Hamlet follow in April and May, respectively. After these initial releases, it is expected that the Sterling/Hachette Audio partnership will release regular seasonal adaptations. This new venture represents the first time audiobooks will appear as part of the No Fear Shakespeare brand.

Spark Notes Audio presents No Fear Shakespeare: Listen to Shakespeare’s plays in all their brilliance—and understand what every word means! These audio editions are crafted to make the Bard’s plays both accessible and enjoyable.

Each No Fear audio edition features:

The complete original text performed by a full cast of professional voice actors

The complete play, updated in modern English, performed by the same full cast

Enhanced production: sound effects and music to complete the listening experience

A PDF with a track directory: Original English and Modern English for ease of comparison

Bold graphic cover art adapted from the print and ebook editions

Emily Meehan, chief creative officer and publisher of Sterling Books said of the partnership, “Sterling is thrilled to be partnering with the award-winning team at Hachette Audio, benefitting from their immense expertise and high-quality audio productions that will surely bring our No Fear Shakespeare graphic novels to life. As we know, audio is a growing category, and we are always looking to enhance our readers’ experiences. This new partnership brings a welcomed and much-needed format that will undoubtedly be invaluable to today’s students. We expect to reach the seasoned audiobook listener as well as the first-timer and continuing to expand the brand for No Fear Shakespeare.”

Anthony Goff, SVP & Publisher of Hachette Audio, said, “This partnership is an amazing opportunity, and a very timely one to launch with our thoughtfully produced ‘No Fear Shakespeare’ audio editions. Students have been under unusual pressure over the past year, with some just returning to classrooms now. Making these important but occasionally impenetrable classics available in audio for the first time with both the original and modern language will help students get over a hurdle that many face. With the unprecedented challenges facing young people these days, we’re proud to introduce another tool that makes Shakespeare

accessible, with the aim of aiding comprehension and appreciation at the same time. I couldn’t be more pleased to work with the brilliant team at Sterling and look forward to introducing more audio from their esteemed list to listeners.”


Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, is an innovative and forward-thinking publishing company committed to creating books that inspire and entertain. Their varied books come from a variety of imprints led by dedicated editorial and creative design teams that bring great ideas and stories to readers of every age. From educational resources, children’s picture books, puzzles and games, body/mind/spirit, crafts, cookbooks, self-help, music, non-fiction, parenting, classics and more, Sterling’s list offers something for everyone.

Hachette Audio is a publisher of a variety of popular genres in audio form, which matches Hachette Book Group material with talented actors, composers, and producers to find its fullest expression. Their audiobooks are primarily based on material published in print and online by Grand Central Publishing; Little, Brown and Company; Hachette Nashville; Orbit; JIMMY Patterson; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; and Perseus Books, and have been recognized for the highest quality of content and production with numerous GRAMMY, Audie, Listen Up! and Earphone awards. Unabridged and abridged titles are available on CD and as digital downloads.