Heather Alexander, Executive Editor for Audible Originals and lifelong lover of children’s literature and stories, spends a typical day evangelizing Audible’s mission of defining and enhancing spoken entertainment, including for younger listeners. Read more about Heather’s story and the trends she’s seeing in audio for kids.
Where do you hope to see kids’ programming going?
People are paying more attention to audio for kids! I think it is an important part of the family entertainment landscape and a great alternative to screen time. It feels nourishing to parents and it's an exciting way for families to listen together, wherever they are: in the car, during bath time, while doing chores. I've also been thinking a lot about how not all kids are great readers, but not all parents are great readers either, so it's a really great way for families to share stories and a natural outcropping of parents passing on favorite stories to their kids, as well as discovering new ones together.
What are some of your favorite children's titles?
It's so hard to pick just a few! I've just always loved children's books and never stopped reading them – I was that person reading Princess Diaries between my literature classes in college. But I recently re-listened to Tuck Everlasting, which is such a beautiful story and works really, really well in audio because it's such an action-packed plot but is also really beautifully told. That's an all-time favorite.
What’s different about being an editor for audio?
I get to use a different side of my creativity as an editor bringing these stories to life. I spend most of my time going over submissions and soliciting interest from agents and creators – people are really into kids’ Originals, which is great! I work with the authors we select to get the text just right and then am pretty involved with Studios on casting ideas, and figuring out sound effects, music and other production elements.
I'm always looking for stories that are going to stand out in audio, where audio is the perfect format for it. For The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury, about a girl who goes to a school where magic is played on musical instruments, we worked with with the NJSO Youth Orchestra to provide music and audio, which is so cool! For Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers by Chris Grabenstein, there's a dog rescue element to the plot, and the production team went to a dog shelter to record. Another favorite project was Zero G by Dan Wells, where we worked with a full cast of really talented voice actors and they just had a blast with it.
Are you looking for age-specific audio for children? Discover our curated selection of Kids' audio by age range.