HarperCollins Publishers LLC is one of the world's largest publishing companies and is one of the "Big Five" English-language publishing companies, alongside Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. The company is headquartered in New York City and is a subsidiary of News Corp. The company name is a combination of several publishing firm names: Harper & Row, an American publishing company acquired in 1987, whose own name was the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers (founded 1817) and Row, Peterson & Company; together with UK publishing company William Collins, Sons (founded 1819), acquired in 1990.
The worldwide CEO of HarperCollins is Brian Murray. HarperCollins has publishing groups in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India and China. The company publishes many different imprints, both former independent publishing houses and new imprints.
In 1989, Collins was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and the publisher was combined with Harper & Row, which NewsCorp had acquired two years earlier. In addition to the simplified and merged name, the logo for HarperCollins was derived from the torch logo for Harper and Row, and the fountain logo for Collins, which were combined into a stylized set of flames atop waves.
HarperCollins bought educational publisher Letts and Lonsdale in March 2010.
In 2011, HarperCollins announced they had agreed to acquire the publisher Thomas Nelson. The purchase was completed on July 11, 2012, with an announcement that Thomas Nelson would operate independently given the position it has in Christian book publishing. Both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan were then organized as imprints, or "keystone publishing programs," under a new division, HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Key roles in the reorganization were awarded to former Thomas Nelson executives.
Brian Murray, the current CEO of HarperCollins, succeeded Jane Friedman who was CEO from 1997 to 2008. Notable management figures include Lisa Sharkey, current senior vice president and director of creative development and Barry Winkleman from 1989 to 1994.
In April 2012, the United States Department of Justice filed United States v. Apple Inc., naming Apple, HarperCollins, and four other major publishers as defendants. The suit alleged that they conspired to fix prices for e-books, and weaken Amazon.com's position in the market, in violation of antitrust law.
In December 2013, a federal judge approved a settlement of the antitrust claims, in which HarperCollins and the other publishers paid into a fund that provided credits to customers who had overpaid for books due to the price-fixing.
It was announced to employees privately and then later in the day on November 5, 2012, that HarperCollins was closing its remaining two U.S. warehouses, in order to merge shipping and warehousing operations with R. R. Donnelley in Indiana. The Scranton, PA warehouse closed in September 2013 and a Nashville, TN warehouse, under the name (D.B.A.) Thomas Nelson (which distributes the religious arm of HarperCollins/Zondervan Books), in the winter of 2013. Several office positions and departments continued to work for HarperCollins in Scranton, but in a new location.
The Scranton warehouse closing eliminated approximately 200 jobs, and the Nashville warehouse closing eliminated up to 500 jobs (exact number of distribution employees is unknown).
HarperCollins previously closed 2 U.S. warehouses, one in Williamsport, PA in 2011 and another in Grand Rapids, MI in 2012. “We have taken a long-term, global view of our print distribution and are committed to offering the broadest possible reach for our authors," said HarperCollins Chief Executive Brian Murray, according to Publishers Weekly."We are retooling the traditional distribution model to ensure we can competitively offer the entire HarperCollins catalog to customers regardless of location.” Company officials attribute the closings and mergers to the rapidly growing demand for e-book formats and the decline in print purchasing.
HarperCollins maintains the backlist of many of the books originally published by their many merged imprints, in addition to having picked up new authors since the merger. Authors published originally by Harper include Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters and William Makepeace Thackeray. Authors published originally by Collins include H. G. Wells, Agatha Christie and J. R. R. Tolkien. This is a list of some of the more noted books, and series, published by HarperCollins and their various imprints and merged publishing houses.
Children's book editor Ursula Nordstrom was the director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, overseeing the publication of classics such as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, The Giving Tree, Charlotte's Web, Beverly Cleary's series starring Ramona Quimby, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. They were the publishing home of Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown. In 1998, Nordstrom's personal correspondence was published as Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (illustrated by Maurice Sendak), edited by Charlotte Zolotow. Zolotow began her career as a stenographer to Nordstrom, became her protege, and went on to write more than 80 books and edit hundreds of others, including Nordstrom's The Secret Language and the works of Paul Fleischman. Zolotow later became head of the Children's Books Department, and went on to become the company's first female Vice-President.
HarperCollins has published the following notable children's books:
HarperCollins has over 120 book imprints, most of which are based in the United States. Collins still exists as an imprint, chiefly for wildlife and natural history books, field guides, as well as English and bilingual dictionaries based on the Bank of English, a large corpus of contemporary English texts.
On February 8, 2013, it was announced that some parts of the Collins non-fiction imprint would be merged with the HarperPress imprint to form the new William Collins imprint.
HarperCollins imprints (current and defunct, including imprints that existed prior to various mergers), include:
In order to boost book sales and reach the online market, HarperCollins has created a browsing feature on its website, whereby customers can read selected excerpts from books before purchasing. There are some concerns among publishers with this approach because they feel that the online books could be exploited by file-sharing. In addition, excerpts of books are also available to mobile phone users. HarperCollins were first to market with an innovative approach to slushpile management with the introduction of the authonomy website. From 2009 to 2010, they operated Bookarmy, a social networking site.
At the beginning of October 2013, the company announced a partnership with online digital library Scribd. The official statement revealed that the "majority" of the HarperCollins US and HarperCollins Christian catalogs will be available in Scribd's subscription service. Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins, explained to the media that the deal represents the first time that the publisher has released such a large portion of its catalog.
The HarperCollins Speakers Bureau (also known as HCSB) is the first lecture agency to be created by a major publishing house. It was launched in May 2005 as a division of HarperCollins to book paid speaking engagements for the authors HarperCollins, and its sister companies, publish. Andrea Rosen is the director.
HarperCollins announced HarperStudio in 2008 as a "new, experimental unit... that will eliminate the traditional profit distributions to authors. The long-established author advances and bookseller returns has not proved to be very profitable to either the author or the publisher. The approach HarperStudio is now taking is to offer little or no advance, but instead to split the profit 50% (rather than the industry standard 15%), with the author." The division was headed by Bob Miller, previously the founding publisher of Hyperion, the adult books division of the Walt Disney Company. HarperStudio folded in March 2010 after Miller left for Workman Publishing.
HarperCollins Publishers India Pvt Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of HarperCollins Worldwide. It came into being in 1992 thereby, completing 25 years in India and almost 200 years globally. Not only a reputed one, HarperCollins India is the world’s largest entertainment to education publisher.
HarperCollins India has shown immense growth in the past few years publishing fiction, non-fiction and poetry penned down by diverse writers such as Nayantara Sahgal, A.P.J Kalam, Jaishree Mishra, S. Radhakrishnan, Raghuram Rajan, Kamala Das, Kunal Basu, Tarun Tejpal, Deepak Chopra, Rana Dasgupta, Kiran Nagarkar, Ruchir Joshi, Meghnad Desai, Mukul Deva and Anita Nair. The publishing company has also successfully built a list of talented first time writers including Advaita Kala, Anuja Chauhan, Karan Bajaj, Jahnvi Achrekar, Amitabh Bagchi, Kishwar Desai, Pallavi Aiyar and Ameen Merchant. HarperCollins India is also the publisher of The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008.
HarperCollins India’s local publishing imprints include Fourth Estate, Harper Perennial and Harper Litmus, making it a well-known publishing house. Moreover, growing list of writers in the Harper Hindi programme include Jyotsna Milan, Sara Rai, Ibne Safi, Geetanjali Sree, Teji Grover and Indu Jain. Apart from the Hindi and English titles, we are also committed to building a quality poetry list and have published Priya Sarrukkai Chhabria, C.P. Surendran and Karthika Nair.
Adding more titles to the list, HarperCollins India’s distribution includes books by writers such as Doris Lessing, Paulo Coelho, Amitav Ghosh, JRR Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Jack Welch, Jack Higgins, Alistair Maclean, Ken Blanchard, Isaac Asimov, Michael Crichton, Sam Bourne, Cecilia Ahern, Isabelle Allende, Jeffrey Archer, Andrew Gross and The Dalai Lama.
Apart from India on Television by Nalin Mehta, winning the Best Book on media, HarperCollins India has made a mark as a marketing leader in the publishing industry and has won the Excellence Award at the Asian Multimedia Publishing Award 2009 and 2011.
Adding more awards to the list, HarperCollins India has also won the Tata Lit Live! Publisher of the Year 2016 along with First Book of the year (Non Fiction) for The Ivory Throne by Manu S. Pillai & Book of the Year (Fiction) for Selection Day by Arvind Adiga. In 2016, HarperCollins won a series of awards for Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India by Akshay Mukul (Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism Book of the Year award, The Shakti Bhatt Award First book Prize & Crossword Book Award Jury Prize).
If I Did It was a book written by O. J. Simpson about his alleged murder of Nicole Simpson, which was planned as a HarperCollins title, and which attracted considerable controversy and a legal battle over publication.
In August 2010, the company became embroiled in a legal battle with the BBC after a book it was due to publish, later identified as the forthcoming autobiography of racing driver Ben Collins, revealed the identity of The Stig from Top Gear. In his blog, Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman accused HarperCollins of "hoping to cash in" on the BBC's intellectual property, describing the publishers as "a bunch of chancers". On September 1 the BBC's request for an injunction preventing the book from being published was turned down, effectively confirming the book's revelation that "The Stig" was indeed Collins.
The company became embroiled in controversy in 1998 after it was revealed it blocked Chris Patten's (the last British governor of Hong Kong) book East and West after a direct intervention by the then-CEO of News International, Rupert Murdoch. It was later revealed by Stuart Proffitt, the editor who had worked on the book for HarperCollins, that this intervention was designed to appease the Chinese authorities‒of whom the book was critical‒as Murdoch intended to extend his business empire into China and did not wish to cause problems there by allowing the book to be published. Murdoch's intervention caused both Proffitt's resignation from the company and outrage from international media outside of News International. Chris Patten later published with Macmillan Publishing, initially in America, where it carried the logo "The book that Rupert Murdoch refused to publish". After a successful legal campaign against HarperCollins, Patten went on to publish the book in the UK in September 1998 after accepting a sum of £500,000 and receiving an apology from Rupert Murdoch.
In March 2011, HarperCollins announced it would distribute eBooks to libraries with DRM enabled to delete the item after being lent 26 times. HarperCollins has drawn criticism of this plan, in particular its likening eBooks, which are purely digital, to traditional paperback trade books, which wear over time.
In December 2014, The Tablet reported that an atlas published for Middle East schools did not label Israel on a map of the Middle East. A representative for Collins Bartholomew, a subsidiary of HarperCollins that specializes in maps, explained that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and the omission was in line with “local preferences”. The company later apologized and destroyed all the books.
HarperCollins announced in January 2017 that they would discontinue selling copies of Monica Crowley's book What the (Bleep) Just Happened?, due to allegations of plagiarism. The 2012 book had lifted passages from a number of sources including columns, news articles and think tank reports. HarperCollins said in a statement to CNN's KFile, "The book which has reached the end of its natural sales cycle, will not longer be offered for purchase until such time as the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material.
While the senior executive appointments announced today by HarperCollins in a statement come from both houses, the most important roles seem to have been reserved for former Thomas Nelson executives: the new chief financial officer, head of e-media, head of sales and head of communications, for instance, are all former Thomas Nelson executives.