HarperCollins Publishers LLC
Harpercollins-logo.svg
Parent companyNews Corp
StatusActive
Founded1989; 31 years ago (1989)
Country of originUnited States
United Kingdom
Headquarters location195 Broadway
New York City, New York, US
DistributionGlobal
ImprintsNumerous
RevenueDecrease US$1.573 billion (2017)
Official websitewww.harpercollins.com

HarperCollins Publishers LLC is one of the world's largest publishing companies and is one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies, alongside Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. The company is headquartered in New York City and is a subsidiary of News Corp. The 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 in 1817) and Row, Peterson & Company—together with UK publishing company William Collins, Sons (founded in 1819), acquired in 1990.

The worldwide CEO of HarperCollins is Brian Murray.[1] 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.

History

The News Building, HarperCollins's UK headquarters in London

Collins

Harper

Mergers and acquisitions

Collins was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in 1989, and 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 depiction of flames atop waves.

In 1990, HarperCollins sold J. B. Lippincott & Co., its medical publishing division, to the Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer.[2]

In 1996, HarperCollins sold Scott Foresman and HarperCollins College to Pearson, which merged them with Addison-Wesley Longman.[3]

News Corporation purchased the Hearst Book Group, consisting of William Morrow & Company and Avon Books, in 1999. These imprints are now published under the rubric of HarperCollins.[4]

HarperCollins bought educational publisher Letts and Lonsdale in March 2010.[citation needed]

In 2011, HarperCollins announced they had agreed to acquire the publisher Thomas Nelson.[5] 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.[6] Both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan were then organized as imprints, or "keystone publishing programs," under a new division, HarperCollins Christian Publishing.[7][8] Key roles in the reorganization were awarded to former Thomas Nelson executives.[9]

In 2012, HarperCollins acquired part of the trade operations of John Wiley & Son in Canada.[10]

In 2014, HarperCollins acquired Canadian romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises for C$455 million.[11]

In 2018, HarperCollins acquired the business publisher Amacom from the American Management Association.[12]

In 2020, HarperCollins acquired the children's publishers Egmont Books UK, Egmont Poland and Scheniderbuch Germany from the Egmont Group.[13]

Management history

Brian Murray,[14] 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.

United States v. Apple Inc.

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.[15]

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.[16]

US warehouse closings

It was announced to employees privately and then later in the day on November 5, 2012, that HarperCollins was closing its remaining two US warehouses, in order to merge shipping and warehousing operations with R. R. Donnelley in Indiana. The Scranton, Pennsylvania warehouse closed in September 2013 and a Nashville, Tennessee 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.[17]

The Scranton warehouse closing eliminated approximately 200 jobs, and the Nashville warehouse closing eliminated up to 500 jobs; the exact number of distribution employees is unknown.[18]

HarperCollins previously closed two US warehouses, one in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2011 and another in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2012.[19] “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.[citation needed]

Internet Archive lawsuit

In June 2020, HarperCollins was one of a group of publishers who sued the Internet Archive, arguing that its collection of e-books was denying authors and publishers revenue and accusing the library of "willful mass copyright infringement".[20]

Notable books

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 and Agatha Christie. HarperCollins also acquired the publishing rights to J. R. R. Tolkien's work in 1990 when Unwin Hyman was bought. This is a list of some of the more noted books, and series, published by HarperCollins and their various imprints and merged publishing houses.