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Hachette Livre: Second Largest Publisher in the World

abstract:A colleague just published his latest book in the category of Political Science. As it is a page-turner I wanted to write a review and went online to get further information. The search revealed that his stated publisher (Little and Brown) is owned by Hachette Livre, who it emerges is the second largest publisher in the world. Intrigued by this distinction, I set out to discover - who is Hachette Livre and what has contributed to their success? First, Hachette Book Group USA is a leading US trade publisher headquartered in New York, and owned by Hachette Livre. In one year, HBGUSA publishes approximately 450 adult books, 150 young adult and childrenís books, and 60 audio book titles. In 2007, the company had a record 82 books on the New York Times bestseller list, with 20 of them ranked #1. In addition to selling and distributing its own imprints, HBG distributes publishing lines for Chronicle Books, Microsoft Learning, Arcade, Time Inc. Home Entertainment, Harry N. Abrams, InnovativeKids, Phaidon Press, Filipacchi Publishing, Kensington, MQ Publications, Strictly By The Book, Weinstein Books and Gildan Media.
Conclusion #1: It helps to have your fingers in the pot of several successful brands that bring volume and quality.


September 13, 2010

Authors in the Stable

Its bestselling authors include Ansel Adams, Sherman Alexie, David Baldacci, James Bradley, Marc Brown, Christopher Buckley, Jimmy Buffett, Stephen Colbert, Michael Connelly, Ted Dekker, Nelson DeMille, Emily Dickinson, Malcolm Gladwell, Lisi Harrison, Christopher Hitchens, Mary Ann Hoberman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kiyosaki, Elizabeth Kostova, Nelson Mandela, Patrick McDonnell, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Meyer, Stephenie Meyer, Todd Parr, James Patterson, J.D. Salinger, David Sedaris, Anita Shreve, Anne Rivers Siddons, Nicholas Sparks, Jon Stewart, Trenton Lee Stewart, and Cecily von Ziegesar.
Conclusion #2: Front list, Mid list, Back list - who cares. Anyone would want to be a pony in this stable.

Distribution Channels

HBG also provides a wide range of custom distribution, fulfillment and sales services to third party publishers including Harry N. Abrams, Amazing People Club, Chronicle Books, Filipacchi Publishing, Gildan Media, Guinness World Records, Hachette UK, InnovativeKids, Marvel, Octopus Books, Oxmoor House, Petersonís, Phaidon Press, Time Inc. Home Entertainment, and Windblown Media.
Conclusion #3: Any percentage of sales garnered from the productivity of others feeds the engine.

Company Breakdown

The Linkedin (USA) company profile page provides some interesting stats. Founded in 1996. 900 employees. Median age 32. Median tenure 2 years! Female 59% Male 41% Career path most came from: Random House, Harper Collins. Career path most moved to: Penguin, Random House.
Conclusion #4: Publishing is a rapid turn-over, incestuous business.

About the Website & Accessing Product

What I like about their website is that there is a broader list of titles than we are used to seeing in North America in the typical news and magazine reviews and bestseller lists. So fresh new titles that aren't being marketed simultaneously in every newspaper you pick up with a book review section, (which simply leads to a compare-and-contrast the reviews of the same books, instead of reviews of entirely different books).

When you select a title, you see a simple webpage layout that offers the publisher's book description, their editor's review, user reviews and a place to add your own review. So there is that Amazon-like member review aspect that is so valuable. You can order the digital FREE verson which they call the "Standalone" edition. To read it you must first download their proprietary software called the DNL reader, (also FREE). A click on the Standalone link takes you to The book I selected has 345 pages in the hardcover print version and only 833 KB in the e-version, so it downloaded instantly, even with my lame Rogers internet bandwidth constraints. But when you open the binery file, of course it looks like code, not readable text, so instead of opening the file with your word processing program, download their "readerinstaller.dmg, another 2.3 MB file that only takes a few seconds, and you're set. The advantages of the digital version are all the same ones you get with purchased e-readers: the scalable font sizes, the word/phrase search function, a bookmarker and you click to turn the pages.
Conclusion #5: You must keep up with new technology to be successful.



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