The publishing industry continues to evolve with the changing times. The industry got shaken up last year when Penguin Random House acquired Simon & Shuster, and the now big four publishers continue to adapt and consolidate. Harper Collins has just reached an agreement to acquired Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Books and Media, their trade publishing division, for $349 million.
HMH saw a dip in profits last year after their education division suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic. HMH put their trade publishing division up for sale last fall to focus on k-12 education publishing. This deal allows Harper Collins to increase their backlog by adding HMH’s extensive collection. Authors such as J.R.R Tolkien, Lois Lowry, and George Orwell are all represented on HMH’s backlist catalog. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Brian Murray, CEO of Harper Collins, said “that the top attraction of HMH is its backlist. ‘There is no other catalog like it.’”
Variety reported on the sale and quoted News Corp CEO Robert Thomson,
“The HarperCollins collection will be bolstered for children and young adults, and authors around the world will have a larger platform for their creativity and ingenuity. It is crucial to expand in an era in which emerging monopolies threaten the creative marketplace, so we welcome J.R.R. Tolkien, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell and many, many other distinguished writers to HarperCollins.”
Under Harper Collins, HMH will have more international opportunities, and Harper Collins can take advantage of its audiobook licensing and production. Murray believes that HMH “fits like a glove” with Harper Collins. The integration process will slowly begin once the deal is finalized, likely in the second quarter of 2021, and Murray has the chance to work with each HMH team.
featured image via wall street journal