Harper Collins is one of the largest publishing companies in the world.
This major publisher has more than one and a half billion dollars in annual revenue. The CEO of HarperCollins worldwide is Brian Murray, and the company has global distribution.
HarperCollins operates publishing groups in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, India, and the United States. The company has its origins in both the United States and in the United Kingdom.
Two Hundred Years
This company has been around since 1817. Originally, J & J Harper & Brothers was founded in 1817 by brothers John Harper and James Harper. William Collins, Sons was founded in 1819 by Presbytertian school master William Collins.
J & J Harper went through several mergers an iterations. This started with its addition of two additional Harper brothers, Joseph Harper and Fletcher Harper in the 1830s. At this time, the company became known as Harper & Brothers. Throughout the next hundred years, Harper & Brothers would be responsible for the rise of authors like Thomas Wolfe and Edna St. Vincent Millay. In 1962, Harper & Brothers merged with Row, Peterson & Company to become Harper & Row.
William Collins was responsible for a whole slew of popular titles that are still relevant today. These include titles like the Nancy Drew series, the Hardy Boys books, and most of Agatha Christie’s collection of crime fiction. The Dr. Seuss books were also printed by William Collins.
In 1989, William Collins was bought by Ruper Murdoch’s News Corp. A year later, William Collins and Harper & Row merged in 1990 to form HarperCollins.
Harper Collins is one of the Big Five publishing companies in the English language world. The other four are Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Macmillan, and Hachette.
In the last two centuries, Harper Collins has been responsible for some of the biggest titles in books. Just a few of the major works that have been published by HarperCollins are:
- The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho
- The Art of Loving, by Eric Fromm
- The Paladin Poetry Series
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
- Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
- Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
- A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket
- Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shephard
- Divergent, by Veronica Roth
These are only a few of the major titles published by HarperCollins. The company has seen some major issues along the way. One of its titles, If I Did It by O.J. Simpson, attracted so much controversy that HarperCollins pulled it from publication.
Imprinting on Publishing
There are a huge host of imprints that publish under the company’s umbrella. Some of the most notable are:
- Amistad, which focuses on books surrounding the African American experience
- Harlequin Enterprises, which includes a huge host of former Harlequin imprints
- HarperVoyager, the worldwide fantasy arm of HarperCollins
- Killer Reads, making digital crime and thriller books
- Harper Perennial, which publishes classic works
- Harper Business
These are just a sampling of the company’s imprints, of which there are nearly one hundred in total. The company also runs HarperAudio, Caedmon audiobooks, and HarperCollins Children’s Audio.
HarperCollins continues to add publications to its roster, as well as well known and up and coming authors.