Hachette Book Group goes by the book. The division of Hachette Livre is home to book publisher Little, Brown and hardcover, mass market, and trade paperback publisher Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books). Other imprints include FaithWords (religious books) and Center Street (for readers in America's heartland). Hachette best sellers have included books by Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), and Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers (Earth: The Book). The current iteration of the company was formed in 2006 when French media firm Lagardère acquired Time Warner Book Group from Time Warner's Time Inc. unit. Time Warner Book Group subsequently became Hachette Book Group.
Hachette Book Group publishes an average of about 650 adult books, 150 young adult and children's books, and 100 audio book titles each year. The company also acts as a distributor for third-party publishers such as Chronicle Books and Harry N. Abrams. Hachette Book Group publishes science fiction and fantasy titles through its Orbit publishing group, while its Yen Press is devoted to graphic novels and manga. It is active in the digital realm through its Hachette Book Group Digital Media division, which includes e-book and audio book businesses, as well as operations devoted to Internet downloading, podcasting, and digital delivery to cell phones and PDAs. E-books accounted for 8% of revenues at Hachette Book Group in 2010, compared to 3% in 2009.
In the area of print publishing, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight vampire series has become something of a phenomenon, spawning sequels and movies, and selling millions of copies in 2008 and 2009. However, in 2010 the parent company reported that global sales of the Twilight series took an inevitable hit as a result of no new Twilight-related output (that year it sold 11 million copies, versus 45 million in 2009). The company expects a boost, however, with the 2011 publication of The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide and the 2011 release of the Breaking Dawn film.
Meyer isn't the only Hachette author with clout. James Patterson is the author of more than 40 best sellers, including books from the Maximum Ride and Daniel X series, as well as the Alex Cross detective stories. All total, his books have sold more than 230 million copies worldwide. In 2011 two Patterson titles simultaneously hit #1 on two New York Times print bestseller lists Now You See Her (by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge) and Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life (by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts.) Patterson has also been wildly successful in the digital realm. In 2010 he became the first author in the world to sell more than one million e-books. Then, in 2011 the company announced Patterson tripled his e-book sales to 3 million in less than a year.
Lagardère acquired the firm in 2006 for nearly $540 million. It now operates as part of that company's Hachette Livre business, which also includes Hachette UK and other international book publishing holdings. The company's oldest imprint, Little, Brown and Company, traces its roots back to 1837. – less