As part of #ScotLitFest, we’re hoping to shine a spotlight on not just the authors, but the publishers in Scotland with a five point guide. Today, we’ll be looking at HarperCollins.
The who, where, what and why.
HarperCollins is one of the major global publishers – the result of the 1990 merger of William Collins & Sons, founded in Glasgow in 1819, and Harper & Row. It publishes across fiction, non-fiction and children’s, as well as many titles through its Collins Learning division, a pioneer in reference publishing. HarperCollins has offices in London, Glasgow and Honley (as well as in 17 other countries around the world), with half of HarperCollins’ UK business residing in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow – home to its distribution centre and the HarperCollins archive, which charts the publisher’s rich 200 year history through countless photos, documents, books and other publishing ephemera.
You may know them for publishing…
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams
The Collins English Dictionary
What’s unique to them?
Their industry-leading children’s publishing. In 2016 HarperCollins Children’s Books won Children’s Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards for an unprecedented third consecutive time, with the judges noting the phenomenal growth and success of David Walliams as the UK’s number one children’s author; investment in emerging authors and illustrators such as David Baddiel and Rob Biddulph (winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize); and continued growth of heritage authors Judith Kerr, Michael Bond (author of Paddington Bear) and Dr Seuss.
Claim To Fame.
HarperCollins publishes some of the premier authors and brands in the world, including the work of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Agatha Christie, Dr Seuss, Judith Kerr, Michael Bond, Bernard Cornwell, Wilbur Smith, Hilary Mantel, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie and Jonathan Franzen.
HarperCollins is working hard to address issues of diversity in the publishing industry. As well as publishing some brilliant diverse voices – from literary works by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Yiyun Li to YA fiction from Robin Talley and David Levithan – it aims to make HarperCollins as diverse a place to work as possible. Its executive board is currently 50% women, while the 2015 government target was 25%, as set out in the 2011 Davies Report. In addition, HarperCollins is proud to have a longstanding partnership with Creative Access, a charity that provides graduates from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds with paid internships in the creative industries, and in 2016 it has created work experience placements for disabled young people with disability charity Whizz-Kidz. HarperCollins recognises that diversity (and diverse content) is the future of the publishing industry, and is working with its employees, authors and external partners to make that future a reality.