HarperCollins Named Publishing Innovator of the Year
“To resist change, at this point, is true foolishness,” says HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide President and CEO Jane Friedman. Under Friedman’s direction over the last 11 years, HarperCollins has gone beyond not “resisting” change; the company has, in fact, been a pioneer of change, several paces ahead of the industry in many of its endeavors regarding digital content creation and distribution, marketing and audience-building. This year, the company—one of the largest English-language publishers in the world—has been named as book business’ Publishing Innovator of the Year in recognition of the company’s leadership and innovation.
The first-annual award was presented to HarperCollins at an awards reception on Monday evening, March 10, during the Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City. Friedman accepted the award on behalf of the company and was joined at the event by a number of HarperCollins’ top executives.
“It’s an acknowledgment that makes us very, very happy and very proud,” says Friedman. “As I said [during my acceptance speech at the awards reception] … we know we’re innovators; but the truth is that when someone gives you an award for innovation it makes you kind of feel even better.”
Leadership on the Digital Frontier
One of HarperCollins’ most significant achievements was its creation of a digital warehouse two years ago, when most others in the industry were battling with decisions about whether or not to get in bed with Google’s Book Search (Books. Google.com) or other online search engines’ book-digitization efforts. While HarperCollins does make books available via Google’s Book Search, the company decided to take control of its content by creating its own digital warehouse, which now contains more than 12,000 titles worldwide.
“We felt … that having a digital warehouse for so many reasons—not the least of which being maintaining copyright— was just essential,” says Friedman.