Alex Cross

Lagardere Publishing, which includes Hachette Book Group, delivered an all-time record performance in 2009, parent company Lagardere SCA reported. The publishing group's total earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased 24 percent to approximately 455 million dollars.

A blown knee, an injured ankle and a couch. What started as a chance encounter between a movie producer and a children's book author—both nursing injuries while at a brunch hosted by a mutual friend—has turned into a cross-media franchise to promote the recently published children's book "The Black Belt Club." The happenstance meeting led the people behind the book down a path with other savvy publishing companies engaging in a new wave of audience-building, sales-enhancing efforts that utilize multiple media. Michel Shane, co-president of Hand Picked Films Inc. in Los Angeles, had injured his knee while skiing. Dawn Barnes, karate-guru-turned-author, had injured her ankle.

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