Macmillan Publishers

Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers
Parent company Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Founded 1843
Founder Daniel Macmillan and Alexander Macmillan
Country of origin United Kingdom
Headquarters location London
Publication types books, academic journals, magazines
Official website

Macmillan Publishers Ltd, also known as The Macmillan Group, is a privately held international publishing company owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. It has offices in 41 countries worldwide and operates in more than thirty others.



This logo appeared in Leslie Stephen's biography of Alexander Pope, published by Macmillan & Co in 1880.

Macmillan was founded in 1843 by Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, two brothers from the Isle of Arran, Scotland. Daniel was the business brain, while Alexander laid the literary foundations, publishing such great authors as Charles Kingsley (1855), Thomas Hughes (1859), Francis Turner Palgrave (1861), Christina Rossetti (1862), Matthew Arnold (1865) and Lewis Carroll (1865). Alfred Tennyson joined the list in 1884, Thomas Hardy in 1886 and Rudyard Kipling in 1890.[1]

As the company evolved, the brothers' vision continued to inspire the publishing of major writers including W.B. Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore, Sean O'Casey, John Maynard Keynes, Charles Morgan, Hugh Walpole, Margaret Mitchell, C. P. Snow, Rumer Godden and Ram Sharan Sharma.

Beyond literature, their vision led to the creation of such enduring titles as Nature (1869), the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1877) and Sir Robert Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy (1894–99).

Macmillan sold its American division in 1896; it reentered the American market in 1954 under the name St. Martin's Press.

After retiring from politics in 1964, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Harold Macmillan became chairman of the company, serving until his death in December 1986.[2]

The company was one of the oldest independent publishing houses until 1995 when a 70% share of the company was bought by German media giant Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH). Holtzbrinck purchased the remaining shares in 1999, ending the Macmillan family's ownership of the company.

Since 2007 the CEO of Macmillan has been Annette Thomas.[3][4]

Macmillan in the United States

George Edward Brett opened the first Macmillan office in the United States in 1869 and Macmillan sold its U.S. operations to the Brett family, George Platt Brett, Sr. and George Platt Brett, Jr. in 1896, resulting in the creation of an American company, Macmillan Publishing. Even with the split of the American company from its parent company in England, George Brett, Jr. and Harold MacMillan remained close personal friends.

George P. Brett, Jr. made the following comments in a letter dated 23 January 1947 to Daniel Macmillan about his family's devotion to the American Publishing Industry:

For the record my grandfather was employed by Macmillan's of England as a salesman. He came to the United States with his family in the service of Macmillan's of England and built up a business of approximately $50,000 before he died. He was succeeded . . . by my father, who eventually incorporated The Macmillan Company of New York and built up business of about $9,000,000. I succeeded my father, and we currently doing a business of approximately $12,000,000. So then, the name of Brett and the name of Macmillan have been and are synonymous in the United States.

Pearson acquired the Macmillan name in America in 1998, following its purchase of the Simon & Schuster educational and professional group (which included various Macmillan properties).[5] Holtzbrinck purchased it from them in 2001.[6] However, McGraw-Hill continues to market its pre-kindergarten through elementary school titles under its Macmillan/McGraw-Hill brand. U.S. operations of Georg von Holtzbrinck are now known as Macmillan.

The current CEO of Macmillan U.S. is John Turner Sargent, Jr.


By some estimates, as of 2009 e-books account for three to five percent of total book sales, and are the fasting growing segment of the market.[7] According to The New York Times, Macmillan and other major publishers "fear that massive discounting [of e-books] by retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony could ultimately devalue what consumers are willing to pay for books." In response, the publisher introduced a new boilerplate contract for its authors that established a royalty of 20 percent of net proceeds on e-book sales, a rate five percent lower than most other major publishers.[7]

Following the announcement of the Apple iPad on January 27, 2010—a product that comes with access to the iBookstore—Macmillan gave two options: continue to sell e-books based on a price of the retailer's choice (the "wholesale model"), with the e-book edition released several months after the hardcover edition is released, or switch to the agency model introduced to the industry by Apple, in which both are released simultaneously and the price is set by the publisher. In the latter case, would receive a 30 percent commission.[8]

Amazon responded by pulling all Macmillan books, both electronic and physical, from their website (although affiliates selling the books were still listed). On January 31, 2010, Amazon chose the agency model and "capitulated" to the change demanded by Macmillan, in spite of Amazon's belief that the new model leads to e-book prices that are "needlessly high."[9]


The company is made up of over 50 different divisions operating in five areas of publishing:

See also

  • List of largest UK book publishers


Additional resources

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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