Top 50 largest publishers in the world (P.41) - Bloomsbury Publishing plc (UK): The publisher that put the Harry Potter series into the hearts of many generations of readers.


( Bloomsbury Publishing plc is a British worldwide publishing house of fiction and non-fiction.

Bloomsbury's head office is located in Bloomsbury, an area of the London Borough of Camden. It has a US publishing office located in New York City, an India publishing office in New Delhi, an Australia sales office in Sydney CBD and other publishing offices in the UK including at Oxford. The company's growth over the past two decades is primarily attributable to the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and, from 2008, to the development of its academic and professional publishing division.



The company was founded in 1986 by Nigel Newton, who had previously been employed by other publishing companies. It was floated as a public registered company in 1994, raising £5.5 million, which was used to fund the expansion of the company into paperback and children's books. A rights issue of shares in 1998 raised a further £6.1m, which was used to expand the company, in particular to found a U.S. branch. In 1998, Bloomsbury USA was established. Bloomsbury USA Books for Young Readers was established in 2002, and in 2005, Bloomsbury acquired Walker & Co, a small company dedicated to publishing nonfiction. The Walker brand was discontinued in 2015 and sold to Walker Publishing Company.

But Bloomsbury's most important milestone came from Harry Potter series. J K Rowling, or Joanne as she was known back then, finished the manuscript for what would become the first Potter book back in 1995 but struggled to find anyone willing to take it on.



After being rejected by several different publishers, Bloomsbury was the one who eventually decided to take a punt on Rowling and her story about a young wizard named Harry. The decision transformed Bloomsbury from a small, independent company into one of the most successful children’s publishers.

Back then Bloomsbury wasn’t quite so sure it was on to a winner and the first hardback print run – which came out on 26 June 1997 – was for just 500 copies. They're worth a pretty penny, given the almost magical success that followed.

That first book and the subsequent six instalments went on to sell the best part of half a billion copies around the world and were printed in 79 different languages.



Even in his wildest dreams, Bloomsbury founder and chief executive Nigel Newton couldn’t have imagined Harry Potter enjoying the kind of enduring success that it has. Nor would he have thought 20 years ago that that decision would change Bloomsbury and the wider children’s books landscape forever.

According to and

Mihan (Collect and edit) (