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Digital Strategies


Computers and mobile devices have become individual points of sale, providing access to an infinite choice of books and content, from new releases and backlist titles to hard-to-find or even long out-of-print works. Digital is diversifying the experience of reading and learning, opening up fertile new ground for talent scouting by publishers and providing authors and illustrators with new opportunities for expression. Hachette Livre has been in the vanguard of the book industry’s response to the multiple innovations generated by these technological breakthroughs. It has adapted to emerging consumer behaviors and new forms of reading. At the same time, as custodian of its authors’ fiduciary interests, Hachette Livre is careful to ensure that each book’s true value is recognized.

More than 90,000 titles in digital format

Establishing a Direct Connection with Readers

Hachette Livre is taking advantage of the increase in digital channels and social media to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy that will create closer ties between readers and authors, imprints and brands. That CRM is a means of establishing a direct, personal connection with readers around the world, to develop more effective, appropriate advertising campaigns and win book-buyer loyalty.

  • Multichannel Marketing Campaign Platform (Hachette Livre in France and Hachette UK)

    Hachette Livre in France and Hachette UK have jointly developed a data collection tool to enable publishers to custom design author promotion campaigns. The system is used to send out millions of emails every month tailored to individual readers’ interests and reading habits.

  • Routard.com (Hachette Tourisme)

    The website Routard.com, the companion site to the celebrated series of travel guides, is an online trip-planning tool and source of inspiration for travelers, both for the editorial content and for the booking services available through its many partnerships. Routard.com, created in 2001, is France’s leading online travel website. With six million unique visitors each month, the site hosts the country’s largest community of travelers.

  • L’Usine à sites (Hachette Livre imprints in France)

    In France, the Group has a single platform where the public websites for all the imprints can be designed and managed.  Readers can sign up for newsletters and receive personalized email recommendations.

  • Skype in the Classroom with Cressida Cowell (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Hachette UK Children’s publicity teams partnered with Microsoft’s Skype in the Classroom and Dreamworks Animation to bring Cressida Cowell, international bestselling author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, into classrooms, libraries, and other reading nooks around the world. During that event, on March 6, Cressida Cowell inspired students to tap into their boundless imaginations. The broadcast reached hundreds of thousands of students around the globe (watching live + on-demand).

Enhancing the Reading Experience

Digital technology enhances the reading experience using visual recognition and augmented reality. Publishers are keen to build bridges between paper books, to which readers remain attached, and the new possibilities offered by digital media.

  • Partnership Between Hachette Children’s Group and Yoto (Hachette UK)

    Hachette Children’s Group has partnered with Yoto, a “clever speaker” for young children. Using smart cards that can load stories and music, Yoto gives children a stimulating listening experience. Hachette Children’s Group has awarded Yoto the rights to Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree series, in an audio version read by Kate Winslet.

  • larousse.fr (Larousse)

    Thanks to its encyclopedia, dictionaries and cooking page (cuisine.larousse.fr), the larousse.fr website has 60 million page views and 8 million unique visitors per month worldwide (Google Analytics, November 2017). It is ranked among the top 150 French sites by a number of indicators (Alexa®, SEMrush®, SimilarWeb®).

  • Additional Content in eBooks (Hachette Book Group)

    Web landing pages that connect to up-to-date marketing content, such as teasers from upcoming books, preorder links for frontlist titles, newsletter signups, author biographies and links to social media have been included in ebooks by Michael Connelly, Elin Hilderbrand and David Baldacci.

  • Mon Coach Bescherelle (Hatier)

    Combining Bescherelle’s French language expertise with adaptive learning know-how from start-up Knewton, Mon Coach Bescherelle offers practice exercises that adapt to the user’s results in real time. It includes videos, lesson sheets, a personal dashboard and a coach in the form of a bot. In partnership with the Coorpacademy platform, Hatier also offers remedial French language training endorsed by the Bescherelle name.

Mobile Apps

Hachette Livre has gained a foothold in the mobile app market. This strategy consists of combining the imprints’ editorial know-how with the digital skills of pure plays and capitalizing on the growing consumption of games and content on tablets and smartphones. Three companies have joined the Hachette Livre Group as part of the new Hachette Mobile Studios unit:

  • Brainbow, the U.K. mobile app company known for Peak, a fun, subscription-based brain-training app. Peak has been downloaded over 15 million times since it was launched and was named Best App in 2014 by Apple and Best Self-Improvement App in 2015 and 2016 by Google Play. Hachette Livre has a majority interest in Brainbow.
  • Neon Play, one of the U.K.’s leading mobile game development studios. Neon Play has created over 30 games, including Paper Glider, Flick Football and Traffic Panic London that together account for over 60 million downloads.
  • IsCool Entertainment, a mobile game development studio at the frontier between competitive and casual gaming. Games in its portfolio include Wordox, Is Cool, Belote Multiplayer, Crazy 8 and Super Kiwi Castle Run.

Spreading a Culture of Innovation: Hachette Innovation Program

The aim of the Hachette Innovation Program (HIP) is to accelerate the Group’s digital transformation by spreading a culture of innovation throughout the organization. From its offices in San Francisco and Paris, the HIP team has been acting as a gateway to innovation ecosystems and start-ups since 2015. It tracks developments and reports on innovations in the publishing industry, analyzes trends and breakthroughs with the potential to affect our business, organizes demos with promising partners and conducts feasibility studies to test and roll out new formats quickly. Recent projects have looked at chatbots and interactive storytelling for instant messaging platforms and voice assistants. The team taps user-centric methodologies, such as design thinking, to prototype new educational services. HIP is also exploring new ways to use data to improve decision-making in publishing, understand our readers better and help authors find their audience.

Meeting the Full Range of eBook Readers’ Expectations

As early as 2006, Hachette Livre was one of the first publishers to start digitizing its catalogs. The Group has a thoroughly up-to-date infrastructure, ranging from rights management systems to digital warehousing, enabling it to provide its titles in digital format on all sales platforms. In response to the boom in digital book reading equipment (tablets, e-readers, smartphones), Hachette Livre optimizes the rights entrusted to it by its authors and offers an appealing range of ebooks to meet reader demand worldwide. In 2017, Hachette UK acquired Bookouture, an innovative digital publisher and leader in the books for the general public market.

The catalogs of Hachette Livre’s publishing houses are available on all ebook sales platforms, including international pure plays, the big national chains and independent booksellers. In just a decade, Hachette has sold nearly 100 million copies worldwide, and everywhere, Hachette Livre is at the top of the list of best-selling ebooks. In 2018, digital books accounted for 7.9% of Hachette Livre’s overall revenue, with digital audiobooks comprising an additional 2.7%.

  • DAD

    The Digital Asset Distribution (DAD) system is a centralized, global digital warehouse for storing and distributing ebooks. Developed as a comprehensive, unified system, DAD is a collaborative venture involving Hachette Book Group, Hachette Livre in France, the Anaya Group in Spain and Hachette UK. This range of services is also offered as value added for third-party publishers distributed by Hachette Livre.

Fulfilling Authors’ Expectations

As part of this initiative, Hachette Livre has taken steps to secure the long-term future of the book trade by ensuring copyright compliance and sustainable pricing. It is also committed to preventing piracy. To protect its authors’ interests, Hachette Livre has implemented a large-scale, automated anti-piracy solution that detects infringing files and sends out takedown notices to the offending sites and hosts. It includes systematic delisting orders on search engines.

  • Hachette Book Group Author Portal

    The Hachette Book Group Author Portal is a best-inclass, richly featured platform that provides effortless and open communication between authors and their HBG support “family,” giving easy access to sales information, subsidiary rights details, HBG news and a wide array of resources.

  • lecture-academy.com (Hachette Romans)

    lecture-academy.com is France’s leading community for readers of children’s books, coordinated by Hachette Romans. The brand is also active on social media, including Twitter; Facebook, where it has an active community of more than 100,000 fans; and Instagram, where it has nearly 40,000 followers.

Detecting Talent in New Media

On social networks, blogs and websites, aspiring writers can exercise their talent and test their ideas with readers. Publishers scan this new media landscape and spot budding authors. A number of books published via this route have become bestsellers.

  • From Writing Platforms to Books (Hachette Romans)

    François Rochet’s Agence 42 – discovered by Hachette Romans on the self-publishing platform Librinova – is a taut thriller, packed with insider references to geek culture. The two volumes of Agence 42 are now available in both online and brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Defining Open Technology Standards

In support of compatibility and accessibility, Hachette Livre is defining and developing open technology standards. It is active in international cross-disciplinary organizations such as the Readium Foundation and the European Digital Reading Lab (EDR Lab) as well as W3C and Publishing@W3C.

Any trade ebook (fiction or nonfiction) published by a Group imprint in France is made available in natively accessible format. As a result, it can be enjoyed by any print-disabled person by means of the text-to-speech function or a Braille keyboard.

Supporting Evolving Educational Practices

Drawing on its long experience in educational publishing, Hachette Livre is taking advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technology to enhance its tools and resources aimed at students and teachers in elementary, secondary and higher education. All the school resource publishers in the United Kingdom, France and Spain are developing innovative solutions for both classwork and homework, in line with government policies promoting the use of digital media in education. From multimedia digital versions of textbooks to enriched classroom content to game-changing self-assessment solutions, educational content is becoming more diverse, personalized and dynamic. The Group’s publishing houses are perfectly prepared to support evolving educational practices in Europe.

  • Educapital Partnership

    Hachette Livre is the strategic shareholder in Educapital, the first venture capital fund in Europe that is specifically aimed at identifying and offering financial backing to start-ups in the field of education and training. Teams from the Group’s main educational imprints will bring their experience and knowledge of these markets to the project as critical participants. This investment partners Hachette Livre with digital pure plays and enhances the Group’s ability to explore opportunities in online teaching and learning, in both the education and extracurricular markets.

  • Adaptive Learning: Passeport Révisions (Hachette Éducation)

    This educational app based on Knewton adaptive learning technology produces thousands of exercises that adapt to the student’s level of knowledge and pace of learning in real time. It offers students fun and motivational courseware tailored to their specific needs and progress reports for parents.

  • GEV (Anaya)

    GEV is a test generator for use by teachers who register at the Anaya website. It draws on an extensive and continuously updated database of questions and answers tailored to regional needs within Spain. GEV gives teachers wide latitude in selecting criteria and customizing the results, and is one of the most highly requested services among Spanish educators.

  • My Rising Stars (Rising Stars)

    My Rising Stars is a service for teachers that brings together Rising Stars’ online resources into a single, personal, online dashboard. In just one click, teachers can access all the ebooks, videos and interactive resources that their school has purchased, along with a wealth of free content that targets their areas of interest.

  • Dynamic Learning

    Dynamic Learning is an innovative online subscription service that supports teachers and learners at school and at home. The platform contains expertly authored, quality content including interactive learning resources, lesson planning tools and self-marking tests and assessments designed to support students aged from 4 to 18. Accessed by over 400,000 learners across 150 countries in 2019 alone, Dynamic Learning is saving teachers time and helping students reach their potential across the globe.

  • Éducadhoc (Hachette Éducation, Hatier, Didier, Foucher and Istra)

    Éducadhoc is the single platform for all Hachette Livre’s education publishers in France. Teachers and students can access all their digital educational resources in ePub3 format and benefit from numerous teaching tools. The platform enables teachers to personalize content, prepare instructional sequences, teach lessons and monitor performances. Éducadhoc covers all types of educational resources, including etextbooks, interactive, self-marking exercise databases and educational kits, available both off and online, and can be used independently or in the classroom. It paves the way to a different approach to learning with personalized student monitoring.

  • KWYK (Hachette Éducation)

    KWYK is a website that offers interactive exercises in mathematics, physics, chemistry and French. It allows teachers to create personalized review sets and exercises for their students and lets them keep track of each student’s work, progress and room for improvement through individualized dashboards. This innovative adaptive learning solution for teachers is already being used by tens of thousands of students in France.