Penguin Random House Acquires Self-Help Publisher Hay House

In News by Porter Anderson

Hay House, founded by the late Louise Hay and acquired by Penguin Random House, has offices in Australia, India, the States, and UK.

A group of ‘popular topics’ from the Hay House site. Image: Hay House

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Hay CEO Reid Tracy To Stay in Place
With its operations in Australia, India, and the United Kingdom, the California-based Hay House‘s acquisition by Penguin Random House worldwide CEO Nihar Malaviya will be recognized by many of Publishing Perspectives‘ readership of international industry leaders as reflective of Malaviya’s reference to the company as “one of the most recognized health, wellness, and self-help brands in the world.” And so, of course, are many of the author brands associated with the company during its 39 years.

Announced late today (December 12), the acquisition brings into the PRH fold names including that of its founder and author Louise Hay, along with Wayne Dyer, Iyanla Vanzant, Suze Orman, Joe Dispenza, Jerry and Esther Hicks, Kris Carr, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss, Nick Ortner, Gabrielle Bernstein, Colette Baron-Reid, Jim Kwik, and Brendon Burchard.

Until now independent, the company was founded in the resonant year of 1984 by Hay (1926-2017), and has reported that its products reach as many as 35 international markets in sales. “Self-help” in the Hay idiom refers, perhaps, most frequently to motivational literature and the events and products that can be developed around it.

Over the years, Hay’s development of the company has provided a kind of product-development time line, as audio cassettes for courses recorded by leading authors turned into CD collections, then into digitally delivered audio and video presentations. Throughout, author presentation has been a hallmark of Hay’s product development and marketing.

The work of the late Maui-based Dyer, for example (1940-2015) included at least 40 books, some of them for children, and associated spoken-word recordings and other products, a merchandise core animated by the motivational-speaking appearances he excelled at.

Similarly, the persona-finance adviser Suze Orman’s brand has turned not only on her books but also on video programming, insurance-selection instructional kits, audio presentations, content for children as well as adults, and innumerable commercial and public television appearances that have included her The Suze Orman Show on CNBC.

Today’s product lines include at least 74 online courses, daily affirmation calendars, zodiacal card sets for horoscopes, and coloring books, in addition to live and online events, audio products, meditation and affirmation guides, journals, and more.

Malaviya: ‘Innovative and Diverse Product Offerings’

Terms of the acquisition aren’t being disclosed in media messaging, but the announcement points out that Hay House has been a client of Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS) for some years.

Nihar Malaviya

In his statement on the news of the acquisition, Malaviya says, “As we deepen our relationship with Hay House, we’re thrilled to support the company’s growth and explore the areas of opportunity in their publishing  services.

“Hay House is one of the most recognized health, wellness, and self-help brands in the world,  and we look forward to working with Reid and his team on expanding upon their innovative and diverse  product offerings.”

The Hay House operation is to “retain its editorial and publishing independence,” according to PRH, with Reid Tracy, Hay’s CEO continuing to lead the company after the announced deal is closed. No changes are planned, the companies say, in management or staffing in the California (Carlsbad), New York, or London offices.

Reid Tracy

Tracy, in a comment says, “I’m excited to remain at the helm of Hay House in partnership with our incredible team of employees with the added support and resources of Penguin Random House, which has been an essential partner through PRHPS for many years.

“It’s wonderful that we will keep our  independence and pursue our main mission which is to help people around the world to improve their  lives.”

The company carries a backlist of more than 1,500 titles, per today’s announcement, and Hay House is publishing some 100 titles annually at this point.

More from Publishing Perspectives on mergers and acquisitions is here, more on Penguin Random House is here, more on nonfiction is here, and more on self-help is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.