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Digital Strategies

The digital revolution has transformed the book publishing business on a global scale. Computers and mobile devices have become individual points of sale, providing access to an infinite choice of books and contents, 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 new marketing frontiers to 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 world of opportunity generated by these technological innovations. 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 its important role is acknowledged and that it receives an adequate share of the revenue stream.

Meeting the full range of ebook readers’ expectations

As early as 2006, Hachette Livre was one of the first companies to start digitizing its publishing houses’ catalogues. The Group has a state-of-the-art infrastructure, including rights management systems, and digital warehousing, distribution and sales facilities, 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, available throughout the retail network. In 2017, Hachette UK acquired Bookouture, a leading digital-first publisher of commercial fiction.

The catalogues of Hachette Livre’s publishing houses are available on all ebook sales platforms, including international pure players, 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 2017, digital books (including audiobooks) account for 7.9% of Hachette Livre’s overall revenue.


  • DAD system (Digital Asset Distribution)

    The Digital Asset Distribution (DAD) system is a centralized 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, Anaya and Hachette UK. This range of services is also offered as added value 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 which detects infringing files and sends out take-down 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-in-class, richly featured product that provides effortless and open communication between authors, agents, and their HBG support “family,” giving easy access to sales information, subrights details, royalty statements, HBG news, and a wide array of resources.

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 the readers and the authors, imprints and brands. CRM is a means of establishing a direct, personal connection with readers, to develop more effective, relevant 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, a spin-off from Hachette Tourisme’s celebrated Guide du Routard collection, 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, bringing together the country’s largest community of travelers.

  • Digital Original Shorts (Hachette Book Group)

    Targeting millennials who are interested in reading smaller “chunks” of content, Digital Original Shorts are a series of self-contained books focusing on individual meals and highlighting HBG cookbook authors.

  • Tapas (Hachette Book Group)

    Tapas is a serialization app that converts full ebooks into episodes for individual sale.

  • Masterclass cuisine live (Hachette Livre)

    The website Hachette.fr regularly organizes live video interviews on social media enabling authors to interact with readers. Angèle Ferreux-Maeght (La Guinguette d’Angèle published by Marabout) held a masterclass on healthy cooking that was broadcast live on Facebook.

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.

  • larousse.fr (Larousse)

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

  • Emile (Hachette Livre)

    Paris is an important “character” in French literature, with a wealth of iconic sites about which many great authors have written. The mobile app Emile provides noteworthy quotes connected with the places users pass as they move around the city.

  • Partnership with Shazam (Hachette Livre imprints)

    Hachette Livre has formed a partnership with Shazam, one of the world’s most popular mobile apps, to apply Shazam’s visual recognition technology to book covers and provide access to exclusive content.

  • 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.

  • A chatbot for Another Story of Bad Boys (Hachette Romans)

    Lilibot is a Facebook Messenger bot launched by Hachette Romans in May 2017 to promote ‘Another Story of Bad Boys 2’ and allow readers to have a chat with Lili, the main character, before the release of the book.

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 Wattpad to books (Hachette Romans)

    When Sarah Morant was starting out as a writer, she opted to publish her work on the community platform Wattpad, where she quickly attracted a large following. Hachette Romans spotted her on social media and published her novels – Timide in 2016, and Fragiles in 2017 – both of which were instant publishing successes.

  • Mazarine Book Day (Mazarine)

    For a book to be published, the writer and publisher must meet, and the initial contact often takes place via social media. Mazarine organized a Mazarine Book Day at the Alcazar restaurant, an iconic venue on the Paris literary scene, giving bloggers and aspiring writers a chance to meet face-to-face, pitch and discuss ideas with Mazarine publishers.

  • Tubular Partnership (Hachette UK)

    Hachette UK uses Tubular Labs, a video intelligence tool which provides independent analytics for the entire social video ecosystem, allowing editors to identify and track influential creators.

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 primary, secondary and higher education. All the school textbook 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 the digital version of a textbook to enhanced classroom content including 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.

  • Adaptive learning: Passeport Révisions (Hachette Education)

    This educational software 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 a course tailored to their specific needs with a fun, motivational dimension, and progress reports for parents.

  • Annabac.com (Hatier)

    Covering all subjects in the secondary school curriculum, lesson reviews and exercises as well as exam preparation, Annabac.com provides students with a variety of resources and methods, for working independently or with supervision, tailored to their needs and study habits.

  • Evaluapp and Edico (Anaya)

    These are tools for continuous assessment and curricular skills acquisition, made available to schools served by Anaya. They are designed to facilitate the increasingly complex work of skill-based assessment and are compliant with the various regulatory environments of Spain’s autonomous communities.

  • GRETA (Anaya)

    Anaya offers a combination of modular educational resources and a flexible, locally assembled tool – GRETA. It is aimed at technically equipped schools that require content that goes beyond e-textbooks and provides solutions to the demand created by cross-disciplinary projects and skill-based assessment. As a comprehensive ecosystem for private establishments, it includes an online platform, synchronized apps for offline use, integration with school administration systems and links with a teacher training platform.

  • Haleo (Bruño)

    Haleo is a software application for schools using Bruño’s Lectura Eficaz method that makes it easier for teachers to manage in-class reading activities. Students have access to games that develop the main visual skills needed for effective reading, including attention, memory, expanding the visual field, eye movements and scanning. Teachers have access to resources for managing and assessing.

  • Rising Stars Assessment Bank (Rising Stars)

    Rising Stars Assessment Bank is a service for schools that gives teachers complete flexibility in designing and printing their own tests for pupils. It is the first of its kind for the new curriculum in England and is an important step in the Assessment 2020 project.

  • 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 a single a 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.

  • KWYK (Hachette Education)

    KWYK is an interactive exercise website for the secondary school market designed by Hachette Éducation. It invites teachers to create personalized review sets and exercises for their students and allows them to keep track of each student’s work, progress and room for improvement through individualized dashboards. KWYK is the first innovative adaptive learning solution Hachette Éducation has made available to teachers. It is already being used by tens of thousands of students in France.

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

    Teachers and students can access all their digital educational resources in ePub3 format and benefit from numerous teaching tools through the single platform for all the education publishers in Hachette Livre in France. It enables teachers to personalize contents, prepare instructional sequences and monitor performances. The platform can be used autonomously or in the classroom. Educadhoc paves the way to  personalized student monitoring.

  • Mercator-Publicitor (Dunod)

    Mercator-publicitor.fr is a dedicated website to accompany the marketing and advertising bibles Mercator and Publicitor, offering digital resources including revision sheets, quizzes with answers and notes, and interviews with experts.

Defining open technology standards

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

  • Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award

    Any trade ebook (fiction or non-fiction) published by a Group’s imprint in France is made available in “born accessible” format. It can be enjoyed by any print disabled person by means of the text-to-speech function or a Braille keyboard. In recognition of its achievements in advancing the accessibility of ebooks, Hachette Livre was awarded the Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Publisher at the 2018 London Book Fair.

Spreading a culture of innovation

Hachette Livre has set up a network shared by all the Group’s worldwide entities to facilitate planning, monitoring and innovation related to the new digital practices and technologies. The aim of the Hachette Innovation Program is to speed up the Group’s digital transformation by spreading a culture of innovation among the personnel of Hachette UK, Hachette Book Group, Hachette España and Hachette Livre in France. Since 2017, the team has been using innovative methodologies such as design thinking, a user-centric approach, in order to prototype new solutions.

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 players and capitalizing on the growing consumption of games and content on tablets and smartphones. Three companies joined the Hachette Livre group in 2017. They are combined into the entity, Hachette Mobile Studios.

  • Brainbow, the British mobile app company known for Peak, a subscription-based, fun 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 acquired a majority interest in Brainbow.
  • Neon Play, one of the UK’s leading mobile game development studios. Neon Play has created over 30 games, including Paper Glider, Flick Football and Panic Traffic 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, Garden of Words, Is Cool, Belote Multijoueur, Crazy 8 and Super Kiwi Castle Run.
  • Mon Coach Bescherelle (Hatier)

    Combining Bescherelle’s French language expertise with artificial intelligence from startup Knewton, Mon Coach Bescherelle offers spelling and writing practice that adapts to the user’s results and work pace in real time. It includes supplementary resources such as videos, lesson sheets, a personal dashboard and a coach in the form of a bot.