Harper Collins Publishers has secured the exclusive worldwide publishing rights from Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired the U.S. publishing rights from HarperCollins. The books will be based on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (set for a Dec. 14 release) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (Dec. 13, 2013).
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s deal includes five titles to be released starting in November.
“Inspired by the two films based on The Hobbit, the companion books are a fantastic way for fans of the world of Middle-earth to immerse themselves in the film experience,” says Karen McTier, executive vice president, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has a strong history with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we know that the detailed tie-in books will bring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again to life in an in-depth and imaginative way.”
“The books by J.R.R. Tolkien are exceptional in their quality and their popularity, as are the films that they have inspired, and The Hobbit is the story that started it all three-quarters of a century ago,” says Victoria Barnsley, chief executive officer and publisher, HarperCollins U.K. and International. “I am a huge admirer of the legacy of these stories and my own arrival at HarperCollins coincided with the work on The Lord of the Rings tie-ins, so I am especially excited to be returning to this unique publishing phenomenon.”