C&R buys How To Books

Constable & Robinson has acquired practical reference publisher How To Books, with the company's owners set to stay with the business.

Founded in 1985, How To Books has been owned and managed by Giles Lewis and Nikki Read since 1997. It publishes a range of practical self-help guides in areas including business, careers, property, family, leisure and cookery. It has more than 500 titles in print, including through subsidiary imprint Spring Hill, and recorded turnover of more than £1m in 2011, according to the C&R statement. It also runs the ad-supported website howto.co.uk.

C&R chairman Nick Robinson said: "The acquisition of How To Books and Spring Hill adds to the back list-driven side of Constable & Robinson, which contributes so much to our stability and profitability. We believe non-fiction sales of e-books will grow steadily in the UK as they have in the US."

Robinson said he had approached Lewis "several years ago" about acquiring the business, meeting regularly with him since then.

C&R m.d. Pete Duncan called the publisher "a leading player in the provision of expert information on everyday subjects" and a "close fit with our RIght Way imprint as well as our portfolio of specialist websites".

Read will be editorial director for How To Books within C&R, with Lewis to be publishing consultant.

Lewis added: "After 15 enjoyable years of symbiosis with our business, Nikki and I above all else want to see it go to a good home. Nick's company is that home, and we believe our authors will be very happy there and their interests well served.  We are greatly looking forward to working with Nick and Pete, and with their highly successful, prize-winning C&R team."