About Profile Books
Profile was founded in 1996 to publish stimulating non-fiction in a wide range of fields, including history and current affairs, business and economics, science and biography, with a sprinkling of humour. We also publish all The Economist Books and have done so since we started.
Among Profile’s best sellers have been Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss (more than 3 million copies sold worldwide) and a series of books published in association with the New Scientist – Does Anything Eat Wasps?, Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze?, How to Fossilize Your Hamster and Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? (which have clocked up sales of more than 2.5 million).
In 2002 the company acquired the HarperCollins UK business list, which comprised some 70 books, including classics like In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman. In January 2007 Profile Books acquired Serpent’s Tail, a company founded by Pete Ayrton that publishes highly distinctive award-winning international fiction such as We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, as well as cutting-edge non fiction.
In 2008 Profile set up an ethical imprint GreenProfile under the direction of Mark Ellingham, the founder of Rough Guides. One of its first major projects is a collaboration with Oxfam on Ox-Tales, which brings together thirty of the UK’s greatest contemporary fiction writers whose original short stories will be sold in four volumes.
We are distributed in the UK by Random House who are part of the largest publisher in the world and currently sold by Faber & Faber in the UK and parts of Europe and by other agents in other parts of the world.
Our US and foreign rights are handled through leading agents. Over the years we have sold rights in some 25 languages.
The company has been Small Publisher of the Year on three occasions and now publishes around 100 books a year. It prides itself on its commitment to its books and its authors, its professionalism and business rigour, its open management style and its nimbleness in responding to market opportunities.
As of March 2013, Profile is a supporting partner of Prison Reading Groups, helping to improve literacy in prisons.