We are the member organisation for UK publishing, representing companies of all sizes and specialisms.
Our members produce digital and print books, research journals and educational resources across genres and subjects.
We exist to champion publishing to the wider world and to provide our members with everything they need to thrive.
Our members are at the heart of our mission. We bring them together; provide them with the information they need; seek solutions to problems; and campaign to achieve them.
We have helped change laws, improved business conditions and inspired people to become publishers.
We are passionate about the capacity for books and reading to make life better for people.
We are governed by a council of 20 representatives elected from the membership.
We have over 140 publishing businesses in our membership, of all sizes and specialisms.
We convene a range of member councils, communities and task forces to facilitate our work.
The Publishers Association was established in 1896 by publishers, called into being by a crisis in British bookselling and publishing during the late 19th century and founded around the net book agreement.
The first general meeting of the association was attended by representatives from 49 firms and 58 firms were initially admitted to membership. The first elected officers were CJ Longman (President), John Murray (Vice President) and Frederick Macmillan (Honorary Treasurer).
At the first meeting, CJ Longman drew attention to three matters requiring the collective attention of the trade: copyright, the net book agreement and the relationship between publishers and authors.
The Council of the Publishers Association was established in Stationers’ Hall, London, which became the place of publishers’ meetings and the offices of the association until its partial destruction by bombing in 1940.
A central role of the Publishers Association has always been to advise members on aspects of the law as they affect publishing and to provide a strong voice for the industry in government.
In 1911, the Copyright Act was passed by Parliament. The Publishers Association lobbied heavily on the contents of the Act and was able to introduce copyright in unpublished works and 50 years’ duration of copyright following the author’s death.
The long-lasting group system was established in 1917 and we still convene special-interest groups that meet regularly to share non-competitive information.
Throughout our 120-year existence, we have always been a powerful collective voice for the UK publishing industry and have been integral in establishing a number of celebrated initiatives, including World Book Day and the Booker Prize.
Our Annual Reports for the last five years are available in our publications directory.
We work with a range of organisations across publishing and these partnerships are important to our work.
Whether your company is a small independent publisher or an established industry player, your place is in the leading member organisation for UK publishing.