EKSMO–AST is the largest general interest publisher in Russia. The company’s list includes fiction and nonfiction, children’s and young adult books, and reference and educational publications.
EKSMO–AST is home to many authors from outside Russia, including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stephen King, Paulo Coelho, Dan Brown, Anna Gavalda, Neil Gaiman, Suzanne Collins, Lauren Weisberger, Candace Bushnell, Stephenie Meyer, Wilbur Smith, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Matt Haig, and George R.R. Martin. Bestselling Russian authors include Boris Akunin, Edward Radzinsky, Dmitri Glukhovskiy, Sergei Lukjanenko, Ludmila Ulitskaya, Viktor Pelevin, Tatyana Tolstaya, Marina Stepnova, Evgeny Vodolazkin, Zakhar Prilepin, Pavel Sanaev, Darya Dontsova, Alexandra Marinina, Yuri Nikitin, Vasily Golovachev, Nick Perumov, Vera Kamsha, Vadim Panov, and Alexey Pekhov. EKSMO consists of three main divisions: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children’s. The Fiction division is focused on crime novels, fantasy and science fiction, modern prose and lyrics, classics, romance, and other genres. Nonfiction is focused on DIY titles that cover health, cooking, esoteric, sport, and beauty. The Children’s publishes all genres aimed at readers aged 0 to 18.
AST is divided into four divisions that publish educational, general, practical, and children’s books. Each division is home to several imprints including Corpus, which publishes contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction; Neoclassic, which publishes internationally-known bestselling authors, literature of the 20th century, and nonfiction; Elena Shubina, which publishes contemporary Russian fiction, Russian award winners, and cultural studies; and Genre fiction, which publishes romance novels, detective stories and thrillers, fantasy and science fiction, as well as modern fiction. Other imprints include Astrel SPb, Vremena, Kladez, OGIZ, PROlingua, Malysh and Planeta Znaniy.
In 2014, EKSMO AST acquired educational publishers Drofa and Ventana Graf Publishers.
The Moscow-based publishing house claims to control more than 40% of the Russian book market. EKSMO–AST is also active in distribution, with nine regional distribution centers across the Russian territory.
Analysis Key Developments
In the challenging, and for the past years, declining environment of the Russian book market, EKSMO–AST showed a steady performance both in revenues and in profits.
Publishing revenue in 2015 included the newly consolidated acquisition of educational publishers Drofa and Ventana Graf Publishers, the latter of which claims 25% of Russia’s textbook market.
EKSMO–AST also controls various retail businesses such as Novy Knizhniy and Bukvoed, as well as the leading Russian e-book platform Litres, which is a separate business. Altogether, revenues for these activities amounted to 467 million USD in 2012.
In 2013, EKSMO integrated the publishing house AST. The company had announced in mid-2012 that it had taken control of several commercial divisions of AST, excluding AST’s Bukva chain.
In 2012, EKSMO acquired the publishing houses Mann-Ivanov-Ferber and Alpina Business Books.
EKSMO–AST controls Litres, the leading Russian e-book platform and forerunner in Russian e-books, with total sales worth 1.7 billion RUB in 2015. Sales have continued to grow, and Litres now claims 56% of the Russian e-book market. In recent years, downloadable audio books have significantly increased. Lites leads that market as well, with a catalog of 7,000 titles and sales of 2 million units in 2016.
EKSMO–AST is dedicated to broadening its international presence by acquiring translation rights as well as remaining the lead e-book retailer in Russia.