AST was established in 1990 by Alexei Gertsev, Sergei Derevianko, and Tatiana Derevianko as "Creative Cooperative Association AST" (Russian: Творческое кооперативное объединение, or АСТ), and has become one of the largest book publishing groups in Russia and accounts for about 13% of the Russian book production (by number of copies). AST Publishing comprises several imprints including Astrel, Avanta+, Premiera-Media, Corpus, as well as the comic book and manga publisher Comics Factory. It also owns a book-store chain called "Bukva."
AST has a broad portfolio of highly popular brands and publishes a vast range of books, including classics, modern bestsellers, educational and professional books, and books for travel and leisure.
Among AST’s authors are winners of numerous book prizes including Boris Akunin, Mikhail Veller, Dmitri Gluhovsky, Alexander Kabakov, Vladimir Sorokin, and Elena Chizova. AST authors have been among the winners of leading literary prizes, including the "Russian Booker Award” and the "Big Book" award. AST cooperates with leading international literary agencies to translate foreign authors.
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
In June 2012, EKSMO agreed to acquire AST as a result of a merger with the two companies.
AST is experimenting with different ways of presenting content to readers, which includes two widely popular multimedia projects based on the post-apocalyptic scenario S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (after the motion picture Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky), and Metro 2033, authored by Dmitry Glukhovsky in 2009. More than 3 million books published under the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand have been sold, which makes the project a world leader in book-based game products.
Bestselling authors & titles:
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.