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Company History

One of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S., Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. The company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes fine art titles in design, art, architecture, and photography.

Titles of note include Martha Zamora's Frida Kahlo: The Brush of Anguish (1990), and Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine (1991). Originally slated for an edition of 10,000, this interactive book became the most talked-about title of the year and a New York Times best-seller for 50 weeks. The two subsequent volumes in the trilogy, Sabine's Notebook and The Golden Mean, were also Times best-sellers.

The company brought the same innovative philosophy to cookbooks with its four-color release of Sushi (1981) which sold 90,000 copies and is still in print. Chronicle Books also publishes James McNair's eye-catching cookbooks, all perennial best-sellers having sold over one million copies.

The Children's list was launched in 1988 and has published the best-selling Mama, Do You Love Me? (over one million copies in hardcover), Ten Little Rabbits (450,000 copies) and N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims (100,000 copies). The list has grown to include not only traditional picture books but affordable paperbacks, board books, plush toys, and novelty merchandise.

In 1992, Chronicle Books launched its Gift division to develop ancillary products such as the Griffin & Sabine address book and writing box, the best-selling 52 Deck series, and a motorcycle journal and address book based on the Harley-Davidson image archives.

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