Michael O'Mara Books is a small, family-run, privately owned publishing house in the United Kingdom. Established in London in 1985, by an American expatriate, Michael O'Mara, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his British wife, Lesley, the company focuses on biographies and autobiographies. Its imprint, Buster Books, publishes children's books.
O'Mara Books' first publication was Alastair Burnet's biography of the Queen Mother, entitled The ITN Book of the Queen Mother, which topped the 1985 The Sunday Times bestseller list. One of the publishing house's most influential publications was Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton, the second highest-selling authored work in the UK in the 1990s. The publishing house has established a reputation for high-profile autobiographies and biographies (including such bestsellers as Anything Goes by John Barrowman, and My Word is My Bond by Roger Moore), innovative humour and non-fiction (I Before E (Except After C), The Timewaster Letters, and The Book of Senior Moments), as well as children's books, published under the Buster Books imprint (The Boys' Book, The Girls' Book and Children's Miscellany, parts 1, 2 and 3). Successful humour titles include Where's the Meerkat?, the #1 Sunday Times bestseller of Christmas 2011.
The Mums' Book and The Dads' Book were both number one bestsellers and spawned the successful 'Best at Everything' series which includes books for sisters, aunts, grandparents, and others. Foreign editions of books in the series have been published in over 35 territories to date. I Before E was the sleeper hit of Christmas 2007, and has sold more than 400,000 copies reaching number three on the Sunday Times' hardback nonfiction chart. The followup, I Used To Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School, hit the bestseller lists upon publication in June 2008. The series includes titles on History (Remember, Remember; Divorced, Beheaded Died), Classics (A Classical Education), Poetry (I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud), and Maths (As Easy As Pi).
Buster Books publishes commercial non-fiction for children. Its successes include The Boys' Book: How To Be The Best At Everything, which has sold almost 400,000 copies to date. This book was followed by the #1 children's bestseller, The Girls' Book, with 320,000 copies sold. The bestselling Girls' Book of Glamour and Boys' Book of Survival, published in January 2008, both made the bestsellers chart, with Girls' Book of Glamour remaining there for 16 weeks.
O'Mara Books won the Independent Publishers' Guild International Achievement Award in 2007. The Boys' and Girls' Book range has been expanded to include annuals and doodle books, volumes 2 and 3 of each and a box set. Buster Books launched a children's fiction list in 2011, with the first titles being Hollow Earth by John and Carole E. Barrowman, and the Monstrous Maud series of books.