Tie-in books for the hotly tipped The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be published by HarperCollins, after the firm picked up the exclusive worldwide publishing rights from Warner Bros Consumer Products.
The Hobbit was first published in 1937 - originally having a modest print run of just 1,500 copies. Since then, it has gone on to sell millions of copies in more than 50 languages, with 2012 marking the 75th anniversary year of its publication.
"The HarperCollins companion books are a fantastic way for fans of the world of Middle Earth to immerse themselves in the film experience," said Karen McTier, EVP of domestic licensing and worldwide marketing at WBCP. "HarperCollins has a strong history with the works of JRR Tolkien, and we know that the detailed tie-in books will bring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again to life in an indepth and imaginative way."
Chris Smith, editorial director for Tolkien at HarperCollins, added: "We are delighted to have been able to pull together many of the same experts to work on these books, as well as new talents to update the publishing mix."