Penguin Random House

Apologies for so much silence lately but I have been traveling quite a bit these past few months. Regardless, I knew something had to be included  about the recent merger between Penguin and Random House (in my mind, this new GMO-house is referred to as Pengdom). Hmmm.

Two of the biggies are joining forces and monies to form one über-giant. They claim that now they will have more possibilities, both financial and otherwise, to spruce things up in the publishing world. I am skeptical of this consolidation.

According to BBC News,

The tie-up between Penguin and Random House marks the first deal between the world’s big six publishers. The others are Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster. It would bring together the publishers of the Fifty Shades series and Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks.

The New York Times offers added skepticism,

Some literary agents, however, were unimpressed by the prospect of a combined Random House and Penguin, responding to reports of a possible deal last week by saying it could reduce the number of outlets for authors.

Penguin and Random House are both very different beasts; like the literary agents, I am a bit dismayed at future prospects. Besides outlets for authors, possibilities could include too much standardization of books and other publishing projects with not enough differentiation. Any thoughts??

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7 comments

  1. I don’t know that I have any other, different thoughts, but this kind of consolidation is certainly something to worry about. Way too much uniformity, way too much control. Way too much money concentrated in only a few hands.

  2. I’m worried about editors at both houses potentially being cut. I don’t want to see people lose their jobs, and the publishing world (and writers in particular) do not need to have fewer editors around. That said, perhaps more smaller presses will spring up in the vacuum?

    1. I really hope so. Smaller presses have some unique books and put so much time and effort into the production of their books. This definitely could be a more positive outcome of this uber-merger.

  3. Poo, and when I heard the news I was surprised only because I assumed it was all already a big conglomerate. New logo? Little penguin looking out the window? But there’s hope, too: nyti.ms/ORZWQs

  4. There’s a little mention of the merger in this Federal Register Notice from the Antitrust Division of the Department Of Justice at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-31/pdf/2012-31339.pdf. Think the mention is near the end of the notice but read the entire notice to get full reassurrance big publishers have our best interests at heart and would never think of reducing competition.

    And if you are a commercial e-book buyer (licenser?) you might want to keep your eyes open for opportunity to become part of a potential class action lawsuit.

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