Penguin, Random House Merge to Focus on Digital Publishing

The book industry is changing, and digital media has made it easier for more people to distribute their writing to an audience. Now, two of the major players in the book publishing industry have teamed up to better keep up with these trends and potentially offer more options to these new writers.

Publishing companies Random House and Penguin just announced that they plan to join forces next year in order to better take on emerging markets and the digital publishing era.

Penguin Random House, as it will be called in late 2013 when the two companies are scheduled to officially merge, will include all of the publishing divisions and imprints of the two companies in the U.S. and several other countries around the world.

The purpose of the merger is for the two companies to strengthen their presence in emerging markets and the digital publishing industry. For independent authors or small businesses looking to get published, this merger could mean that Penguin Random House will have greater resources to invest in this type of content. The merger still needs to go through the regulatory approval process, so the benefits to authors and businesses still remain to be seen.

But it hasn’t been difficult to see that the two companies haven’t kept up with the digital publishing options as well as online giant Amazon, which itself offers a lot of options and opportunities for authors, individuals, and small companies that wouldn’t necessarily have been made available under more traditional publishing channels. If the two companies joining together leads to stronger competition with Amazon, it could possibly lead to even more innovation and options for these potential independent authors.

Upon completion of the merger, Bertelsman, the parent company of Random House, will own 53% of Penguin Random House, and Pearson, the parent company of Penguin, will own 47%. Management of Penguin Random House will be split between the two current companies.

Until the merger is complete, the two companies will maintain separate operations and keep up with business as usual.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. This is an interesting take on the book industry, Annie. And it makes sense. When I look at my own book reading habits, I find I am reading more and more on my Kindle Touch app. When traveling it’s easier. My Touch is light and easy to hold – no heavier than a print book. And I don’t have to periodically go through and donate books to clear out more space.

    And ebook publishing is a bigger than ever option for entrepreneurs wanting to publish a book.

    – Anita

    • I agree Anita. Unfortunately, since Apple and the Publishers lost their lawsuit I believe Amazon has put publishers in a horrible position and is forcing them into a market Amazon already dominates. But they have no choice.

      I also, think there is a bit of a hurdle in e-books because it has become quite saturated in a very short period of time. Where most e-books used to have great content, there is so much recycled content and PLR out there that it is very hard to separate the good from the bad and the publishers do not have an interest in allocating marketing dollars right now unless they know the book will bring in significant revenue to offset costs. Amazon has created a monopoly in the industry and I think these moves unfortunately is going to lead to the demise of our last brick and mortar player out there (B&N).

      Great post Annie… Best-MJ

    • I agree also about the way things are changing in the book industry. The publishing and the book industry is becoming a very big thing now-a-days and as for new authors like myself, it’s a very great thing for us, because with traditional publishing it’s a slight chance a new, unknown author will make it in and with the digital- ebooks, etc we are rising! Woopie!