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Torgo
10-25-2012, 08:23 PM
http://paidcontent.org/2012/10/25/pearson-confirms-penguinrandom-house-merger-talks/

Er, holy crap!

Alessandra Kelley
10-25-2012, 08:26 PM
http://paidcontent.org/2012/10/25/pearson-confirms-penguinrandom-house-merger-talks/

Er, holy crap!

"Squiffy," I said, "This is the end of an era."

CQuinlan
10-25-2012, 08:57 PM
I would totally buy something from random penguin.

Rhoda Nightingale
10-25-2012, 09:04 PM
Wow. So it's going to be the Big 5? Rather than 6?

Amarie
10-25-2012, 09:06 PM
I would totally buy something from random penguin.

Love this! Now to think up a new logo....

leahzero
10-25-2012, 09:18 PM
You guys hear that creepy death knell in the distance, or is it just me?

Sheryl Nantus
10-25-2012, 09:30 PM
You guys hear that creepy death knell in the distance, or is it just me?

Please don't turn this into another "self-publishing is ruling the world and trade publishing is doomed" thread.

Thank you.

fireluxlou
10-25-2012, 09:32 PM
I would totally buy something from random penguin.

No, Penguin House :D

swvaughn
10-25-2012, 09:35 PM
Please don't turn this into another "self-publishing is ruling the world and trade publishing is doomed" thread.

Thank you.

IMO, I didn't get "self-publishing will rule the world" from that comment...

I got a "narrowing of choices" feel. Like, in the future, we might get to choose from:

1. Amazon
2. Random Harper Penguin MacShusterHatchette
3. Floundering in obscurity

The death knell of the (already remote) possibility of making a living from fiction? Yeah, I hear that.

Phaeal
10-25-2012, 09:38 PM
Look on the bright side! Getting into the Big Five sounds even more exclusive than getting into the Big Six! ;)

And they can call themselves Random Penguin, thus becoming the coolest name in publishing.

Oh! And since Random House had Fifty Shades and Penguin has Bared to You, together they can rule the universe of mommy porn. Or should I say dominate?

Xelebes
10-25-2012, 09:39 PM
Wow. So it's going to be the Big 5? Rather than 6?

It's going to be just like accounting with the Big 4.

leahzero
10-25-2012, 09:40 PM
Please don't turn this into another "self-publishing is ruling the world and trade publishing is doomed" thread.

Thank you.

I was being flippant, thank you.

But what swvaughn said.

Rhoda Nightingale
10-25-2012, 09:52 PM
Personally, I'd like to see Angry Robot bust out into the mainstream. That could be potentially awesome.

And I vote for "Penguin House." I like the sound of it.

CQuinlan
10-25-2012, 09:56 PM
This thread needs a poll for name choices.

thothguard51
10-25-2012, 09:56 PM
And sooner than we though, we will say, and then there was only ONE, Amazon...

What surprises me in this message is that Random House publishes about 10,000 books a year while Penguin publishes about 4,000 a year. Together that is 14,000 books published a year. I thought the numbers would be higher...

Torgo
10-25-2012, 10:12 PM
This thread needs a poll for name choices.

Happy to oblige once I get home!

Little Ming
10-25-2012, 10:13 PM
It's going to be just like accounting with the Big 4.

Or the music industry which has the Big 3... which is a bit scary since less than 10 years ago they were the Big 5, and fifteen years ago they were the Big 6.

Bogna
10-26-2012, 12:21 AM
Personally, I like House Penguin. The logo could be super cute.

Ken
10-26-2012, 12:28 AM
_ _ _ may well mean more money for authors in their stable, which is cool.

theDolphin
10-26-2012, 12:29 AM
I would totally buy something from random penguin.

:ROFL:


... in the future, we might get to choose from:

1. Amazon
2. Random Harper Penguin MacShusterHatchette
3. Floundering in obscurity


This also made me laugh out loud.
But good Lord I hope it stays untrue.

Thanks for posting this Torgo. Holy crap indeed!

Filigree
10-26-2012, 01:09 AM
That's what I thought reading the header in PW Daily this morning.

I remember a 2004 not quite satirical film about such mergers. Go look for
'Googlezon' and see if it doesn't first make you laugh - then shudder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPIC_2014

I'll cast a vote for Random Penguin. It goes along with the nature of the two companies' major bestsellers right now. Especially since we now know that, rather than being adorable icons of neoconservative parenting, penguins seem to be kinky little bastards.

Torgo
10-26-2012, 01:11 AM
OK, so I can't add a poll, it seems. Darn.

My personal vote goes for what the Bookseller described as 'the sinister option': "House of Penguin".

Bogna
10-26-2012, 01:25 AM
House of Penguin sounds more like a fashion company than a publisher. I'm not so sure how I feel about the merger. I need more details.

A.P.M.
10-26-2012, 01:43 AM
C'mon...Penguin house sounds adorable. It'd totally want to submit my books to Penguin house.

It'd better at least become the name of a YA or MG imprint.

SomethingOrOther
10-26-2012, 02:07 AM
IMO, I didn't get "self-publishing will rule the world" from that comment...

I got a "narrowing of choices" feel. Like, in the future, we might get to choose from:

1. Amazon
2. Random Harper Penguin MacShusterHatchette
3. Floundering in obscurity

The death knell of the (already remote) possibility of making a living from fiction? Yeah, I hear that.

http://i.imgur.com/gT8bN.jpg

T J Deen
10-26-2012, 02:27 AM
I don't suppose one could look at it from the perspective that the editors and sales/marketing people who don't make the cut in the new entity will go off and start their own smaller (yet experienced) pub house now?

My first thought was that they'd theoretically still work their old back log till i realized the back log will still legally belong to Penguin and RH.

Is it possible this could lead to opportunity for an aspiring writer?

RedWombat
10-26-2012, 03:30 AM
I had a book get orphaned TWICE when the publisher-who-shall-remain-nameless got bought. Hoping this turns out to be sound and fury, since clinging to my editor's ankle and screaming "Not again...!" would be undignified.

bearilou
10-26-2012, 04:04 AM
Oh! And since Random House had Fifty Shades and Penguin has Bared to You, together they can rule the universe of mommy porn. Or should I say dominate?

I C WUT U DID THAR

jjdebenedictis
10-26-2012, 04:29 AM
BRB, drawing pictures of random penguins.

DreamWeaver
10-26-2012, 04:31 AM
I'm voting for Random Penguin.




:nothing

frankiebrown
10-26-2012, 05:15 AM
Are they gonna buy all the railroads, too?

Amarie
10-26-2012, 05:40 PM
Here's the best article I could find so far that examines possible reasons behind this: Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-25/pearson-in-bertelsmann-talks-to-merge-penguin-random-house-1-.html) The article is heavy on business-speak (I had to go to Investopedia.com to figure out the use of the word "synergy" in their context), but does provide some good background.

Jamesaritchie
10-26-2012, 05:40 PM
A merger can increase choices as easily as it decreases them. Twenty-five publishers often offer fewer possibilities than five.

It isn't how many different publishers sign paychecks that matters, it's how many imprints are available, how many books are published, and how much profit is made.

Sometimes, all that's lost in a merger is upper management.

Phaeal
10-26-2012, 06:17 PM
Random Penguin is the only choice, because this will inspire a viral blog called "FU, Random Penguin."

The blog will feature pics of adorable editors perched on slush piles ("FU, Random Penguin! Maybe you'd get to my sub if you weren't always waddling around stuffing your beak with anchovies!") and even more adorable editorial assistants sledding down the corridors on their adorable fluffy tummies ("FU, Random Penguin! If you'd learn to walk like an effing human, a-hole, maybe you'd get some effing WORK done.")

CQuinlan
10-26-2012, 07:57 PM
Random Penguin is the only choice, because this will inspire a viral blog called "FU, Random Penguin."

The blog will feature pics of adorable editors perched on slush piles ("FU, Random Penguin! Maybe you'd get to my sub if you weren't always waddling around stuffing your beak with anchovies!") and even more adorable editorial assistants sledding down the corridors on their adorable fluffy tummies ("FU, Random Penguin! If you'd learn to walk like an effing human, a-hole, maybe you'd get some effing WORK done.")

A thousand times this. But all of them are wearing berets of assorted colours.

Torgo
10-26-2012, 08:02 PM
I don't suppose one could look at it from the perspective that the editors and sales/marketing people who don't make the cut in the new entity will go off and start their own smaller (yet experienced) pub house now?

Possibly, or they might go and work for Amazon or something. It will definitely mean some redundancies, I think.


My first thought was that they'd theoretically still work their old back log till i realized the back log will still legally belong to Penguin and RH.

Yeah, you're right, when you leave a publisher you have to leave the books behind! It's sad but...


Is it possible this could lead to opportunity for an aspiring writer?

I'm not sure how?

Medievalist
10-26-2012, 08:37 PM
If this merger goes through, the new company will control even more than Holtzbrinck.

I don't think that's a good thing for writers or readers—never mind the editorial and production folk who will need new jobs.

Priene
10-26-2012, 09:17 PM
http://paidcontent.org/2012/10/25/pearson-confirms-penguinrandom-house-merger-talks/

Er, holy crap!

What market share would the combined company have? Just wondering if the Monopolies and Mergers Commission might have something to say about it.

Torgo
10-26-2012, 10:35 PM
What market share would the combined company have? Just wondering if the Monopolies and Mergers Commission might have something to say about it.

About 27%. I think it probably would attract the attention of the competition authorities.

shadowwalker
10-26-2012, 11:37 PM
Don't most/all large mergers of this sort have to get prior okay of the FTC (or whatever government agency oversees these things)? It's been a while since I studied business law but I don't think they can just go ahead with it on their own. ??

Torgo
10-26-2012, 11:42 PM
Don't most/all large mergers of this sort have to get prior okay of the FTC (or whatever government agency oversees these things)? It's been a while since I studied business law but I don't think they can just go ahead with it on their own. ??

Depends on whether the government like you or not.

Priene
10-28-2012, 11:46 AM
About 27%. I think it probably would attract the attention of the competition authorities.

I think a merger recently went through (can't remember the market) which gave a company a 30% market share, which was well above the 25% that usually means the MMC takes an interest. Given the coalition doesn't give a toss about restraining over-powerful corporation, as we saw with Jeremy Hunt and the Murdochs, I doubt they'd step in. Random Penguin probably presume the same.

James D. Macdonald
10-28-2012, 06:32 PM
Penguin also seems to be in merger talks with News Corp (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/28/us-newscorp-penguin-idUSBRE89R06W20121028).

So the Penguin/Random House thing isn't a done deal.

kaitie
10-28-2012, 06:50 PM
Penguin also seems to be in merger talks with News Corp (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/28/us-newscorp-penguin-idUSBRE89R06W20121028).

So the Penguin/Random House thing isn't a done deal.

Penguin Corp!

Tepelus
10-28-2012, 08:18 PM
BRB, drawing pictures of random penguins.

:Thumbs:

Filigree
10-29-2012, 12:29 AM
According to some sources, a News Corp merger terrifies Penguin authors and editors more than a Random House merger.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/oct/28/penguin-authors-terrified-news-corp?newsfeed=true

I'm already not a big fan of Harper Collins; this would nail the coffin down.

thebloodfiend
10-29-2012, 03:30 AM
Reminds me of the AT&T/Cingular merger. Or Sprint/Nextel. And the potential AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

People, from my memory, lost jobs with the former merged together. I'm not seeing this as a good thing if it goes through.

RedWombat
10-29-2012, 06:13 AM
According to some sources, a News Corp merger terrifies Penguin authors and editors more than a Random House merger.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/oct/28/penguin-authors-terrified-news-corp?newsfeed=true

I'm already not a big fan of Harper Collins; this would nail the coffin down.

O Great And Terrible Gods Of Publishing, there's a bottle of very good tequila in it for you if you put the kibosh on this one...

*prostrates self before bookcase*

Filigree
10-29-2012, 06:17 AM
I suppose it would be okay if you were a fiction writer with scads of profit insulating you. For smaller writers with even a hint of liberal agenda it could be a death knell.

I'll pour the tequila, too. I'm startled to find myself rooting for Random House.

benbradley
10-29-2012, 06:47 AM
So this is where that #penguinhouse hashtag came from. I'm three days late hearing about this, no telling how long that is in pre.net.time.

https://twitter.com/PublishersWkly/status/261517787837648897

I vote for J. Random Penguin, just to bring back a meme I haven't heard in a while.

Oh, look what I found:
25 Random Penguin Facts
http://www.thefactsite.com/2011/01/25-random-penguin-facts.html

I wonder, does Penguin run Linux on all its computers?

Vaulted
10-29-2012, 10:26 AM
I would totally buy something from random penguin.

YES!

Or Penguin House, which would in fact be Igloo.



Personally, I like House Penguin. The logo could be super cute.

Potentially racist?

;)

SkyeOhWhy
10-29-2012, 11:54 AM
Aaaaannnd… it's Penguin Random House: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20120485

ETA:
Here's the Pearson press release: http://www.pearson.com/news/2012/october/pearson-and-bertelsmann-agree-consumer-publishing-partnership--p.html?article=true

Filigree
10-29-2012, 12:19 PM
Well, I guess it's better than giving it to Murdoch.

Anna L.
10-29-2012, 12:38 PM
We're officially down to the Big Five. How long until the Big Four?

AVS
10-29-2012, 01:10 PM
It's following a global trend. Many industries are following the giants and minnows patterns. Domination by a few super companies and lots and lots of small specialised companies below them. Mergers are always distressing and few of them create a "better" company at the end of it.

(See banks, food retail, food production, defence industries, pharmaceutical manufacturing,... and and and).

For instance, the consolidation of the brewing industry actually led to the formation of lots of very good local brewers. The omni-beers of the giants don't cater to all palates and the fall out from the mergers leave a lot of experts without a job.

The middle-ranked manufacturers disappear, can't compete with the low costs of the giants, or the specialised knowledge/niches of the minnows. (Minnows can be actually end up quite large in absolute terms, if they nail a growing niche on its way to mainstream).

I suspect publishing will continue down that path. Of course in many of the creative arts the size of a minnow (largely thanks to the internet) can be one.

But as said above a merged entity might actually publish more books if their average cost of production falls. But expect a lot of fall out, change, and probably a more omni feel to their output. Only very big books or trends will swing the profit needle on these behemoths.

retlaw
10-29-2012, 04:28 PM
Pearson and Bertelsmann, two of the world's biggest media groups, agreed Monday on a plan to combine their book-publishing operations, Random House and Penguin.


German media giant Bertelsmann said that it plans to create a joint venture between Random House and Pearson's Penguin, with Bertelsmann taking a 53% stake in the new company and Pearson taking 47%. The details follow weekend reports News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, had separately expressed interest in Penguin.


Bertelsmann and Pearson didn't disclose the value of the joint venture, but a person familiar with the matter indicated that the equity valuation would be somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204840504578086080253161770.html?m od=djemalertNEWS

Shara
10-29-2012, 05:00 PM
The BBC are reporting today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20120485) that this is definitely going ahead.

And they are calling themselves Penguin Random House. I much prefer Random Penguin...

Shara

Shara
10-29-2012, 05:02 PM
Oh sorry, SkyOhWhy beat me to it!

I'm not sure what kind of an effect this will have on publishing - only time will tell, I guess.

I think as the big publishers get bigger, we'll see more and more small independent publishers.

leahzero
10-29-2012, 05:35 PM
Already a thread on this.

leahzero
10-29-2012, 05:54 PM
http://i.imgur.com/6DECJ.gif

Toothpaste
10-29-2012, 06:04 PM
Guys, just keep in mind while there is much to discuss pragmatically on this topic, there are people on this site for whom this is also emotional. Who are published by these houses and really don't know what it means. The implication of the above post that somehow this plays right into Amazon's hands and means soon these two publishers will be failing scares the shoot out of me quite honestly. Like all authors, my book means a lot to me and I have no idea what this is going to mean for it.

I'm not trying to dictate where this conversation can go and that it can't be frank, but just trying to offer a reminder that there are real people involved with all this.

And yes, I too prefer Random Penguin.

willietheshakes
10-29-2012, 07:24 PM
Guys, just keep in mind while there is much to discuss pragmatically on this topic, there are people on this site for whom this is also emotional. Who are published by these houses and really don't know what it means. The implication of the above post that somehow this plays right into Amazon's hands and means soon these two publishers will be failing scares the shoot out of me quite honestly. Like all authors, my book means a lot to me and I have no idea what this is going to mean for it.

I'm not trying to dictate where this conversation can go and that it can't be frank, but just trying to offer a reminder that there are real people involved with all this.

And yes, I too prefer Random Penguin.

This.

Torgo
10-29-2012, 07:44 PM
Guys, just keep in mind while there is much to discuss pragmatically on this topic, there are people on this site for whom this is also emotional. Who are published by these houses and really don't know what it means. The implication of the above post that somehow this plays right into Amazon's hands and means soon these two publishers will be failing scares the shoot out of me quite honestly. Like all authors, my book means a lot to me and I have no idea what this is going to mean for it.

It's very close to home for a lot of people in publishing as well, for obvious reasons! I'd suggest authors have little to worry about - it's been made clear that Penguin's and Random's imprints are going to remain pretty much as they are, as rival companies competing for acquisitions etc. (Random businesses like Transworld and Cornerstone already work like this - they're quite separate.) From a day-to-day outside perspective I doubt people will notice much difference.

I think that kind of separation is going to be quite important from the point of view of the competition authorities...

I could imagine some of the lesser-known literary imprints at Random being folded into Penguin somehow, but that's probably good news for those authors, who would have a more prestigious brand to work under. But this is all speculation at present - nobody really knows how this is going to shake out.

Toothpaste
10-29-2012, 07:56 PM
Well yes, my concern is not just for me, but also for the amazing people I've got to know (my editor, publisher, and whole publicity/marketing team). But yes, right now, I think authors are the ones who will be least affected. However, we still might be. Especially if the people we work with end up losing jobs etc over this.

I can haz worries. :(

Cyia
10-29-2012, 07:59 PM
I'm glad my book's gone through the production steps already. I'd hate to be in edits or something with a deal like this looming.

victoriastrauss
10-29-2012, 08:33 PM
The implication of the above post that somehow this plays right into Amazon's hands and means soon these two publishers will be failing .
Honestly, I think it's the other way around. I have a lot of concerns about this merger (not least for the staff members who may lose their jobs)...but one way to fight a giant is to become one yourself.

- Victoria

Toothpaste
10-29-2012, 09:01 PM
I actually agree with you, but the pic posted was about the opposite. Was about this playing right into Amazon's hands or something.

And Cyia, that's exactly what I mean about why we need to tread with a little lightness here. You and I are fortunate in that way, but there are likely others on this board exactly in the situation you are glad you are not in. Who are likely wondering what this means for them.

I do think, like Torgo said, ultimately, it won't change much for authors. But we still don't know what will happen, and it is a nerve wracking time.

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 09:25 PM
I'm worried about all the production/editorial peeps I know at both places, some on salary, and some on 1099.

I'm hoping they all still have jobs.

Cyia
10-29-2012, 09:27 PM
I'm hoping that, if the imprints stay intact, that will mean the employees will, as well. Each imprint will still need staff, after all.

Toothpaste
10-29-2012, 09:35 PM
My hope too. The people I have met are so passionate about (and very good at) their jobs. I imagine it being quite the day in NYC - with this and the delightful storm right now.

CaroGirl
10-29-2012, 09:42 PM
My hope too. The people I have met are so passionate about (and very good at) their jobs. I imagine it being quite the day in NYC - with this and the delightful storm right now.
Yes. It feels like real wrath-of-God, end-of-days type stuff. Maybe the Ghostbusters were right after all.

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Clearly:
:nothing

Friendly Frog
10-30-2012, 01:08 AM
Penguin Random House? That's so... uninspired as names go.

Filigree
10-30-2012, 01:31 AM
Also from 'Ghostbusters', though the 'Real Ghostbusters' cartoon of many years ago: Venkman refers to Random House as 'Random Choice Publishers'. This was a favorite in our house for a long time.

But we now like Random Penguin much better. Penguins are sneaky and dark: remember Dooby Dooby Doo and the Bud Ice Penguin? The dastardly penguin villain in 'Wallace and Gromit'? The insanely resourceful CIA penguins in the 'Madagascar' movies?

This has real possibilities, if Bertelsmann can find its sense of humor.

veinglory
10-30-2012, 01:51 AM
It's like they deliberately chose the most boring name possible.

jjdebenedictis
10-30-2012, 02:15 AM
It's like they deliberately chose the most boring name possible.There are a bunch of people, with surgically-removed senses of humour and very nice suits, sitting in a conference room somewhere, shouting, "NO! ANYTHING BUT RANDOM PENGUIN!"

Xelebes
10-30-2012, 02:20 AM
I'm hoping that, if the imprints stay intact, that will mean the employees will, as well. Each imprint will still need staff, after all.

Unfortunately, there will likely be some consolidation of some imprints.

Torgo
10-30-2012, 02:35 AM
There are a bunch of people, with surgically-removed senses of humour and very nice suits, sitting in a conference room somewhere, shouting, "NO! ANYTHING BUT RANDOM PENGUIN!"

Data point: at least half of them will be German. ;)

Filigree
10-30-2012, 02:41 AM
I know some Germans. They definitely have a sense of humor. Maybe German businessfolk are different?

Torgo
10-30-2012, 02:48 AM
I know some Germans. They definitely have a sense of humor. Maybe German businessfolk are different?

Oh, I'm being an arse, of course. I know Germans are funny really. It's just one of the things we rib them about. (We on the other hand are workshy and drunk.)

Mr Flibble
10-30-2012, 02:51 AM
remember Dooby Dooby Doo and the Bud Ice Penguin?

What the hell is that?


And Germans just have a different sense of humour (much humour does not survive translation). They also got Monty Python episodes acted in German by the guys, because they loved it so much, so fair play.


(We on the other hand are workshy and drunk.) I should be working but I have a beer in hand. They may have a point.

Filigree
10-30-2012, 03:53 AM
Possibly before your time or out of your geographic area. The Bud Ice Penguin was an advertising meme created in 1995.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ksf3Oe8cU

benbradley
10-30-2012, 07:41 AM
Story on CNN:
http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/29/news/penguin-random-house-merger/index.html?hpt=hp_t2


...
The move comes as digital retailers such as Amazon (AMZN (http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=AMZN&source=story_quote_link), Fortune 500 (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/snapshots/10810.html)) and Apple (AAPL (http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=AAPL&source=story_quote_link), Fortune 500 (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/snapshots/670.html)) exert enormous pressure on the publishing industry. Amazon is not just producing popular e-readers, but it has also launched its own book imprint and is working to sign up authors. In June, Amazon bought small publisher Avalon Book (http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/04/technology/amazon-avalon-books/index.htm)s and its backlist of 3,000 titles. Avalon's books fall mainly in the romance, mystery and Western genres.

willietheshakes
10-30-2012, 11:07 PM
It's very close to home for a lot of people in publishing as well, for obvious reasons! I'd suggest authors have little to worry about - it's been made clear that Penguin's and Random's imprints are going to remain pretty much as they are, as rival companies competing for acquisitions etc. (Random businesses like Transworld and Cornerstone already work like this - they're quite separate.) From a day-to-day outside perspective I doubt people will notice much difference.

I think that kind of separation is going to be quite important from the point of view of the competition authorities...

I could imagine some of the lesser-known literary imprints at Random being folded into Penguin somehow, but that's probably good news for those authors, who would have a more prestigious brand to work under. But this is all speculation at present - nobody really knows how this is going to shake out.


Interestingly, it doesn't work like that with Random Canada - no multiple imprint submissions, and their editorial board will decide which imprint a book works best within. So where you could, before THAT merger, submit to Doubleday and Knopf, for example, no more.

Bogna
10-31-2012, 05:37 AM
Story on CNN:
http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/29/news/penguin-random-house-merger/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

I understand the pressure to put out books in electronic format, but I never considered Amazon's imprint to be that big of a competitor. Once again, I feel like there is to little information on this merger.

CheshireCat
11-01-2012, 02:30 AM
I haven't noticed this mentioned, though I may have missed it. Just wondering what people think of the agreement between Random House and Penguin to merge.

As usual, both houses are claiming that their imprints will remain autonomous (Is that spelled right?), but I've heard that song many times in the last decades, and somehow it always turns out that writers have fewer places to offer their work.

I will say that I hope Penguin (the new company, I hear, will be called Penguin Random House) adopts RH's royalty statements if nothing else.

RH royalty statements are incredibly detailed and clear.

Penguin's ... not so much.

Cramp
11-01-2012, 02:45 AM
<link snipped>

A few threads down

CheshireCat
11-01-2012, 03:01 AM
Ah. Thanks.

CheshireCat
11-01-2012, 03:18 AM
First, I haven't read the whole thread, so maybe none of this info is new.

Having a history with both RH and Penguin, I got emails from both discussing the merget. Lots of unanswered questions, although both sides confirmed that John Makinson will be Chairman of Penguin Random House, while Marcus Dohle will be CEO.

All the emails insist on one probably truthful thing: nothing drastic is going to happen for a while, because these things need approval and that takes time. They also insist that imprints will remain and will have their customary autonomy.

Um ... well, maybe. I've been under contract to houses during these kinds of takeovers, and more than once my imprint and/or my editor vanished. I've also seen art departments, and even Publishers handed their walking papers.

RH is the larger company, clearly. One would assume that RH would, eventually, absorb Penguin the way they've absorbed other once-independent houses. I can say that at RH, Ballantine, say, appeared fairly independent of Bantam. And yet -- I just can't help the cynical notion that meetings are held whenever anything of interest lands on a desk, and that they do rock-paper-scissors or something to see who gets it.

Hope I'm wrong.

I know that when Marcus Dohle came over from Germany, it was with the express intention of cutting waste and making the bottom line at RH more profitable. He's not a book guy, he's a numbers guy. So he bided his time and got the feeling of the company for a while -- and then heads rolled. Whole departments disappeared.

I'm really hoping that doesn't happen with this merger, because there are some very good people who lost their jobs when Dohle came over to tighten Random's belt ...

RedWombat
11-01-2012, 03:40 AM
I'm with Dial, myself, and of course my big concern is not losing my editor and art director. So yeah, they say the imprints won't be lost, and yeah, maybe they're telling the truth for now, but maybe we'll wake up one day and all be crammed under one very large tent. Or maybe we won't.

But A) assuming it goes through at all, which isn't guaranteed, it's not slated to hit until late 2013, as I understand it, and B) there's not a damn thing any of us can do about it anyhow. This is very much one of those wait-and-see things, I expect.

I'm glad I'm not pitching a book right this minute, though.

Toothpaste
11-01-2012, 03:43 AM
I'm with Dial too and that's my biggest concern too :P .

CC - question: Penguin might be smaller but it has a greater visibility. Not only is it a famous name, it's a brand. They use their classic covers to sell mugs, dishtowels, postcards. People instantly recognise the look. Do you think this might oddly be the thing that saves Penguin from totally being absorbed? Decades of brand recognition?

Eddyz Aquila
11-06-2012, 05:13 AM
Random Penguin sounds very cool.

Anna L.
11-23-2012, 12:46 PM
Bumping thread to add a link to this article talking about a potential HarperCollins/S&S merger...
(http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887324851704578131420027504306-lMyQjAxMTAyMDIwMDEyNDAyWj.html?mod=wsj_valettop_em ail)

LKSebastian
07-02-2013, 10:58 AM
So Penguin Random House is officially a thing as of today (or rather, yesterday). They seemed to have picked the most boring, if the most professional, name.

Together, they control over 25% of the book business. There are no immediate plans to close imprints or have layoffs and they could very well be operating in separate Manhattan offices for the next decade.

Here (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/business/media/merger-of-penguin-and-random-house-is-completed.html) is a pretty interesting article on the NYTimes website that goes more into details and looks at it from the point of view of an agent, a publishing consultant, and an author.

Kingson
07-02-2013, 05:12 PM
So what's it gonna be? Penguin House or Random Penguin? Oh and someone mentioned House Penguin. Actually, Der Pinguin Haus or zufällig Pinguin?

Torgo
07-02-2013, 05:14 PM
So what's the new company called? Penguin House or Random Penguin?

"Penguin Random House", though everyone is calling it Random Penguin.

jjdebenedictis
07-02-2013, 08:22 PM
Random Penguin is still the awesomest name ever. They will always be Random Penguin in my heart.

Medievalist
07-02-2013, 08:26 PM
I'm editing the Publishing FAQ on the Big Six and I keep screwing up the name :D

bulldoggerel
07-02-2013, 08:37 PM
Why is the word "random" so popular today? I hear it constantly used in the speech of young people nowadays.

Medievalist
07-02-2013, 08:48 PM
Why is the word "random" so popular today? I hear it constantly used in the speech of young people nowadays.

I don't know it's rand . . .

I suspect, but have no proof, that it's related to an increase in understanding of things digital and computer-related.

Torgo
07-02-2013, 08:54 PM
I don't know it's rand . . .

I suspect, but have no proof, that it's related to an increase in understanding of things digital and computer-related.

When I was at school in the 90s it started to show up in sentences like:

"We had a house party and a load of randoms turned up."

or

"We went to some random pub in Ealing."

So the meaning was mainly about you not knowing someone or something. More recently, I've seen it as a word used as a synonym for 'wacky': "He's so random" or the like.

bulldoggerel
07-02-2013, 09:43 PM
That must be it! Thanks! Sorry to go off the thread, but the question just came barging in my brain and hammering on its walls. It must be like 10 years ago when all the young girls began pulling their hands inside their sleeve cuffs and going around that way. Now they hardly ever do- which I suppose ( like the proliferation of fingerless gloves) relates to constant texting.
That being said does anyone know what the "random" in Random House comes from?

Medievalist
07-02-2013, 09:58 PM
It's because of Bennett Cerf (co-founder and father of Vinton Cerf) buying The Modern Library from Horace Liveright. "We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random."

http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/bennett_alfred_cerf.html

jjdebenedictis
07-02-2013, 10:08 PM
I'm editing the Publishing FAQ on the Big Six and I keep screwing up the name :DAccidentally-on-purpose? :)

Medievalist
07-02-2013, 10:12 PM
Accidentally-on-purpose? :)

I think it's likely deeply Freudian. I ended up copying-and-pasting from Torgo's post because The Name Kept Morphing.

And now, thanks to a certain AW Member On Twitter, I'm catching myself using both Random Penguin and Random Penguin House.

AnneMarble
07-02-2013, 10:14 PM
And now, thanks to a certain AW Member On Twitter, I'm catching myself using both Random Penguin and Random Penguin House.

House of the Random Penguins?

Or maybe ... Happy Feet? :D

benbradley
07-02-2013, 10:16 PM
I don't know it's rand . . .

I suspect, but have no proof, that it's related to an increase in understanding of things digital and computer-related.
I recall an entry in the Jargon File (the basis for the book "The Hacker's Dictionary," first published circa 1980) on "J. Random User." Looking it up (http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon_25.html), I see it generalizes to J. Random <noun>.

That must be it! Thanks! Sorry to go off the thread, but the question just came barging in my brain and hammering on its walls. It must be like 10 years ago when all the young girls began pulling their hands inside their sleeve cuffs and going around that way. Now they hardly ever do- which I suppose ( like the proliferation of fingerless gloves) relates to constant texting.
That being said does anyone know what the "random" in Random House comes from?

"We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random," which suggested the name Random House.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_house#cite_note-6)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_house
It talks about the "big six" yet later in that paragraph it tells how RH and Penguin have merged. But I'm sure that'll get fixed eventually.

I read an older book by Richard Branson about his start in business - he and a friend or two were going to open a retail record store. They decided on the name Virgin Records because "we were virgins at business."

ETA: "Penguin Random" might be neat, as part of the occasional noun-then-adjective thing that's occasionally seen in English, like boy blue.

Medievalist
07-02-2013, 11:01 PM
House of the Random Penguins?

Or maybe ... Happy Feet? :D

I'm going to start asserting that the Penguin's name is Random and she's female.

Ken
07-03-2013, 12:05 AM
... main concern is Penguin will quit pub'ing
classics with classic artwork on the covers.
Plz don't stop doing that, whether this merger
goes thru or not. Otherwise you'll have one
unhappy camper amongst your devotees.

RedWombat
07-03-2013, 12:20 AM
Why is the word "random" so popular today? I hear it constantly used in the speech of young people nowadays.

Dunno, but my younger stepson uses it all the time, as in "That's so random."

Near as I can tell, the actual translation in this case is "I do not know how I am supposed to feel about this and am making a noncommittal statement that can be taken as support or condemnation once somebody tells me what to think."

...I am possibly just a tad cynical about this.

CheshireCat
07-03-2013, 04:01 AM
I wish those in charge had chosen to call the "new" company Random Penguin, I really do.

But it appears the official new name is Penguin Random House. And they'll control more than 25% of the trade book market in the US.

Every publisher I've ever written for in past years has now become a part of some huge media company.

I find that very unsettling.