Random House

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Random House
Random House logo.jpg
Parent company Penguin Random House
Founded1927;92 years ago (1927)
Founders Bennett Cerf, Donald Klopfer
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Random House Tower, New York City, New York, United States
Distribution Worldwide
Key peopleMarkus Dohle (CEO, Penguin Random House)
Núria Cabutí (CEO, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial)
Gina Centrello (President & Publisher, The Random House Publishing Group)
Anthony Chirico (President, Knopf Publishing Group)
Barbara Marcus (President & Publisher, Random House Children's Books)
Brad Martin (President & CEO, Random House of Canada)
Maya Mavjee (President & Publisher, Crown Publishing Group)
Nihar Malaviya (Chief Operating Officer, Random House, Inc.)
Sonny Mehta (Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
Gail Rebuck (Chairman & CEO, The Random House Group UK)
Dr. Frank Sambeth (Chairman & CEO, Verlagsgruppe Random House)
Frank Steinert (Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Random House Worldwide)
Publication types Books
RevenueIncrease2.svg 2.142 billion (2012)
Owner(s) Bertelsmann
Pearson PLC
No. of employees5,712 (as of December 31, 2012)
Official website randomhousebooks.com

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. [1] [2] [3] As of 2013, it is part of Penguin Random House, which is jointly owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and British global education and publishing company Pearson PLC.

Paperback book with a paper or paperboard cover, for trade paperback see Q990683

A paperback, also known as a softcover or softback, is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth. The pages on the inside are made of paper.

Penguin Random House book publishing company

Penguin Random House (PRH) is an American multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Random House and Penguin Group . As of 2013, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints. These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital.

Bertelsmann multinational media, services and education company

Bertelsmann is a German multinational corporation based in Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is one of the world's largest mass media companies and also active in the service sector and education. Bertelsmann was founded as a publishing house by Carl Bertelsmann in 1835. After World War II, Bertelsmann, under the leadership of Reinhard Mohn, went from being a medium-sized enterprise to a major conglomerate, offering not only books but also television, radio, music, magazines and business services. Bertelsmann is an unlisted and capital market-oriented company, which remains primarily controlled by the Mohn family. Since 2016, major divisions of Bertelsmann are RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, BMG, Arvato, Bertelsmann Printing Group, Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments.

Contents

History

Early history

Random House was founded in 1925 by Americans Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, two years after they acquired the Modern Library imprint from publisher Horace Liveright, which reprints classic works of literature. Cerf is quoted as saying, "We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random," which suggested the name Random House. [4] In 1934 they published the first authorized edition of James Joyce's novel Ulysses in the Anglophone world. [5]

Bennett Cerf American publisher and author

Bennett Alfred Cerf was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House. Cerf was also known for his own compilations of jokes and puns, for regular personal appearances lecturing across the United States, and for his television appearances in the panel game show What's My Line?

The Modern Library is an American publishing company. Founded in 1917 by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright as an imprint of their publishing company Boni & Liveright, it was purchased in 1925 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. Random House began in 1927 as a subsidiary of the Modern Library but eventually overtook its parent to become the parent company of what then only became an imprint of Random House.

An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which it publishes a work. A single publishing company may have multiple imprints, often using the different names as brands to market works to various demographic consumer segments.

Ulysses really launched Random House. ... Random House grew into a formidable publisher over the next two decades. In 1936, it absorbed the firm of Smith and Haas—Robert Haas became the third partner until retiring and selling his share back to Bennett and Donald in 1956—which added authors including Faulkner, Isak Dinesen, André Malraux, Robert Graves, and Jean de Brunhoff, who wrote the Babar children's books. Random House also hired legendary editors Harry Maule, Robert Linscott, and Saxe Commins, and they brought authors such as Sinclair Lewis and Robert Penn Warren with them. [6]

William Faulkner American writer

William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.

André Malraux French novelist, art theorist and politician

Georges André Malraux DSO was a French novelist, art theorist and Minister of Cultural Affairs. Malraux's novel La Condition Humaine (1933) won the Prix Goncourt. He was appointed by President Charles de Gaulle as Minister of Information (1945–46) and subsequently as France's first Minister of Cultural Affairs during de Gaulle's presidency (1959–69).

Robert Graves English poet and novelist

Robert von Ranke Graves, known as Robert Graves, was a British poet, historical novelist, critic, and classicist. His father was Alfred Perceval Graves, a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival; they were both Celticists and students of Irish mythology. Graves produced more than 140 works. Graves's poems—together with his translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths; his memoir of his early life, including his role in World War I, Good-Bye to All That; and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess—have never been out of print.

Random House entered reference publishing in 1947 with the American College Dictionary, which was followed in 1966 by its first unabridged dictionary.

Dictionary collection of words and their meanings

A dictionary, sometimes known as a wordbook, is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often arranged alphabetically, which may include information on definitions, usage, etymologies, pronunciations, translation, etc. or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, sometimes known as a lexicon. It is a lexicographical reference that shows inter-relationships among the data.

In October 1959, Random House went public at $11.25 a share. This move drew other publishing companies, such as Simon & Schuster, to later go public. [7]

Simon & Schuster large English-language publisher

Simon & Schuster, Inc., a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, is an American publishing company founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard Simon and Max Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints.

American publishers Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Pantheon Books were acquired by Random House in 1960 and 1961, respectively; works continue to be published under these imprints with editorial independence, such as Everyman's Library, a series of classical literature reprints.

Alfred A. Knopf American publishing house

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, which was later acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925.

Pantheon Books American book publishing imprint

Pantheon Books is an American book publishing imprint with editorial independence. It is part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Everymans Library Reprint series of Random House

Everyman's Library is a series of reprints of classic literature, primarily from the Western canon. It is currently published in hardback by Random House. It was originally an imprint of J. M. Dent, who continue to publish Everyman Paperbacks.

In 1965, RCA bought Random House as part of a diversification strategy and later sold Random House to Advance Publications in 1980. [7] [8]

In 1988, Random House acquired Crown Books. [9] Also in 1988, McGraw-Hill acquired the Schools and Colleges division of Random House Inc. [10]

Acquisition by Bertelsmann

In 1998, Bertelsmann AG bought Random House and merged it with Bantam Doubleday Dell and it soon went global. [11] In 1999, Random House acquired the children's audiobook publisher Listening Library. [12]

Phyllis E. Grann joined Random House as vice-chairman in 2001. [13] Grann was the CEO for Putnam and had grown that house from $10 million in revenue in 1976 to over $200 million by 1993 and without increasing their title output. [13] A publishing insider commented that then CEO Peter Olson was "I think maybe instead of buying a company he bought a person." [13]

Coinciding with the 2007–2008 financial crisis, the publishing industry was hit hard with weak retail sales. In May 2008, Random House CEO Peter Olson stepped down and Bertelsmann replaced Olson with Marcus Dohle. [14] By October of that year, Doubleday, a division of Random House announced that they would lay off 16 people or about 10% of its workforce. [15] In early December, what became known as Black Wednesday in publishing circles, many publishers including Random House took steps by restructuring their divisions and laying off employees. [16] The reorganization consolidated and created three divisions--Random House Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and Crown Publishing Group. [17] [18] Susan Kamil, was named editorial director for Dial Press and editor-in-chief of Random House imprints reporting to Gina Centrello, the president and publisher of the Random House Publishing Group. [16] There were layoffs in the Doubleday imprint (now part of Knopf Publishing Group) and Dial Press, Bantam Dell, and Spiegel & Grau were moved from Doubleday over to the Random House imprints.

Random House has been the distributor for Shambhala Publications since 1974. They also currently[ when? ] distribute National Geographic Books, Wizards of the Coast, Vertical Inc., The New York Review of Books , Titan Books, Other Press, Kodansha Manga, North Atlantic Books, Sasquatch Books, and DC Comics among others.

Random House also has an entertainment production arm for film and television, Random House Studio; one release in 2011 was One Day . The company also creates story content for media including video games, social networks on the web, and mobile platforms. It is one of the largest English-language publishers, along with the group formerly known as the "Big 6", now known as the "Big Five". [19]

Merger with Penguin

In October 2012, Bertelsmann entered into talks with rival conglomerate Pearson plc, over the possibility of combining their respective publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. The merger was completed on 1 July 2013 and the new company is Penguin Random House. [20] Bertelsmann owns 75% of the joint venture while Pearson owns 25%. [21] At the time of the acquisition the combined companies controlled 25% of the book business with more than 10,000 employees and 250 independent publishing imprints and with about $3.9 billion in annual revenues. [21] The move to consolidate was to provide leverage against Amazon.com and battle the shrinking state of bookstores. [21]

In October of 2018, Penguin Random House merged two of its most known publishing lines, Random House and the Crown Publishing Group. According to Madeline McIntosh, chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., the two lines "will retain their distinct editorial identities." [22] McIntosh explained some of the motivation behind the merger in a memo to employees, writing, "Book discovery and buying patterns continue to shift, resulting in growth opportunities in the nonfiction categories in which Crown in particular already has a strong foothold: food, lifestyle, health, wellness, business, and Christian." [22] We must invest even more aggressively in title-level and scaled marketing programs, capabilities and partnerships," she added. [22] Detailing additional growth strategies, McIntosh explained of the merger, "We will need to do two things simultaneously. First, we must expand and strengthen the expert publishing teams who are specialized in and dedicated to each category. Second, we must invest even more aggressively in title-level and scaled marketing programs, capabilities, and partnerships. This will ensure that we not only maximize the sales for each individual book but also keep pace with consumer trends." [23]

Organization

Headquarters

The publisher's main office in the United States is located at 1745 Broadway in Manhattan, in the 684-foot Random House Tower, completed in 2009 and spanning the entire west side of the block between West 55th Street and West 56th. Its lobby showcases floor-to-ceiling glassed-in bookcases filled with books published by the company's many imprints. Earlier addresses were 457 Madison Avenue, New York 22, NY; 20 East 57th Street, New York 22, NY; and 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022.[ citation needed ]

Imprints

For a listing of Divisions and Imprints

International branches

Random House, Inc. maintains several independently managed subsidiaries around the world.

The Random House Group is one of the largest general book publishing companies in the UK and is based in London. The Group comprises five publishing companies: Cornerstone Publishing, Vintage Publishing, Ebury Publishing, Random House Children's Publishers UK and Transworld Publishers, with more than 40 diverse imprints. Its distribution business services its own imprints as well as 60 other UK publishers. The Random House archive and library is located in Rushden in Northamptonshire.

The Random House Group also operates branches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (as a joint venture under the name Random House Struik), and India as part of its overseas structure. In Australia offices are in Sydney and Melbourne. [24] In New Zealand it is based in Glenfield, Auckland, while Random House's Indian headquarters are located in New Delhi.

Verlagsgruppe Random House was established after Bertelsmann's 1998 acquisition of Random House, grouping its German imprints (until then operating as Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann) under the new name; it is explicitely no legal part of the worldwide Random House company and a hundred percent subsidiary of Bertelsmann instead but de facto is led by the same management. It is the second largest book publisher in Germany with more than 40 imprints, including historic publishing houses Goldmann and Heyne Verlag, as well as C. Bertelsmann, the publishing house from which today's Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA would eventually evolve. Verlagsgruppe Random House is headquartered in Munich (with additional locations in Gütersloh, Cologne, and Aßlar), employs about 850 people, and publishes roughly 2.500 titles per year. Following the formation of Penguin Random House, a Penguin Verlag (with no legal connection to Penguin Books) was founded for the German market in 2015, as part of the Verlagsgruppe Random House.

Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial is Random House's Spanish-language division, targeting markets in Spain and South and Central America. It is headquartered in Barcelona with locations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and the United States. From 2001 until November 2012, it was a joint venture with Italian publisher Mondadori (Random House Mondadori). Upon Bertelsmann's acquisition of Mondadori's stake in the JV, the name was kept temporarily four months. [25] Some authors published by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial include Dr. César Lozano, Yordi Rosado, Dr. Nancy Alvarez and Alberto Sardiñas.

Random House of Canada [26] was established in 1944 as the Canadian distributor of Random House Books. In 1986 the company established its own indigenous Canadian publishing program that has become one of the most successful in Canadian history. Until January 2012, it used to hold a 25% stake in McClelland & Stewart, with the remaining 75% being controlled by the University of Toronto. It is now the sole owner of McClelland & Stewart.

In late 2009 and early 2010, respectively, Random House discontinued their Japanese joint venture Random House Kodansha , which had been established in 2003, and also divested their four-year ownership of Random House Korea. The company has since named Random House Australia managing director Margie Seale responsible for exploring and evaluating potential future business opportunities in Asia. [27]

See also

Related Research Articles

Doubleday is an American publishing company founded as Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 that by 1947 was the largest in the United States. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House.

Hutchinson began as Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., an English book publisher, founded in London in 1887 by Sir George Hutchinson and later run by his son, Walter Hutchinson (1887–1950). Hutchinson's published books and magazines such as The Lady's Realm, Adventure-story Magazine, Hutchinson's Magazine and Woman.

The Penguin Group is a trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House. It is owned by Pearson PLC, the global education and publishing company, and Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson controlling the remaining 47%.

DK (publisher) DK is a top publisher of general reference and illustrated non-fiction books.

DK, formerly known as Dorling Kindersley, is a British multinational publishing company specialising in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 62 languages.

E. P. Dutton American book publishing company founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts in 1852

E. P. Dutton was an American book publishing company founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton.

Grosset & Dunlap is a United States publishing house founded in 1898.

New American Library American publisher

The New American Library (NAL) is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its initial focus was affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works, as well as popular and pulp fiction but now publishes trade and hardcover titles. It is currently an imprint of Penguin Random House; it was announced in 2015 that the imprint would publish only nonfiction titles.

G. P. Putnams Sons US book publisher, under this name from 1872

G. P. Putnam's Sons is an American book publisher based in New York City, New York. Since 1996, it has been an imprint of the Penguin Group.

Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine, with funding from Grosset & Dunlap and Curtis Publishing Company. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it to form Bantam Doubleday Dell. It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.

Ten Speed Press is a publishing house founded in Berkeley, California in 1971 by Philip Wood. Wood worked with Barnes & Noble in 1962, Penguin Books in 1965, and left a senior sales positions at Penguin Books in Baltimore and New York before founding Ten Speed Press. Wood died in 2010.

Sentinel was established in 2003 as a dedicated conservative imprint within Penguin Group (USA). It publishes a wide variety of right-of-center books on subjects like politics, history, public policy, culture, religion and international relations. Its most notable books include Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir, Known and Unknown, Mike Huckabee’s Do the Right Thing, A Simple Christmas, and A Simple Government, and A Patriot’s History of the United States by Larry Schweikart.

Transworld Publishers Inc. is a British publishing house in Ealing, London that is a division of Penguin Random House, one of the world's largest mass media groups. It was established in 1950 as the British division of American company Bantam Books. It publishes fiction and non fiction titles by various best-selling authors including Val Wood under several different imprints. Hardbacks are either published under the Doubleday or the Bantam Press imprint, whereas paperbacks are published under the Black Swan, Bantam or Corgi imprint.

Ebury Publishing is a division of Penguin Random House, and is a well-known publisher of general non-fiction books in the UK. Ebury was founded in 1961 as a division of Nat Mags. It was sold to Century Hutchinson in 1989; Century Hutchinson was acquired by Random House. Random House merged with Penguin Group to form Penguin Random House in 2015.

Threshold Editions is an imprint of Simon & Schuster — the publishing division of CBS Corporation — specializing in conservative non-fiction. Louise Burke is the publisher, and Mitchell Ivers is the VP & editorial director. Mary Matalin was its founding editor-in-chief.

Random House of Canada

Random House of Canada was the Canadian distributor for Random House, Inc. from 1944 until 2013. On July 1, 2013, it amalgamated with Penguin Canada to become Penguin Random House Canada.

Watson-Guptill American publisher

Watson-Guptill is an American publisher of instructional books in the arts. The company was founded in 1937 by Ernest Watson, Ralph Reinhold, and Arthur L. Guptill. They also published the magazine American Artist. Their headquarters are at 1745 Broadway, New York City, Random House Tower.

Phyllis E. Grann was the first woman CEO of a major publishing firm, Penguin Putnam, and one of the most commercially successful publishers in recent history. She was a long-time editor for Knopf Doubleday, and a former CEO of the Putnam Berkley Group and was also CEO of Penguin Putnam. Grann was responsible for publishing many notable and bestselling authors at Penguin including A. Scott Berg, Judy Blume, Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, Daniel Silva, and Kurt Vonnegut. At Doubleday Grann acquired and edited Jeffrey Toobin, Tina Brown, Bob Herbert, Ayelet Waldman and Tim Weiner. At Knopf she edited John Darnton.

References

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