Publishing Goliaths Scan the Horizon for What’s Next

The giants in publishing continue to waltz —last time it was Penguin and Random House. The negotiations are on for what the surviving and new publishing company will look like including who will be exiting the building. The new company, Penguin Random House, boasts in excess of $4 billion in revenue and controls about 25 percent of the worldwide consumer book market. Who will be next?

There will be obvious changes: to save money … to make money. When  companies marry, any company that has a similarity such as Penguin and Random House, Noah’s Ark doesn’t work. Picture this: Between the two, there were over 10,000 employees across the globe. Some, maybe plenty, are going to go—it’s the Noah’s Ark factor. Expect to see imprints disappear; with them, editors will get the pink slip. The multiple duplicate accounts—the warehousing, distribution, accounting, technology and operations in general … all will most likely come under a single operation when the huffing and puffing is all over.

Negotiating with the other giant, Amazon, will become interesting. Whether these two get into a pissing publishing match over just how much the discounts will be—it’s clear that it will have a dominoing effect within the entire industry. Right now, the pissing match has between Hachette and Amazon over ebook pricing.

And negotiating with authors—may get a bit of a shorter stick—if a deal is struck, the terms may not be as “kind” to the author if there had been other publishers vying for the book.

Not only is the author … the creator of the product that these two Goliaths sell … in for a squeeze, so is the literary agent. How so? Most likely, the number of agents will be further reduced—the remaining agents will be “thrilled” to get any type of deal that is offered by the reduced filed of editors acquiring books. For the biggies, it means fewer auctions for agents to create. In the end, less leads to less.

With the recent announcement that Wal-Mart will no longer offer to sell into Amazon’s Kindle market, the Goliaths will continue their battles. Where next will the speeding bullet land? Is it a bird? A plane? Oops … it’s a book!



2014_JBriles-1Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Unplugged, a two day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at