Random House

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.

Random House
Random House logo
Parent companyPenguin Random House
Founded1927
FoundersBennett Cerf, Donald Klopfer
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationRandom House Tower, New York City, New York, United States
DistributionWorldwide
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 typesBooks
RevenueIncrease2.142 billion (2012)
Owner(s)Bertelsmann
Pearson PLC
No. of employees5,712 (as of December 31, 2012)
Official websiterandomhousebooks.com

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]

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]

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

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]

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.

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]

Phyllis E. Grann joined Random House as vice-chairman in 2001 and was then named Random House CEO in 2002.[12] 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.[12] A publishing insider commented that then CEO Peter Olson was "I think maybe instead of buying a company he bought a person."[12]

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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] The reorganization consolidated and created three divisions--Random House Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and Crown Publishing Group.[16][17]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.[15] 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 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".[18]

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.[19] Bertelsmann owns 53% of the joint venture while Pearson owns 47%.[20] 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.[20] The move to consolidate was to provide leverage against Amazon.com and battle the shrinking state of bookstores.[20]

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."[21] 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."[21] We must invest even more aggressively in title-level and scaled marketing programs, capabilities and partnerships," she added.[21] 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."[22]

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.

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.[23] 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.[24] 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[25] 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.[26]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Random House - Bertelsmann AG" (in German). Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Größter Buchverlag der Welt bekommt neuen Chef" [Largest book publisher in the world gets new boss]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Reuters. 20 May 2008. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Randomhouse.biz - About Us". Business Solutions. Random House. 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  4. ^ C250.columbia.edu Archived 8 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Bennet Alfred Cerf Biography
  5. ^ Birmingham, Kevin (2014). The most dangerous book: the battle for James Joyce's Ulysses. London: Head of Zeus. ISBN 9781784080723.
  6. ^ Bernstein, Robert L. (2016). "Chapter 3". Speaking Freely: My Life in Publishing and Human Rights. New York: The New Press.
  7. ^ a b Korda, Michael (1999). Another Life : a memoir of other people (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-45659-7.
  8. ^ "RCA History". bobsamerica. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  9. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (1988-08-16). "Random House Buys Crown". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  10. ^ McDowell, Edwin (September 29, 1988). "McGraw-Hill Is Buying 2 Random House Units". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Random House Company History, from Fundinguniverse.com Archived 4 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed April 13, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c Maneker, Marion (January 1, 2002). "Now for the Grann Finale". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  13. ^ Rich, Motoko (2008-05-21). "Publishing Outsider Picked to Head Random House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-26.
  14. ^ Rich, Motoko (2008-10-28). "Doubleday Publishing Lays Off 10% of Its Employees". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  15. ^ a b Rich, Motoko (2008-12-17). "New Editor at Random House, Layoffs at Doubleday and Broadway". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  16. ^ "Random Puts Its House in Order". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  17. ^ Rich, Motoko. "Major Reorganization at Random House". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  18. ^ The Big Six publishers, which have since been reduced to the "Big Five" by the merger on 1 July 2013 of Penguin and Random House, were Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group/Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Books, Random House; and Simon & Schuster.
  19. ^ Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew; Wiesmann, Gerrit (26 October 2012). "Penguin and Random House in deal talks". Media. Financial Times. Retrieved 2013-08-12.(registration required)
  20. ^ a b c Bosman, Julie (2013-07-01). "Penguin and Random House Merge, Saying Change Will Come Slowly". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  21. ^ a b c "Penguin Random House Merges Two of its Successful Publishing Lines". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  22. ^ "The Random House and Crown Publishing Groups Merge". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  23. ^ "Contacts". Random House Books Australia. Random House. Archived from the original on 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  24. ^ "Random House Mondadori is renamed Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial". penguinrandomhouse.com. 4 November 2013. Archived from the original on 17 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  25. ^ Random House of Canada Archived 26 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Benet.bertelsman.com". bertelsmann.com.

External links

Alfred A. Knopf

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, who 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.

Ballantine Books

Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back. The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffmann and Bernard Shir-Cliff.

Bantam Books

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.

Crown Publishing Group

The Crown Publishing Group is a subsidiary of Random House that publishes across several categories including fiction, non-fiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, cooking, health, business, and lifestyle. Its imprints include Crown, Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum, Hogarth, Three Rivers Press, Clarkson Potter, Potter Craft, Potter Style, Broadway Books, Broadway Paperbacks, Image (formerly Doubleday Religion), WaterBrook/Multnomah, Harmony Books, Rodale Books, Watson-Guptill, Amphoto Books, and Ten Speed Press. Formerly, the company also used the Bell Tower Press, Orion Books (unconnected to Orion Publishing in the United Kingdom), and related imprints and subsidiaries, such as Gramercy Publishing Company. However, these have now either been discontinued or transferred to other Random House units.

Crown authors include Jean Auel, Max Brooks, George W. Bush, Deepak Chopra, Ann Coulter, Giada De Laurentiis, Gillian Flynn, Jim Gaffigan, Ina Garten, Mindy Kaling, Rachel Maddow, Jillian Michaels, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Theresa Rebeck, Mark Brennan Rosenberg, Judith Rossner, Rebecca Skloot, Suzanne Somers, Martha Stewart and many others.

Del Rey Books

Del Rey Books is a branch of Ballantine Books, which is owned by Random House and, in turn, by Penguin Random House. It is a separate imprint established in 1977 under the editorship of author Lester del Rey and his wife Judy-Lynn del Rey. It specializes in science fiction and fantasy books, and formerly manga under its (now defunct) Del Rey Manga imprint.

The first new novel published by Del Rey was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks in 1977. Del Rey also publishes the Star Wars novels under the LucasBooks sub-imprint (licensed from Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios division of The Walt Disney Company).

Dorling Kindersley

DK, formerly known as Dorling Kindersley, is a British multinational publishing company specialising in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 62 languages.It is an imprint of Penguin Random House, a subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and British publishing company Pearson plc.

Established in 1974, DK publishes a range of titles in genres including travel (including Eyewitness Travel Guides), arts and crafts, business, history, cooking, gaming, gardening, health and fitness, natural history, parenting, science and reference. They also publish books for children, toddlers and babies, covering such topics as history, the human body, animals and activities, as well as licensed properties such as LEGO, Disney and DeLiSo, licensor of the toy Sophie la Girafe.

DK has offices in New York, Melbourne, London, Munich, New Delhi and Toronto.

Ebury Publishing

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.

Under its umbrella are the imprints BBC Books, Ebury Press, Rider, Time Out, Virgin Books and Vermilion—each with their own, distinct identity and specialist areas of publishing.

Hamish Hamilton

Hamish Hamilton Limited was a British book publishing house, founded in 1931 eponymously by the half-Scot half-American Jamie Hamilton (Hamish is the vocative form of the Gaelic Seumas [meaning James], James the English form – which was also his given name, and Jamie the diminutive form). Jamie Hamilton was often referred to as Hamish Hamilton.

Hamish Hamilton Limited originally specialized in fiction, and was responsible for publishing a number of American authors in the United Kingdom, including Raymond Chandler, James Thurber, J.D. Salinger, E. B. White, and Truman Capote.

In 1939 Hamish Hamilton Law and Hamish Hamilton Medical were started but closed during the war. Hamish Hamilton was established in the literary district of Bloomsbury and went on to publish a large number of promising British and American authors, a large number of whom were personal friends and acquaintances of Jamie Hamilton.

During the late 1940s Hamish Hamilton Limited published authors including D. W. Brogan, Albert Camus, L. P. Hartley, Nancy Mitford, Alan Moorehead, Terence Rattigan, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Simenon and A. J. P. Taylor.

Jamie Hamilton sold the firm to the Thomson Organisation in 1965, who resold it to Penguin Books in 1986. In 2013, Penguin merged with Random House, making Hamish Hamilton an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Hamish Hamilton’s aim remains to publish innovative literary fiction and non-fiction from around the world. Authors include: Alain de Botton, Esther Freud, Toby Litt, Redmond O'Hanlon, W. G. Sebald, Zadie Smith, William Sutcliffe, R. K. Narayan, Paul Theroux and John Updike.

Hamish Hamilton also publishes an online literary magazine called Five Dials.

Jonathan Cape

Jonathan Cape is a London publishing firm founded in 1921 by Herbert Jonathan Cape, who was head of the firm until his death in 1960.

Cape and his business partner Wren Howard set up the publishing house in 1921. They established a reputation for high quality design and production and a fine list of English-language authors, fostered by the firm's editor and reader Edward Garnett. Cape's list of writers ranged from poets including Robert Frost and C. Day Lewis, to children's authors such as Hugh Lofting and Arthur Ransome, to James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, to heavyweight fiction by James Joyce and T. E. Lawrence.

After Cape's death, the firm later merged successively with three other London publishing houses. In 1987 it was taken over by Random House. Its name continues as one of Random House's British imprints.

McClelland

McClelland is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alyssa McClelland, Australian actress

Charles A. McClelland (born 1917), American political systems analyst

Charles P. McClelland (1854–1944), New York politician, and US federal judge

David McClelland, American psychologist

Doug McClelland, Australian politician

George William McClelland, American educator

Glenn McClelland, American keyboardist

Helen Grace McClelland (1887— 1984), United States Army nurse

Hugh McClelland (1875–1958), Australian politician

James McClelland (disambiguation), several people

Jim McClelland, Australian senator and judge

John McClelland (disambiguation), several people

Mac McClelland, journalist

Mark McClelland, bassist for Little Doses, previously for Snow Patrol

Robert McClelland (disambiguation), several people

Thomas McClelland, U.S. Naval Captain

Tim McClelland, Major League Baseball umpire

Pantheon Books

Pantheon Books is an American book publishing imprint with editorial independence. It is part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.The current editor-in-chief at Pantheon Books is Dan Frank.

Penguin Group

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%.Penguin Books has its registered office in City of Westminster, London.Its British division is Penguin Books Ltd. Other separate divisions can be found in the United States, Ireland, New Zealand, India, Australia, Canada, China, Brazil and South Africa.

Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House (PRH) is an American multinational publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Random House (owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann) and Penguin Group (owned by British publishing company Pearson PLC).

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.

Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany.

Random House Studio

Random House Studio is a production company responsible for adapting books published by Penguin Random House to film and TV. The company, originally owned by Penguin Random House (currently a joint venture between Bertelsmann and Pearson), was transferred to FremantleMedia North America in 2016.

Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary

Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary is a large American dictionary, first published in 1966 as The Random House Dictionary of the English Language: The Unabridged Edition. Edited by Jess Stein, it contained 315,000 entries in 2256 pages, as well as 2400 illustrations. The CD-ROM version in 1994 also included 120,000 spoken pronunciations.

Viking Press

Viking Press (formally Viking Penguin, also listed as Viking Books) is an American publishing company now owned by Penguin Random House. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim and then acquired by the Penguin Group in 1975.

Villard (imprint)

Villard, also known as Villard Books, is a publishing imprint of Random House, one of the largest publishing companies in the world. It was founded in 1983. Villard began as an independent imprint of Random House and is currently a sub-imprint of Ballantine Books, itself an imprint of Random House. It was named after a Stanford White brownstone mansion on Madison Avenue that was the home of Random House for twenty years.

Vintage Books

Vintage Books is a publishing imprint established in 1954 by Alfred A. Knopf.

The company was purchased by Random House publishing in April 1960, and is a subdivision of Random House. In 1990, Vintage UK was set up in the United Kingdom.

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