Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Random Penguin - Merger of Publishing Houses: Impact on Writers Uncertain

Two traditional publishing houses have merged in an effort to combat Amazon's domination of the e-book market, and with it the future of publishing.

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Random House and Penguin are merging to form Penguin Random House.  Click here for the NY Times report.  

The new publishing giant missed the opportunity for the obviously superior and more serendipitous name "Random Penguin,"  which could also have resulted in a GREAT logo. But I digress.

Penguin Random House will have about a 25 percent share of the printed book market in the United States, but the merger is undoubtedly driven by e-books.  The settlement of the recent anti-trust suit over e-book pricing has left Amazon with a huge advantage in the e-book market, which some expect will climb back to the 90 percent level it previously held.

How will all this impact writers?  Well for most of us trying to find a publisher, it will likely make things a bit more difficult.  For established writers, one wonders if the combined publishing house will jettison some of its mid-level authors.

The only thing that is sure is what Bob Dylan wrote nearly 50 years ago - the times they are a-changin'.

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