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Posts tagged Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House and the Harper Lee memoir controversy
July 16, 2014 | 4:36 pm

to-kill-a-mockingbird-JPEG_thumb.jpgThe dispute between Harper Lee and her self-styled chronicler Marja Mills is receiving substantial coverage for a feud that goes back to 2011, when Penguin originally acquired the rights to Mills's The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee.  Even at that point, Lee's attorneys released a statement from the celebrated author that she had not "willingly participated in any book written or to be written by Marja Mills. Neither have I authorized such a book. Any claims otherwise are false." Mills, however, insisted that she had written confirmation from Lee's sister Alice that both sisters had cooperated with the...

Bertelsmann leaves the club as retail book arm closes
July 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

Gerrman media giant Bertelsmann, part owner with Pearson of Big Five behemoth Penguin Random House, is reportedly closing its direct-to-consumer book sales business in Europe, Der Club, and its few retail bookstore premises. According to the Wall Street Journal report, "The company's retail locations as well as the online store, branded under the 'Der Club' label, will cease operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by the end of 2015, spelling the end to almost all of Bertelsmann's remaining bookselling activities." A residual business will continue to operate in Russia, the Ukraine, and Spain. As the German press remarks, this decision has long...

Myindependentbookshop.co.uk isn’t yours. And it’s not a bookshop. And it’s absolutely not independent.
May 28, 2014 | 9:25 am

MyIndependentMoving on from Author Solutions scams, Penguin Random House has hit on another wheeze to attempt to convince the UK that it's the put-upon little guy gamely squaring up to big bully Amazon, in the shape of the new book recommendation community site myindependentbookshop.co.uk. This freewheeling "independent" version of Goodreads asks: "When it comes to finding your next read, nothing beats a personal recommendation. So what if you could show off the books you love and share recommendations with friends, fellow bookworms and even authors – wherever they are. How?" Actually, how readers would normally do it is via Goodreads, or...

Bertelsmann CEO gives insights into European media moves
April 29, 2014 | 6:16 pm

Bertelsmann Penguin Random House welcome bannerThe Financial Times has aired an exclusive interview with Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann - Europe's biggest media group, and one of its largest family-owned privately held businesses. Oh, and part owner alongside Pearson of Penguin Random House. The Bertelsmann CEO admits that his charge may not only be disadvantaged compared to the likes of Google and Amazon, but also starting from a trailing position - which, however, has recently improved. "I honestly think that we have caught up massively in the past 15 to 18 months,” he says. This situation may be partly the result of the group's response to...

Penguin Random House CEO makes great Dohle about growth, discoverability
April 11, 2014 | 2:25 pm

penguin random housePenguin  Random House CEO Markus Dohle has given an interview with Buchreport.express, which has been shared with the German press. In it, he gives a status report on the integration of Penguin and Random house, particularly in Europe, as well as the company's latest efforts in discoverability and other new horizons of publishing, which he describes as: "A lot of experiments, which also often fail ." Dohle says for one thing that recent signs of publishing M&A picking up should not be taken too seriously - yet. "Much will depend on whether the Penguin Random House fusion works. In the positive...

Penguin Random House UK CEO: You’ve never had it so good
April 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

publishersAs interviewed by Jennifer Rankin in The Observer, the Sunday imprint of the UK's Guardian, Tom Weldon, UK CEO of Penguin Random House, has some good things to say about the state of publishing. Good for publishers at least.  He declares that: ""Some commentators say the publishing industry is in enormous trouble today. They are completely wrong, and I don't understand that view at all." To judge from Weldon's comments, and some others quoted by Rankin in the article, publishing has actually managed the transition into the digital era.  "In the last four years, Penguin and Random House have had the...

Jonathan Cape holds open submissions month: Do they know something we don’t?
April 2, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Venerable, highly reputable UK publishing imprint Jonathan Cape has announced that it will be throwing open the doors for the whole of June this year, inviting open submissions of fiction " from new writers of high calibre and imagination." This ought to be of interest to any aspirant or even established writers. But it also invites some interesting speculation - which could be on the mark, or a shot in the dark. You decide. Jonathan Cape originally opened in the 1920s, and boasted writers such as Ian Fleming and James Joyce in its prime. Part of Chatto and Windus from 1969,...

Enders Analysis report reaches questionable conclusions on UK ebook growth
March 19, 2014 | 4:10 pm

A research report "Creative UK: Overview of the digital transformation of the UK creative economy," co-produced by Enders Analysis and Bain & Company, has concluded, in terms that The Bookseller has chosen to highlight, that "in volume terms, we expect e-books to become about 35% of the total market in the next two years, and then continue to rise only very slowly." Unless I'm not reading this report in enough detail, I'm not clear what data this conclusion is based on. The tone of the entire report is very anecdotal, rather than detail-driven, and there's no clear indication whether, for...

Fifty Shades of Grey takes the indie route to 100 million bestsellerdom
March 5, 2014 | 12:25 pm

According to an announcement at the London Book Fair, worldwide sales of EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey erotic fiction trilogy have now passed the 100 million mark. This comes courtesy of the trilogy's publisher, Vintage Books, a Penguin Random House imprint who - let's remember - were not the first book's original publisher. That honor goes to The Writer's Coffee Shop, "an up and coming independent publisher based out of New South Wales, Australia." So let's just dig back in to what made this all possible - including a hefty dose of viral reader uptake, indie promotion, serial releases,...

Writer’s Digest and Author Solutions: A refresher
February 17, 2014 | 2:16 pm

writer's digestFollowing David Gaughran's revelation that The Bookseller, the top UK book trade journal, would henceforth stop accepting ads from Penguin Random House vanity platform Author Solutions, I did a little digging into one of The Bookseller's Stateside peers, Writer's Digest, "the oldest and most respected publisher devoted to the education and advancement of writers." Because, as Gaughran points out, Writer's Digest not only accepts advertising from Author Solutions - it even has a full-blown vanity press operation of its own going with them. Abbott Press, launched with some fanfare by Author Solutions and Writer's Digest in early 2010, "was founded with...

UK Bookseller will no longer take Author Solutions advertising
February 14, 2014 | 4:23 pm

I've often corresponded with David Gaughran, and share many of his views on publishing and self-publishing, so I'm trying my hardest to be at least a little impartial here (as well as to do some actual work instead of lazy journalmetooism). Because it's hard not to jump on board with both feet when he announces: "A Victory Against Author Solutions." [caption id="attachment_107804" align="alignright" width="193"] Author Solutions lobby in Cebu - in case you need a visual guide for some of those sub-brands...[/caption] In short, according to Gaughran, The Bookseller, house organ of the UK book business, will no longer carry advertising from...

David Gaughran comments on Random House Writers’ Academy
January 16, 2014 | 2:48 pm

David GaughranI contacted self-publishing savant David Gaughran for his opinion on the recent developments at Random House Writers' Academy, and its current "Creative Writing for Beginners" course, which aims to equip aspiring writers with the basic tools to begin realizing their vision - for £499 ($821). This was his response, and is published here with his agreement: I'm pretty dismayed by this development. It sounds pricey for an online course, but the real worry is the complete disregard Random House seems to have for conflict-of-interest issues. It's bad enough that Penguin Random House already owns the biggest vanity press in the world without starting...