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How Mergermania Is Destroying Book Publishing

November 29, 2012
The recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann in Germany, sent shock waves throughout Western publishing circles. This new leviathan will publish a quarter of all books appearing in English, with annual sales of close to $4 billion, yet it is being treated by The New York Times and other media as a routine and perhaps even beneficial development....

 

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BB1012_HarperCollins
First We Had Random Penguin. Could HarperSchuster be next?
November 20, 2012 From PaidContent.org

On the heels of the announced Penguin/Random House merger, Laura Hazard Owen at PaidContent has a piece about preliminary talks between HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. HC parent company News Corp,  was reportedly ready to make a cash bid to acquire Penguin once its talks with Random House became public.

While Random Penguin was a meme goldmine, HarperSchuster doesn't seem quite as hashtag friendly.

With the vaunted "Big 6" set to become a "Big 5" and possibly a "Big 4", we expect someone, somewhere to report rumors of talks between Hachette and Macmillan in 3…2…1…

—Brian Howard

 
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Scholarly Kitchen Asks: Why Did Publishers Get So Big?
November 8, 2012 From The Scholarly Kitchen

There's a great piece by the Scholarly Kitchen's Joseph Esposito this week that asks, in response to the latest corporate megamerger between Penguin and Random house, "Why did publishers get so big?" His breakdown of the larger forces that led to larger publishers is exquisite. —Brian Howard

Quoth Esposito:

"For many people the rationale for bigness is all-too-evident: greed. But while greed can be a strong motivator, it is not a strategy. To put this another way, why does greed always reach for bigness? What is it about bigness that makes it economically irresistible?"

 

 

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