Penguin Books

Feeling Bookish: CEO Ardy Khazaei on the real aims—and real benefits—of the publisher joint venture
March 12, 2013

While it’s odd to think of an organization backed by  Penguin, Hachette and Simon & Schuster as a startup, Bookish, the new book-recommendation and -discovery site, is essentially that. After two years in development under three CEOs, it’s a new site where users can get recommendations based on titles or groups of titles they know they already like and then, in most cases, purchase them. Like the Random House project Book Scout, the idea, on one level, is to facilitate discovery across the industry, for the good of the industry. And while users can discover just about any book, the books they can purchase directly from Bookish are not limited to those published by the companies who footed the bill.

Penguin launches Partridge, a self-publishing platform for India
February 7, 2013

In partnership with a Bloomington, Ind.-based self-publishing organization known as Author Solutions, Penguin Books India made an interesting move today by launching a self-publishing platform specifically for the Indian audience. It’s a tactic that may one day soon bring the Subcontinent at least somewhat closer to actualizing the self-publishing revolution that seems to have taken over much of the western world.

Partridge Publishing is the name of the new platform, and in a release distributed by Penguin Books India today, the company suggested…


The Big Merge: Experts Weigh In on the Random House/Penguin deal
February 6, 2013

In this month’s edition of our print magazine (featuring our snappy new redesign), I take a look at the announced-last-year merger of publishing powerhouses Penguin and Random House.

While info out of the two houses is expected to be on lock-down until all the paperwork goes through and regulators are pleased, we asked some experts with a set of unique perspectives on how the merger will affect the publishers involved and the industry at large to weigh in.

While perspectives differ, one of the most common areas of interest is technology and data: Will the merger help or hinder the two houses impressive track records for innovation? Will the real innovation that comes out of this deal, and further consolidation, come not out of the big houses but out of displacement on the fringes.

Bookish Launches with High-Profile Exclusive Content and USA Today Collaboration
February 5, 2013

Bookish ( a one-stop, comprehensive online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors, launches today, providing visitors with exclusive content and insider access to A-list writers. Notable launch stories include: A joint interview with legendary crime fiction writer Michael Connelly and prize-winning suspense author Michael Koryta, revealing that Connelly had begun a book centering on a school shooting prior to the tragedy in Sandy Hook. The article also features juicy tidbits about both Connelly and Koryta’s upcoming books:

New Dan Brown Book Revealed
January 15, 2013

Inferno, Dan Brown's new book about Dante, is coming out on May 14, 2013 from Doubleday in the U.S., and Transworld Publishers in the UK (a division of Random House).

Brown announced that he was writing something new in May 2012. Though Brown had been cryptic about the topic of the book, he has now revealed more information.

The book will again feature The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol's lead character Robert Langdon.

Thomas Pynchon to Publish New Book
January 4, 2013

He is suspicious of e-books, does not like to have his picture taken, and is often rumored to be on the short-list of American novelists who might win the Nobel prize for literature.

The secretive novelist Thomas Pynchon is back. He will publish a new book, titled “The Bleeding Edge,” his long-time publisher, Penguin Press, said on Friday. No publication date has been set.

Penguin Books' Logo Goes 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'
January 3, 2013

If you're like us, the week of New Year's is a bit of a fog. So when we saw these videos for Penguin English Library — one a promo for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; the second a plug for the series — our week got a heck of a lot better/more surreal. The videos feature the iconic Penguin logo, first as the star of Stevenson's classic and then in a trippy sequence that's a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Heinz Edelman's Yellow Submarine illustrations. Turn off your minds, relax and dig the penguin.

—Brian Howard

Publishers Rush to Release Books About Fallen Generals
November 14, 2012

In the wake of the scandal around David Petraeus and his "All In" biographer, Paula Broadwell, The Atlantic reports that Penguin moving up its publishing schedule for  Gen. Stanley McChrystal's memoir, "My Share of the Task," and Simon & Schuster has moved up the release date of "The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War."

It will be interesting to see if either publisher decides to make ebook versions available earlier, and when/if "All In" will be updated to reflect the scandal it's become synonymous with.

—Brian Howard

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

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?"


Nate Silver's book sales jump 850% after the NYT statistician predicts outcomes in 49 of 50 states
November 8, 2012

Have you been following the "Drunk Nate Silver" Twitter meme? Well, vanishing buy button or not, here's news that's bound to make Mr. Silver—the NYT blogger/statistician who predicted the election results witih uncanny accuarcy— intoxicated… with cash:

"On, sales for [Silver's book] The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t were up 850% the day after the U.S. election, according to CNNMoney. By Thursday, it was #2 on the site’s U.S. best seller list and #8 in Canada."

Then again, the odds are good that he predicted, that, too. —Brian Howard