Random House Inc.

Apple Ready to "Take or Leave" E-Books, Penguin CEO Says
June 5, 2013

Apple Inc. (AAPL) executives were prepared to abandon plans to enter the e-book business on the eve of the company’s 2010 debut of the iPad, Penguin Group USA Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Shanks testified in the U.S. government’s civil antitrust trial against Apple.

Shanks, called on the second day of the trial in Manhattan federal court, yesterday described his company’s decision to sign a deal known as an agency agreement for Apple to sell Penguin’s electronic books. He said Penguin signed on after initially resisting Apple’s pricing model.

Random House Dips into Game Publishing with Free-to-Play 'The Black Crown Project'
May 31, 2013

Here's your eldritch curio for the day: Random House UK -- yes, the book publishing giant -- has released a free-to-play interactive fiction game called "The Black Crown Project."

Penned by Rob Sherman, "The Black Crown Project" is a weird fiction tale about a newly-employed clerk at the mysterious Widsith Institute whose job it is -- so far -- to read read files. I've played enough to use all my available action points twice, which has allowed me to stab a dying pig with a ballpoint pen and be carried to my desk by some arcane horror.

Fifty Shades author E L James to release new DIY book on how to write 'mummy porn'
March 11, 2013

She is the undisputed queen of 'mummy porn' - her erotic tales of romance and bondage having both titillated and inspired millions of housewives across the world. And now Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James is to release a new book called 'Inner Goddess'. But fans dying to once again dive into her steamy world of sexual desire are this time going to have to do it themselves... because this one is a DIY guide on how to write.

Beware Random House's Ebook Imprints
March 10, 2013

Random House’s ebook-only imprints Hydra and Alibi have come under fire for having overly acquisitive deal terms.

Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware revealed a couple of weeks ago that, based on a deal memo she had seen, Hydra’s terms are dreadful. Author John Scalzi goes into much more detail about exactly why these terms are bad for its authors. Both posts are essential reading.

The biggest problems identified by Strauss and Scalzi are:

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.

Breaking: Penguin settles with Department of Justice in ebook pricing case
December 18, 2012

Penguin, which is merging with Random House, has settled with the Department of Justice in the ebook pricing lawsuit, the DOJ announced late Tuesday afternoon. The DOJ sued Apple, Penguin and four other publishers in April for conspiring to set ebook prices. Penguin had planned to fight the case in court, along with Apple and Macmillan, but the company’s pending merger with Random House compelled it to get the litigation out of the way.

And so I bid Penguin a sad farewell
October 29, 2012

Champagne corks are not popping in the book world at news of the Penguin-Random House merger. There is no celebrating among competitors or authors, and the atmosphere at Penguin Towers and Random HQ is apparently one of deep gloom. Only the Mergers & Acquisitions lawyers will be happy.

Such mergers of titans are always accompanied by job losses so it’s hardly surprising that employees at Penguin and Random House are worried.

Will The Marriage Of Penguin & Random House Send Book Prices Soaring?
October 29, 2012

They’re going to the chapel and they’re gonna get married: Book publishers Penguin and Random House will become one after their parents company complete an upcoming merger. If the merging of companies in other industries is any indication, this new union could produce higher book prices as the two cease competing, as well as a possible dearth in the selection of titles.

Media Decoder: Pearson and Bertelsmann in Talks to Combine Random House and Penguin
October 25, 2012

Pearson, the British media conglomerate, said Thursday that it was in talks to combine its Penguin publishing house with Random House, owned by Bertelsmann of Germany.

The deal, if completed, would bring together two of the biggest book publishers in the world, uniting Penguin and its iconic orange logo with the owner of Crown Publishing and Knopf Doubleday. The combination would create a division with greater scale that could compete in a rapidly evolving e-book market.