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Random House

Random House & Penguin Consider Combining Forces

Today Pearson confirmed that the publishing company is considering “a possible combination of Penguin and Random House.”

Pearson had this statement: “Pearson confirms that it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.

Financial Times (a newspaper owned by Pearson) has a report from three anonymous sources today that Bertelsmann (the corporate parent of Random House) and Pearson (the corporate parent of Penguin) could unite their book publishing efforts.

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Lena Dunham Reportedly Lands $3.7 Million Book Deal

Actor, director and Girls creator Lena Dunham has sold the book proposal for her book Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned to Random House. According to The New York Observer, she inked a $3.7 million deal.

The New York Times had the scoop: “Ms. Dunham, the writer and star of the HBO comedy Girls, circulated a 66-page proposal with color, illustrations and a humor that publishing executives predicted could produce another best seller like Tina Fey’s blockbuster memoir, Bossypants.”

Random House is reportedly comparing Dunham’s style to Helen Gurley Brown, David Sedaris, and Nora Ephron. Dunham has published “First Love” in  The New Yorker and a short essay in Rookie.

Random House Contacts OR Books About Fifty Shades Cover Art

Random House has asked OR Books to change the cover of Fifty Shades of Louisa May, a work that parodies the best seller 50 Shades of Greyframed as an erotic diary written by Louisa May Alcott.

Random House contacted OR Books after OR launched a “Bonnets for Bondage” promotion, offering readers a free copy of Fifty Shades of Louisa May in exchange for their copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group executive director of publicity Paul Bogaards explained the circumstances to GalleyCat via email. He wrote: “Counsel did contact OR books about the cover art for their book Fifty Shades of Louisa May, suggesting they revise same. They also requested that OR books refrain from using cover art from Fifty Shades of Grey in their promotional materials. The issue was not about the parody but the use of our cover art to help promote it.”

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James Dashner Inks 3-Book Deal at Random House Children’s Books

The Maze Runner author James Dashner has signed a 3-book deal with Random House Children’s Books’  Delacorte Press imprint. Executive Editor Krista Marino negotiated the deal with Dystel & Goderich Literary Management vice president Michael Bourret.

Starting in fall 2013, Delacorte will publish the titles of The Mortality Doctrine series for North American readers. Book one, The Eye of Minds, will come out in both print and eBook format simultaneously. Dashner (pictured, via) has also written original short stories to accompany this series; these shorts will be released in eBook format.

Here’s more from the release: “The series is set in an exciting — and frightening—world of hyper-advanced technology, cyber terrorists, and gaming…The VirtNet is total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Recent reports claim that there’s a gamer going beyond what any gamer has ever done before. He’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet, and the side–effects are horrific. His hostages have all been diagnosed as brain dead—and no one knows what his goal is. The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael.”

Vintage to Release Two Nora Ephron Titles as One Volume

Vintage, a Random House imprint, will be releasing two titles by the late Nora Ephron (pictured, via) as a single volume publication.

The books, Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women and Scribble, Scribble: Notes on Media, have been out-of-print for more than a decade. This single volume will be published in both trade paperback and digital format on October 16th. This project marks the first time either title will be available as an eBook.

Here’s more from the release: “The classic Crazy Salad, first published in 1975, is an extremely funny, deceptively light look at a generation of women (and men) who helped shape the way we live now. In this distinctive, engaging, and simply hilarious view of a period of great upheaval in America, Ephron turns her keen eye and wonderful sense of humor to the media, politics, beauty products, and women’s bodies.”

Fifty Shades of Grey Book Burnings Stoke Controversy

On November 5th, UK-based anti-domestic violence group Wearside Women in Need plans to burn copies of E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

According to Mail Online, director Clare Phillipson championed the bonfire after reading two-thirds of the novel. She explained: “we have libraries wasting and grossly misusing public money to buy a book which says: ‘domestic violence is sexy.’”

The New York Daily News reported that Ohio-based DJs Chad Zumock and Alan Cox also hosted a Fifty Shades burning back in July 2012. Cox argued that their event did not advocate censorship because all the participants joined in voluntarily.

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Jodi Picoult Lands 3-Book Deal with Ballantine Books

Author Jodi Picoult has landed a 3-book deal with Random House, Inc.’s Ballantine Books imprint. The not-yet-titled first novel will be published in 2014.

Random House Publishing Group president Gina Centrello teamed up with Ballantine Bantam Dell publisher Libby McGuire to negotiate the deal with Laura Gross Literary Agency principal Laura Gross. Ballantine Bantam Dell editor-in-chief Jennifer Hershey will edit the books.

McGuire had this statement in the release: “Jodi’s ability to bring readers together and start conversations about her storytelling is very special. Even with her tremendous success, we believe her growth potential is enormous, and we look forward to bringing her forthcoming fiction to an even larger readership.”

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Chip Gibson Steps Down, Barbara Marcus Steps In At Random House Children’s

Chip Gibson has stepped aside from his position as president/publisher at Random House Children’s Books. Barbara Marcus will take Gibson’s place.

Random House Chairman/CEO Markus Dohle made the announcement in a memo sent to Random House employees this morning. He praised Gibson’s work. He wrote:

Chip has transformed the workplace culture at Children’s and impacted young readers everywhere – not just with their beloved books but also with their genuine commitment to philanthropy and community service. With Children’s enjoying a successful 2012, and well set for the future, Chip feels he has accomplished almost everything he originally set out to do professionally.  Now, he wants to take an extended break from work. Read more

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck Owners Land Book Deal

Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, the owners of New York City’s Big Gay Ice Cream truck and shop, have inked a cookbook deal with Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House.

Grub Street New York reports that publisher Emily Takoudes will oversee the book, coming out in 2014. In an interview with Eater.com, Quint said the cookbook will contain recipes, doodles and “shocking” stories. The book itself will feature a yearbook-themed format.

Quint explained: “One of the things that we really wanted to approach in the cookbook aspect was that a lot of ice cream cookbooks start with the very hardest thing first. The most daunting thing for a lot of people is making custard. So we came up with a concept that turns it around into a four ‘year’ course on making ice cream. The first year out, you’re really just making sundaes with store bought stuff. The second year, you’re making sauces. Third year, you’re making ice cream not from custard. And then fourth year you’re going full hog.”

Fifty Shades of Grey Boosts Random House Earnings

Random House posted a 64 percent increase in operating profit for the first half of 2012. According to Variety, the publisher also boasted a 20 percent increase in revenue–rising to $1.2 billion.

Here’s more from the article: “The titillating [50 Shades of Grey] trilogy sold more than 30 million copies between March and June, with sales evenly divided between the trade paperback and e-book editions. The Social Network producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing the big-screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey the first book in the trilogy, for Universal Pictures and Focus Features.”

Random House also credited the growth in eBook sales and the popularity of some of their biggest bestselling authors including George R.R. Martin  (A Song of Ice and Fire series), John Grisham (Calico Joe), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Dr. Seuss (The Lorax).

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