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Posts Tagged ‘John Makinson’

Random House & Penguin To Merge

The major publishers Random House and Penguin have decided to join forces, creating a new entity called Penguin Random House. Random House worldwide CEO Markus Dohle will be CEO of the new group. Penguin CEO John Makinson will chair the board of directors.

Bertelsmann (the corporate parent of Random House) will control 53 percent and Pearson (the corporate parent of Penguin) will control 47 percent of the new publisher. The new entity will not include Bertelsmann’s German trade publishing business and Pearson decided to “retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide.” Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe had this comment in the release:

“With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for the future of our world-renowned trade-book publishers, Random House and Penguin, by enabling them to publish even more effectively across traditional and emerging formats and distribution channels. It will build on our publishing tradition, offering an extraordinary diversity of publishing opportunities for authors, agents, booksellers, and readers, together with unequalled support and resources … Its significance for our business and for the cultural resonance of our book publishing operations worldwide is on a par with such momentous agreements as the takeover of Goldmann Verlag in 1977; the acquisition of a stake in Bantam Books, our first-ever U.S. investment, that same year; the purchase of Doubleday in 1986; and especially that of Random House in 1998. Each of these steps was aimed at increasing the breadth and quality of Bertelsmann’s publishing operations, as our new company will.”

The new company will combine all of Random House and Penguin’s business in the United States, Canada, the U.K., but it will also publishing business in Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, China, Spain and Latin American.

Follow this link to read the Pearson release, explaining how the merger “will generate synergies from shared resources such as warehousing, distribution, printing and central functions.”

 

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Scott Turow Responds to DOJ Agency Model Suit

The Department of Justice sued five major publishers and Apple this week, alleging that they colluded to fix eBook prices.

The decision generated responses around the industry. Authors Guild president Scott Turow wrote:

The settlement provides a gigantic obstacle to Amazon’s competitors in the e-book business by allowing Amazon to function without making a profit, something that leaves that market forbidding to anyone else who might think of entering, and a bad business for those already there. Today’s low Kindle book prices will last only as long as it takes Amazon to re-establish its monopoly.  It is hard to believe that the Justice Department has somehow persuaded itself that this solution fosters competition or is good for readers in the long run.

Read more

Barack Obama Fan Mail, Apple iPad Video, and Lindsay Lohan Memoir: Weekend Reading

In that video, Penguin CEO John Makinson gave us a glimpse of what digital books from the iBooks store will be like when the Apple iPad arrives.

President Barack Obama sent fan mail to Life of Pi author Yann Martel.

Media Source Inc. had acquired Library Journal and School Library Journal, causing some editorial shakeups at Publishers Weekly–a new publisher and editorial director.

We rounded up The Best Book Editors on Twitter–add your favorite in the comments.

The great author Barry Hannah passed away at 67-years-old.

BookExpo America announced that Daily Show host Jon Stewart will introduce memoirist Condoleezza Rice at a BEA breakfast.

Speaking of memoirs, Lindsay Lohan is writing a memoir.

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Penguin CEO Unveils Demo for Apple iPad Digital Books

As the rumored ship date for the Apple iPad nears, digital book fans got a closer look at the future of the enhanced eBook recently. Our digitally-obsessed sibling eBookNewser has more on the new kind of reading experience demonstrated in the video above.

Here’s an excerpt: “As we get closer to iPad launch, we’re beginning to see more and more content specifically designed for the device’s functionality. Penguin CEO John Makinson demoed some of the company’s forthcoming iPad books in London yesterday … Makinson also said that Penguin will do a lot of steaming, audio, and other rich content in its iPad books, and he predicts that eBooks could account for as much as ten percent of revenue by next year.”

Penguin CEO Compares eBooks and Paperbacks

john_makinson.jpgPenguin CEO John Makinson wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, comparing the eBook revolution to the paperback revolution.

His essay outlined the birth of the paperback in 1935, as Penguin began selling softcover editions of hardcover books for a “ridiculous price.” Makinson reminded readers that the model has changed, perhaps subtly criticizing the common $9.99 eBook price at Amazon–a price point the CEOs of Hachette Book Group and Macmillan have openly criticized.

Here’s an excerpt: “Penguin’s paperback idea eventually collapsed, though not for many years, because hardback publishers decided to publish the paperbacks themselves rather than to sell the rights. Penguin responded by moving into the hardback market and now all of the world’s major publishers operate on the same integrated basis. The integrated model has become universal because it works.”

The op-ed makes no mention of the fact that the paperback evolved in the middle of the Great Depression. The model “collapsed” after the economic turmoil had passed. The eBook’s rapid growth came during another crippling recession, and $9.99 may reflect an economic reality until our own crisis has passed. This GalleyCat editor has written about the lives of writers during the Great Depression–their stories can provide guidance during this difficult time for publishing.

What do you think?

High Profile Authors Find Piracy on Scribd

logoscribd2.gifYesterday a British newspaper discovered pirated copies of J. K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Ken Follett‘s World without End on the popular file-sharing site, Scribd, stoking fears of digital piracy.

As GalleyCat reported months ago, Scribd has a takedown notice procedure in accordance with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and budding partnerships with a number of publishers. Still, policing the site’s 55 million readers is a never-ending task.

The article concluded with comments Penguin CEO John Makinson, who said his company does not use Scribd: “We do have a concern about the amount of free content on the web, and the impact that will have on the consumer’s perception of the value of books.”

Publishing in China, Part I: Penguin Launches Bilingual Website & Blog

As publishing houses realize what a fertile ground China is for expansion, new ventures keep popping up. The Book Standard reports that Penguin China launched a bilingual website, available in Chinese and English, which will give readers information about new and bestselling titles and will host The Penguin China blog, another new venture. “Penguin has been doing business in China since 2005 and we are very excited about these online ventures,” said John Makinson, chairman and CEO of Penguin Group. “Penguin China’s website and blog are the newest examples of our commitment to growth in this important market and the expansion of our global digital strategy.”