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Posts Tagged ‘Markus Dohle’

5 Million Copies of ‘Fifty Shades’ Books Sold in First Half of 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey is the publishing gift that keeps on giving. E L James sold five million print and eBook copies of her erotic trilogy around the world during the first six months of 2013 (sales through Random House’s English, German and Spanish-language publishing arms).

Random House CEO Markus Dohle praised the company’s biggest bestsellers in a letter to employees today, marking company’s final financial results before the Penguin Random House merger took effect. We’ve reprinted the complete letter below, but here’s an excerpt:

INFERNO by Dan Brown sold more than four million copies in its first six weeks throughout Random House’s English-language territories. Sheryl Sandberg’s LEAN IN and WONDER by R. J. Palacio sold hundreds of thousands of copies in North America and the UK, while helping set social agendas and spurring cultural dialogues. The FIFTY SHADES trilogy by E L James added another five million print and eBooks to its megamillion-copy English-, German-, and Spanish-language Random House sales to date.

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Penguin and Random House Merger Complete

The merger of Penguin and Random House took effect today. You can visit the new Penguin Random House webpage.

According to the company, the new mega-publisher counts more than 10,500 employees in nearly 250 imprints and publishing houses. In all, they publish over 15,000 new titles every year. Random House issued this press release:

The global senior executive team for Penguin Random House was announced today by Chief Executive Officer Markus Dohle, following the closing of the transaction by shareholders Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA and Pearson this morning to formally establish the venture. Bertelsmann owns 53% and Pearson 47% of the company.

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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.”

 

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

Random House Allows Open Road to Publish William Styron eBooks

openroaddarkness.jpegThe NY Times broke the news that Random House will not challenge Open Road Integrated Media’s efforts to acquire digital rights to some books in the backlist of the late novelist William Styron. UPDATE: Random House has passed along an official statement about the eBooks.

Open Road will release the eBooks on May 4, and this page has more information about the collection–including Styron’s memoir, Darkness Visible (pictured). Read more at eBookNewser.

In December, Random House CEO Markus Dohle laid out the company’s eBook plans in two-page memo, asserting control over the digital rights in “the vast majority” of the publisher’s backlist. The Authors Guild pushed back in a memo, but the conglomerate publisher still has not revealed its plans for other authors in the company’s backlist.

Here’s an excerpt from the NY Timesreport: “in a statement last week Stuart Applebaum, a spokesman for Random House, said the company was continuing talks with many authors or their estates about publishing e-books of their older works. ‘The decision of the Styron estate is an exception to these discussions,’ he said in an e-mail message. ‘Our understanding is that this is a unique family situation.’”

Random House Still Has Not Struck an iPad Deal

RH_Logo_Sm.jpgJust minutes after the launch of the iPad this year, we noted that the Apple (AAPL) announcement mentioned publishing partnerships with Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette, but not Random House.

Today Financial Times reported that Random House CEO Markus Dohle said the company “was treading carefully, as Apple’s pricing regime could erode established publishing practices.” The news comes on the heels of a report of “stable revenues” at the publisher.

The iPad will be available in early April, leaving both companies a little more time to bargain. At the iPad launch, Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum had this statement. “Random House welcomes Apple’s iPad and iBooks app and we look forward to our continuing conversations with them about how we might best work together.” (Via Booksquare)

Random House Reports “Stable Revenues” in 2009

RH_Logo_Sm.jpgIn a report on the fiscal year for 2009, Bertelsmann (Random House’s corporate parent) reported that Random House revenues were up 0.1 percent at €1.7 billion (previous year: €1.7 billion, +0.1 percent). Operating profit held steady at €137 million.

Bertelsmann celebrated the fact that Random House USA had 238 titles land on New York Times bestseller lists–with 28 titles reaching number one. At the end of 2009, the publisher counted than 120 publishing imprints and 5,432 employees. In addition, Random House CEO Markus Dohle sent a letter to his colleagues about the fiscal year.

The complete text follows after the jump. Here’s an excerpt: “The digital phenomenon is not about cannibalization and substitution. It is about coexisting format growth. For us at Random House, e-publishing is an opportunity to increase access to our books and to the universe of readers. Our creative and commercial goals for the digital and print formats are identical: it is imperative for us to grow both simultaneously. Managing our digital transition effectively also means keeping our print business strong and healthy–and we will be making key investments in talent, content development, and marketing and sales capabilities for both.”

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Digital Reorganization at Random House, Inc., Part One

RH_Logo_Sm.jpgIn a series of memos today, Random House, Inc. announced some wide-ranging changes at the company. Nina von Moltke, Random House’s VP of Corporate Development, will now serve as VP of Digital Publishing Development–overseeing some restructuring in the company.

CEO Markus Dohle explained the transition: “Aside from her new task of supporting the development of our digital content offerings across the divisions, Nina will also oversee the Random House Audio Publishing and Fodor’s Travel Groups. Both groups provide excellent models of successfully transitioning from analog to digital businesses, and I know that they and our traditional trade publishing groups will benefit by having them integrated into the corporate-level digital publishing team.”

At the same time, Dohle also outlined other moves. The Princeton Review, Sylvan Learning, and Prima Games imprints will now be part of the Random House Children’s Books division since they share a “core consumer base as well as a like focus on brand management and strong license partnerships.” In addition, Tricycle Books (formerly part of Crown’s Ten Speed Press) will also become part of the Children’s Books division. He noted: “Tricycle now will be a Berkeley-based imprint of Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers and its frontlist and backlist will continue to be sold by Children’s Sales.”

Click here to read more about the changes. Read the whole memo after the jump…

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Authors Guild Pushes Back Against Random House on Digital Rights

augui.gifIn a simple, direct statement to members today, Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, criticized Random House for the “regrettable” decision to assert control of authors’ digital rights: “E-book rights, under older book contracts, were retained by the authors,” wrote Aiken.

The letter referred to a letter sent by Random House CEO Markus Dohle to agents, laying out the company’s eBook plans. His note asserted control over the digital rights in “the vast majority” of the publisher’s backlist.

Aiken responded: “It’s regrettable and unhelpful that Random House has chosen to try to intimidate authors and agents over these old book contracts. With such a weak legal hand, it would be well advised to stick to its strength — the advantages that its marketing muscle can provide owners of e-book rights. It should also start offering a fair royalty for those rights.”

The letter
also advised writers about their eBook possibilities: “If you have an old book contract in which you haven’t granted e-book rights, patience is likely to pay off. The e-book industry is still young — there’s no need to jump in. And we strongly suspect e-royalty rates are at a low-water mark.”

Random House Asserts Control of Backlist Digital Rights

RH_Logo_Sm.jpgLast week, Random House CEO Markus Dohle laid out the company’s eBook plans in two-page memo, asserting control over the digital rights in “the vast majority” of the publisher’s backlist.

Here’s an excerpt from the memo, via eBookNewser: “The vast majority of our backlist contracts grant us the exclusive right to publish books in electronic formats, as well as more traditional physical formats. At the same time, we are aware there have been some misunderstandings concerning eBook rights in older backlist titles … Many of those contracts also include enhanced language that references other forms of copying or displaying the text that might be developed in the future.”

Our digitally obsessed sibling eBookNewser will be covering the story all day. In addition, this editor will moderate a panel between literary agents at mediabistro.com’s eBookSummit this week–asking questions about this developing story and the future of literary contracts. Full memo embedded after the jump…

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