The Guardian view on the book publishing industry: no one size fits all | Editorial

The failure of a recent bid to merge two large publishing companies shines a light on a central issue of cultural powerDespite a rise in self-publishing, commercial publishers are still the main gatekeepers of what arrives on our bookshelves. As such, they have great cultural and – if a book takes off – economic power. A case decided in a US court this week provided an insight into just how much of that power is now concentrated in a small handful of multinational companies.At issue was a planned merger of Simon & Schuster with Penguin Random House (PRH) – two of the so-called big five, which between them control 90% of the US publishing market, a fact not always obvious to the casual observer, as books usually carry on their spines the names of imprints, or subdivisions, of the parent company. PRH, itself the result of a mega-merger in 2013, runs about 300 imprints. Given the reach of these companies – PRH is active in more than 20 countries – the Department of Justice’s successful argument that the planned $2.2bn deal would “exert outsized influence over which books are published in the United States and how much authors are paid for their work” applies globally. Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2022-11-04 18:25:28 UTC ]
News tagged with: #book publishing #publishing companies #schuster #penguin random house #2bn deal #planned $2 #successful argument #casual observer #publishing market #so-called big #simon schuster #planned merger #small handful #week provided #case decided #book takes

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