Monday 29 October 2012

No Random Penguins after all

Today's news of the merger, via media publishing giants Bertelsmann and Pearson, of the Random House and Penguin publishing imprints, has raised a few eyebrows.  Penguin, it seems, is marrying Random House in order to escape the unwanted attentions of News Corp, whose predatory instincts may be somewhat thwarted by the fact that this is a done deal and the contracts have all been signed.

Random House CEO Markus Dohle has written to his imprint's literary agents to tell them what a promising deal this is.
" ...  In this new partnership with Penguin, we will be retaining the distinct identities of both companies’ imprints [this is good news for brand purists -- there will be no Random Penguins]. You and your clients will benefit from an extraordinary breadth of publishing choices, and editorial talents and experience. Our Random House imprint leadership remains endowed with tremendous autonomy and financial resources to decide which books to publish, and how to publish them. We expect this to continue in our new business.

With our backlist always a priority [ever more so, if you consider how kind the digital publishing scene can be to the long tail], Random House expects the new company to offer an even deeper catalogue, alongside our newly published titles. Our investments in enhancing the supply chain and our marketing support for physical retail will be unwavering, as we continue to transition in the digital space—to seek the most diversified retail marketplace for our titles. And we will be even better positioned to support our authors’ intellectual property and copyrights [this blogger is uncertain as to how two imprints, running effectively in competition with one another, as the next paragraph states, are better positioned to support authors' IP rights, or their own for that matter, than had no merger taken place].

The business combination is all ahead for us. Now, it is business as usual. Random House and Penguin remain competitors ...".

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