I think we can all agree that 2020 was nothing but news. Books and the publishing industries were no exception to this. Some news were great, some of them bad, some others were just unexpected. If you missed any of them on the whirlwind that was 2020, here is a quick recap of the biggest literary news of the year.
New year, new books! There are so many things to look forward to at the beginning of each year, perhaps this year more than ever. Check out which books these publishers are most exited about on 2021 and be sure to add them to your TBR list!
We asked these amazing publishers about their top picks for this past year and the fresh new year of books to come. Liven up your TBR with these publisher recommended reads!
Simon & Schuster, one of the Big Five publishers in the country, went up for sale earlier this year after the owner, ViacomCBS, announced that after a “strategic review,” the book publisher was no longer essential to its business and that it would seek a buyer.
This sale was a source of immediate concern for the industry, seeing that in the last few years a series of consolidations have swept the book business. Just this decade, Penguin and Random House merged, Hachette Book Group acquired Perseus Books and News Corporation bought the romance publisher Harlequin, making publishing a “winner-takes-all” business control only by a couple of big companies.
image via media post
This $2 billion purchase, Penguin Random House, owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann buying Simon & Schuster, the third largest publisher, creates a book behemoth and triggers anti-trust concerns.
“I would make one observation about Simon & Schuster,” said CEO Robert Thomson “It will clearly be a serious antitrust issue if Bertelsmann acquires Simon & Schuster. However cute and clever the structure, if Bertelsmann is their beneficiary, it will be a book behemoth. And this will certainly be a profound antitrust issue for the entire book industry and, no doubt, for authors around the world.”
image via infobae
Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe told The Financial Times that he didn’t think S&S purchase would raise antitrust concerns. “We looked at this and we don’t think it is an issue,” Rabe told the FT. “If you look at the market holistically, particularly the strength of Amazon, and it includes self-publishing and the like, we don’t think this will be an obstacle.”
The story surrounding this purchase is still developing, but with the Big Five becoming the Big Four, this move is set to send ripples and uncertainty through the industry for years to come.
Feature image via Publishing Perspectives
A Promised Land is the first of former President Barack Obama's two presidential volumes. This highly anticipated novel has been, so far, named one of the 10 best books of the year, by The New York Times Book Review, and a Washington Post Notable Book. But, other than the high praise it has received so far, it's also managed to sell 887,000 copies on the first day of publication, breaking records for publishing powerhouse, Penguin Random House.