Penguin Random House

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Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House.svg
Parent company Bertelsmann (75%)
Pearson PLC (25%)
Founded July 1, 2013; 4 years ago (2013-07-01)
Headquarters location New York City, New York, United States
Distribution Worldwide
Key people Markus Dohle (CEO)
Milena Alberti (CFO)
Madeline McIntosh (President, Penguin Publishing Group)
Publication types Books
No. of employees 10,000 (as of July 1, 2013)
Official website

Penguin Random House (PRH) is an American multinational publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Random House (owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann) and Penguin Group (owned by British publishing company Pearson PLC).[1][2] It was formed on July 1, 2013, after completing a £2.4 billion merger between Bertelsmann and Pearson. Random House and Penguin Group, the parent companies, own 75% and 25%, respectively.[3]

Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India; Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House’s companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile.

Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally. It comprises almost 250 independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually.[4] Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates.[5]


Penguin Random House was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. The creation of the company has been referred to as the publishing industry's response to the increasing dominance of in the book market.[6] PRH relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online unit in July 2013.[7]

In September 2014, Random House Studio signed a first look production deal with Universal Pictures, under which Random House would be the producer films based on Penguin Random House books. The Universal subsidiary Focus Features will closely collaborate with Random House Films.[8] Having previously spearhead the creation process of Puffin Rock animation, Richard Haines is heading PRH Children's TV development strategy with the assistance of licensing publishing and TV development executive Emily Campan. Haines would report to PRH Children’s managing director, Francesca Dow.[9]

In November 2015, Pearson announced that it will be rebranding and completely focusing on its education division. Pearson will likely sell its share in Penguin Random House, though Pearson CEO John Fallon estimates that the company will wait until at least 2017.[10]

In July 2017, Pearson agreed to sell a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding.[11][12]

Divisions and imprints


DK (Dorling Kindersley) was founded in London in 1974 and is a leading reference publisher focusing on highly visual non-fiction for adults and children. Imprints under DK include Alpha, Prima Games and Rough Guides. Alpha Books produces the Complete Idiot's Guides, Prima Games publishes video game strategy guides, and Rough Guides publishes travel guides. As of 2015 DK also has a number of official publishing relationships with Angry Birds, Lego, Marvel and Star Wars.[13]

Crown Publishing Group

Imprints under Crown Publishing Group include Amphoto Books, Broadway Books, Clarkson Potter, Convergent, Crown, Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum, Harmony Books, Hogarth, Image Catholic Books, Multnomah Books, Pam Krauss Books, Ten Speed Press, Three Rivers Press, Tim Duggan Books, WaterBrook Multonomah, and Watson-Guptill. Crown Publishing was founded in 1933 as the Outlet Book Company and became the nation's leading remainder house but is now a publisher of fiction and narrative non-fiction.[14] Amphoto Books is a publisher of photography books. Broadway books was founded in 1996 as part of Bantam Doubleday Dell and is now the paperback imprint of Crown. Clarkson Potter is a lifestyle publisher and includes cookbooks, illustrated gift books and journals. Crown Archetype is a hardcover publisher of pop-culture titles (Three Rivers is its trade paperback imprint), while Crown Business publishes business related content and Crown Forum publishes political discourse. Harmony Books focuses on self-help titles. Hogarth is a partnership between Crown in the U.S. and Windus in the UK and the imprint focuses on new generation literary talent. Convergent, Image Catholic Books (Doubleday Religion), Multnomah Books, and Waterbrook Multnomah and focus their list on Christian voices. Pam Krauss Books was founded in 1915 to focus on culinary, food and healthy sustainable lifestyles. Ten Speed Press which joined Crown in 2009 is a West Coast publisher of nonfiction and gift titles. Tim Duggan Books was founded in 2014 to focus on storytelling across genres. Watson Guptill was founded in 1937 but now it is part of Ten Speed Press which publishes illustrated Art books.[15]

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Imprints under Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group include Alfred A. Knopf, Doubleday, Pantheon, Schocken, Vintage Books, Anchor Books, Vintage Español, Black Lizard, Nan A. Talese and Everyman's Library.[16] Alfred A. Knopf was founded in 1915 by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. and Blanche Knopf and is known as a publisher of distinguished hardcover fiction and nonfiction. Alfred A. Knopf has won many awards over the years including Pulitzers, Nobel and National Book Awards.[17] Doubleday was founded in 1897 and is known as a publisher of commercial, literary and serious nonfiction. Pantheon was founded in 1941 by Kurt Wolff who had emigrated from Germany during WWII. Pantheon is known for publishing world-class literature. Schocken Books was founded in Germany and became a part of Random House in 1945 and is dedicated to publishing Judaica. Vintage Books is a trade paperback publisher that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf in 1954. Anchor Books is known as the oldest trade paperback publishers and was formed to make inexpensive editions of modern classics. Anchor Books now publishes history, science, women's studies, sociology and fiction. Vintage Espaňol was founded in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf and is a Spanish-language publisher in the United States. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard was acquired by Random House in 1990 and is a publisher of crime fiction. Nan A. Talese is a literary imprint focused on quality publishing and was formed in 1990 to house authors published by editor Nan A. Talese.[18]

Penguin Publishing Group

There are many imprints under Penguin Publishing Group including Avery, Berkley/New American Library, Blue Rider Press, Current, DAW, Dutton, Putnam, Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, Penguin Books. Penguin Classics, Penguin Press, Perigee, Plume, Portfolio Penguin, Riverhead, Sentinel, Tarcher and Viking. Founded in 1976, Avery focuses on nonfiction and lifestyle books. The Berkley Publishing Group including New American Library publish a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction and there are several imprints under Berkley including Jove, Signet, Ace, Roc, Sensation and Caliber. Blue Rider Press was launched in 2011 by David Rosenthal. Daw focuses on science fiction and fantasy. Dutton is a small boutique fiction and non-fiction publisher publishing only about forty books a year. G.P. Putnam's Sons has been publishing since 1838 and is known for annually publishing many New York Times bestsellers. Pamela Dorman Books established in 2010 is a boutique publisher of VP Pamela Dorman. Penguin was established in the 1930s as a publishing house releasing mass market paperbacks. Out of Penguin grew Penguin Books, Penguin Classics, and most recently Penguin Press. Perigee was originally the trade paperback imprint for G.P. Putnam's Sons but now publishes a range of prescriptive non-fiction, self-help and how-to books. Plume is a trade paperback imprint with a focus on multi-cultural and LGBT publishing. Portfolio was founded in 2001 as a business imprint. Riverhead Books was founded in 1994 and focuses on literary fiction and quality non-fiction. Tarcher Penguin focuses on books that teach readers how to Learn, Create and Grow. Viking Press was founded in 1925 and publishes both fiction and non-fiction titles.[19]

Penguin Young Readers Group

Penguin Young Readers Group is a division devoted to books for young readers and young adults. Imprints under Penguin Young Readers Group include Dial Books for Young Readers, Firebird, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Grosset & Dunlap, Kathy Dawson Books, Nancy Paulsen Books, Philomel, Price Stern Sloan (PSS!), Puffin Books, Razorbill, Speak, and Viking. Dial Book for Young Readers publishes about 70 hardcover titles a year for children of all ages. Firebird is a science fiction and fantasy imprint focusing on young adults. Founded in 1865 Frederick Warne now develops brands based on classic children's literature such as Peter Rabbit. G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers publishes picture books. Grosset & Dunlap publishes books for children 0-12 focusing on original paperback series, leveled readers, nonfiction, brands and licenses. Kathy Dawson Books (launched by publisher Kathy Dawson) was launched in 2014 to publish hardcover middle-grade and YA fiction. Nancy Paulsen Books (launched by publisher Nancy Paulsen) launched in 2011 and publishes picture books. Philomel Books publishes books from around the globe. Price Stern Sloan most famous for publishing Mad Libs also publishes books in a variety of formats including board, doodle, and activity books. Puffin Books was founded in 1941 to publish quality paperback books for children but now publishes many different formats for young readers. Razorbill focuses on middle grade and young adult books. Speak was launched in 2002 by Puffin Books to focus on classic and cutting edge fiction for young adults. Viking Children's Books also publishes books for young readers and is known for having a rich backlist which includes Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners.[19]

Random House Publishing Group

Imprints under Random House Publishing Group include Ballantine Books, Bantam Books, Delacorte Press, Del Rey Books, Del Rey/LucasBooks, The Dial Press, Modern Library, Random House, Random House Value, and Spiegel & Grau. Digital imprints include Alibi, Flirt, Hydra and Loveswept. Ballantine Books was established in 1952 and publish both fiction and nonfiction hardcover and paperback titles. Bantam Books was originally a publisher of mass-market reprints but now publishes fiction and nonfiction in all formats. Delacorte Press founded in 1921 began as a publisher of pulp magazines, detective stories and movie articles but now publishes original fiction in all formats. Del Rey began as an imprint of Ballantine books focusing on science fiction and fantasy titles. The Dial Press is a literary publisher. The Modern Library founded by Boni and Liveright publishes American and International classics. The original Random House was founded in 1927 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer and publishes fiction. Spiegel & Grau is an editorial house that promotes new authors and new voices. Alibi, Flirt, Hydra and Loveswept publish e-originals in genre fiction.[20]

Random House Children's Books

Imprints under Random House Children's Books include Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Crown Books for Young Readers, Delacorte Press, Random House Books for Young Readers, Little Golden Books, Schwartz and Wade, Wendy Lamb Books, Ember, Bluefire, Dragonfly, Yearling Books, Laurel-Leaf, Princeton Review and Sylvan Learning.[21] Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers publishes a wide range of books for children including board books, picture books, novels and non-fiction. Delecorte Press publishes novels for middle grade and young adult readers as well as educational and general interest non-fiction. Random House Books for Young Readers publishes a large variety of books including Dr. Seuss, Babar, the Magic Treehouse series, Junie B. Jones as well as Step into Reading. The Little Golden Books was launched in 1942 to make high-quality picture-books affordable. With an emphasis on its backlist Golden Books also publishes storybooks, novelty and activity books. A recent imprint launched in 2005, Schwartz and Wade is directed by Anne Schwartz and Lee Wade with an emphasis on editorial and design. Wendy Lamb books launched in 2002 focuses on seeking new writers for middle-grade and young adult fiction. Ember was created to bring a number of middle and young adult trade paperbacks under one roof including Judy Blume and Dana Reinhardt. Bluefire is a fantasy imprint for middle grade and young adult readers. Dragonfly focuses on affordable paperback picture books. Yearling Books focuses on bringing paperback books to middle readers and includes classics and Newbery Medal Winners. Laurel-Leaf publishes young adult literature in a mass-market format. The Princeton Review imprint provides print and digital test prep materials while Sylvan Learning publishes workbooks and study aids.[22]

PRH Digital Publishing Group

Imprints under Penguin Random House Digital Group include audiobooks, reference and online products. The audiobook imprints are Books on Tape, Listening Library, Penguin Audio and Random House Audio. Living Language creates language learning products. Fodor's Travel creates guides, mobile apps and resources for travelers. There is also imprints for Random House Puzzles & Games and Random House Reference.[citation needed]

PRH International

Penguin Random House International includes the following imprints: Penguin Random House Mondadori (Argentina), Penguin Random House Australia, Penguin Random House of Canada, Penguin Random House Mondadori (Chile), Penguin Random Mondadori (Columbia), Verlagsgruppe Penguin Random House, Penguin Random House India, Transworld Ireland, Penguin Random House Mondadori (Mexico), Penguin Random House New Zealand, Penguin Random House Struik (South Africa), Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial (Spain), Penguin Random House Group (UK), Penguin Random House Mondadori (Uruguay), and Penguin Random House Mondadori (Venezuela).[citation needed]

Book Country

Book Country is a subsidiary online writing and publishing community.[23] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy.

In July 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in over sixty literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction.[7] As of September 2013, the site had over 10,000 members.[24]


  1. ^ Calamur, Krishnadev (29 October 2012). "Penguin, Random House Announce Merger". NPR. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Pearson, Bertelsmann Confirm Publishing Tie-Up". Associated Press. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Penguin and Random House complete merger". The Telegraph. 9 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Penguin Random House | About Us"
  5. ^ "CEO Markus Dohle Announces Penguin Random House Global Leadership Team" (PDF). Penguin Random House. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Ciabattari, Jane (2013). "Now There Are 5". Library Journal. Media Source. 138 (14): 26–29. 
  7. ^ a b Suw Charman-Anderson (29 July 2013). "Book Country: Developing Authors And Audiences". Forbes. 
  8. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (September 24, 2014). "Universal, Penguin Random House In 2-Year First-Look Pact". Deadline. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ Whittock, Jesse. (November 30, 2015). Penguin Random House makes TV play. TBI Magazine. (Informa Telecoms & Media). Accessed on February 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (January 6, 2016). "Pearson rebrand to reflect 100% focus on education". The Bookseller. 
  11. ^ "Pearson sells 22% stake in Penguin Random House". BBC News. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017. 
  12. ^ Sweney, Mark (2017-07-11). "Pearson sells slice of Penguin for $1bn". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-13. 
  13. ^ "About DK". DK Publishing. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  14. ^ Mcdowell, Edwin (1990-02-08). "Nat Wartels, 88, the Chairman Of the Crown Publishing Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  15. ^ "The Crown Publishing GroupThe Crown Publishing Group". The Crown Publishing Group. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  16. ^ "Random House - Bertelsmann AG" (in German). Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  17. ^ Rich, Motoko (2007-04-18). "Pulitzer Prizes - Alfred A. Knopf - Books". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-13. 
  18. ^ "Imprints | Knopf Doubleday". Knopf Doubleday. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  19. ^ a b "Imprints | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 2016-04-09. 
  20. ^ "Our Imprints". Random House. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  21. ^ "Random House Kids Imprints". Random House. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Our imprints | Random House Kids". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  23. ^ "What's the Penguin About?". 
  24. ^ "Workshopping Community Book Country Hits Membership Milestone". 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
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