Today, six huge, multinational conglomerates dominate the book-publishing business; together, they put out about 80 percent of all books sold. Four of these giants are foreign owned, but all have headquarters in New York City, which is the world book-publishing center. As a result, the big six are considered “New York Publishers,” which carries a certain literary cachet, even though they’re actually owned by corporations based in Munich, London, or Sydney.
The six publishing biggies are:
1. Random House, Inc., a division of Bertelsmann AG (a German Corporation), is the world’s largest English-language general trade book publisher. It publishes some seventy imprints, including Anchor, Ballantine, Bantam, Broadway, Crown, Dell, Del Ray, Dial, Doubleday, Fawcett, Fodor, Dell, Knopf Group, Pantheon, Random House, Villard, and Vintage. It also owns the Literary Guild.
2. The Penguin Group, which is owned by Pearson (United Kingdom), is the second largest publisher in the United States and Canada and the largest in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India. Its imprints include Allen Lane, Avery, Berkley Books, Dutton, Hamish Hamilton, Michael Joseph, Plume, Putnam, Riverhead, and Viking. Penguin also publishes children’s brands such as Puffin, Ladybird, Dutton and Grosset & Dunlap.
3. HarperCollins, a subsidiary of the News Corporation Limited (Australia), has annual revenues of over $1 billion. Its imprints include Amistad, Avon, Caedmon, Ecco, Eos, HarperBusiness, HarperCollins, HarperSanFrancisco, Perennial, Rayo, ReganBooks and William Morrow. Its Zondervan unit publishes Bibles and Christian books, and its e-book imprint is PerfectBound.
4. Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings, (Germany), publishers imprints that include Argon; Bedford; College-Group; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Freeman; Hanley & Belfus; Henry Holt; Hill & Wang; Macmillan; North Point Press; Picador; St. Martin’s; Scientific American; Times Books (partnership with New York Times Group); Urban & Fischer, and Worth.
5. Time Warner Book Group Inc. (United States) owns the Book-of-the-Month Club and the imprints Aspect; Back Bay; Bulfinch; Little, Brown and Company; Press Warner Books, The Mysterious Press and Warner Books (Warner Business Books, Warner Faith, and Warner Vision). It also distributes publishing lines for Hyperion, Arcade, Disney, Harry Abrams, Time-Life Books, and Microsoft.
6. Simon & Schuster, Inc., is the publishing arm of Viacom (United States). It publishes Aladdin Paperbacks, Atheneum, Atria, Fireside, The Free Press, Little Simon, MTV Books, Margaret K. McElderry, Pocket Books, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Simon Spotlight, Star Trek, Touchstone, Washington Square Press, and Wall Street Journal Books.
A seventh biggie is Disney Publishing Worldwide (United States), a subsidiary of the entertainment giant the Walt Disney Company. It publishes ABC Daytime Press, ESPN Books, Hyperion, Miramax, and Theia.
In addition to the giant publishers, Dan Poynter reports that some 300 to 400 medium-sized publishers exist, along with more than 85,000 small and self-publishers. With the explosion in electronic books, printing on demand, and other innovations, the field continues to expand.
The Agenting Process Explained - Part 4 - Submissions
When agents come up with a list of editors, they usually make multiple submissions of the proposal. Agents will sometimes send proposals to two or more imprints that are owned by the same parent company. However, some companies such as Doubleday and Broadway Books, which are imprints owned by Random House, both have the same editorial board. So an agent would not submit the same proposal to editors at both of those imprints. Unlike writers, agents have this special knowledge, which can save them substantial time, energy, expense and embarrassment.
Before agents send proposals to editors, they usually send them the equivalent of a query letter asking if they might be interested in the book. Queries are sent only when the proposal is ready. Queries can be sent via e-mail or hard copy, depending on the nature of the book and the editor's preference. Editors expect that other editors will have received the proposal and will usually move more quickly on those that elicit their interest. To entice editors and generate more interest in a proposal, agents will tell editors when other editors are interested in a property.
When a proposal includes items such as a self-published edition of the book, illustrations or artwork, they must be submitted in hard copy. Hard-copy submissions are accompanied by a short cover letter that itemizes all materials sent. Sometimes, agents will set time limits in which editors must make offers. When proposals are submitted by e-mail, the cover letter includes a link to the proposal that editors can download. They can also request a hard copy that can be forwarded under separate cover.
Editors are swamped, and it's a challenge for them to read everything they receive. If they're interested, they usually get back to the agent quickly, within a week or two. Many editors have their assistants screen submissions, so if their assistants like a proposal, it may speed up their response time. If editors don't get back to an agent within a week or two, it usually means that the book is not going to sell.
An excerpt from the National Bestseller Author 101: Bestelling Secrets from Top Agents by Rick Frishman and Robyn Freedman Spizman
If you’re serious about getting your book published, go to bookstores and spend time in front of the shelf where your book would be housed. Read, or at least leaf through, all of the nearby books that are similar or on the same general subject, to acquire a sense of how your subject has been treated. Check tables of contents and indexes to learn the content they provide and what they omit. Note competing books’ formats, designs, special features, celebrity endorsements, and how their material is presented.
Another great tip.... when you want to find an agent that is perfect for YOUR book, go to the library or bookstore and look at books that are similar to yours. Look in the acknowledgements section usually in the front of book. The author will always thank their literary agent in that section. Do a google search on the agent and find out everything you can about that agent BEFORE you contact them.
Find out more about "query letters" in our AUTHOR 101 - Agents book.....
If you are an Author- Take control of your publicity plans
Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 03:05 PM
TIPS FROM THE TOP (Excerpted from Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity, by Rick Frishman and Robyn Spizman; http://www.author101.com
We're sorry to have to tell you that publishers, even the biggest of them, don't promote all of their books. And, they probably won't publicize yours, especially if you're a first-time author, except perhaps for the first few weeks out of the gate. The top brass at publishing houses usually determine which books and authors they will publicize and how extensively.
Publishers also don't invest the same amount for publicity in all titles they release. For example, they may authorize extensive campaigns for Titles A, B, and C, but provide little, if any, publicity for the other new releases on their lists. They may not even send out a press release when a particular book is about to come out. Furthermore, if a publisher decides to promote a book, its efforts may not prove sufficient or successful, and you might have to jump in and try to save the day. Although the amount of promotion a publishing company provides will differ from house to house, book to book, and author to author, most publishers will usually:
Announce the deal to publish the book in Publishers Lunch
Announce the publication of the book in their catalog for that season
Include the book on their publication list
Solicit endorsements or blurbs for the book
Send free advanced reader copies to selected reviewers, the media, and those who could influence book sales
Remember- Get started on your publicity plan 6 months before Pub Date! Please call us here at PTA and we will be happy to get you started with your publicity plans