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The Big Five

You’ve written your book, you’ve revised it, you’ve had it edited, you’ve queried agents and while waiting for responses you decide to research who’s who in the publishing industry. Soon, of course, you realize that all the big publishing houses are owned by international media conglomerates, which may explain why they’re more interested in the next big bestseller than in producing great literature. With the Big Six trading publishing houses like they’re baseball cards, it’s difficult to keep up, but last I checked, these were the five largest publishers in the U.S. Their imprints are listed below.

1. Random House—owned by Bertelsmann AG, a transnational media company headquartered in Germany that also owns Gruner + Jahr, the largest magazine publisher in Europe, among its many holdings.

2. Penguin Books—owned by Pearson PLC, a London-based media conglomerate, which is the second largest publisher in the U.S. and which also owns Pearson Education, the Financial Times and The Economist.

3. Simon & Schuster—owned by CBS Corporation (formerly part of Viacom), an American media conglomerate that owns CBS and Showtime among its holdings.

4. Harper Collins—owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which also owns Twentieth Century Fox, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

5. Farrer, Straus and Giroux—owned by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, a German publishing group that also owns Scientific American magazine, the MacMillan group and several German newspapers.

5. Hachette Book Group USA—owned by Hachette Livre, the largest publishing company in France and the second largest in the world. Formerly owned by Time Warner.

Random House subsidiaries, affiliates and imprints:

* Anchor Books
* Ballantine Books
* Bantam Books
* BBC Books
* Chatto and Windus
* Corgi
* Crown Publishing Group
* Del Rey Books
* Dell Publishing
* The Doubleday Publishing Group
* Ebury Press
* Everyman Chess
* Random House Children’s Books
* Strivers Row
* Time Out
* Villard (1983)
* Virgin Books
* Waterbrook Press
* Western Publishing Company (co-owner with Classic Media)
* Xlibris

* Broadway Books
* Century
* Del Rey Manga (itself an imprint of Del Rey Books)
* Harvill Secker
* Pimlico
* Rider
* Three Rivers Press
* Vermillion
* Yearling

Penguin US adult division imprints:
* Ace
* Alpha
* Avery
* Berkley
* Dutton
* Gotham
* G.P. Putnam’s Sons
* HP Books
* Hudson Street Press
* Jeremy P. Tarcher
* Jove
* Penguin
* Penguin Press
* Perigee
* Plume
* Portfolio
* Prentice Hall Press
* Riverhead
* Sentinel
* Viking

Simon & Schuster adult imprints:

* Atria Books
* Free Press
* Howard Books
* Kaplan
* Pocket Books
* Scribner
* Simon Spotlight Entertainment
* Strebor
* The Touchstone and Fireside Group
* Threshold Editions
* Washington Square Press

Harper Collins imprints

* Angus & Robertson
* Amistad
* Angry Robot
* Avon
* Avon Red
* Avon A
* Balzer + Bray
* Caedmon
* Collins
* Collins Design
* Collins Education
* Collins Geo
* Ecco
* Eos
* Fourth Estate
* Greenwillow Books
* HarperBuisness Essentials
* HarperCollins Children’s Audio
* HarperCollins Children’s Books
* HarperCollins Speakers Bureau
* HarperFestival
* Harper Paperbacks
* Harper Perennial
* Harper Perennial Modern Classics
* HarperPress
* HarperAudio
* HarperCollins
* HarperCollins e-Books
* HarperElement
* HarperEntertainment
* HarperLuxe
* HarperOne
* HarperTeen
* HarperTorch
* HarperTrophy
* HarperTrue
* HarperSanFrancisco
* HarperSport
* HarperVoyager
* Julie Andrews Collection
* Katherine Tegen Books
* Morrow Cookbooks
* Rayo
* Voyager
* Walden Pond Press
* William Morrow
* Zondervan

FSG imprints:

* Faber & Faber Inc.
* Hill and Wang
* Sarah Crichton Books
* North Point Press

Hachette subsidiaries and imprints:

* Center Street
* FaithWords
* Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books)
* 5-Spot (imprint of Grand Central Publishing)
* Business Plus (imprint of Grand Central Publishing)
* Forever (imprint of Grand Central Publishing)
* Springboard Press (imprint of Grand Central Publishing)
* Twelve (imprint of Grand Central Publishing)
* Vision (imprint of Grand Central Publishing)
* Wellness Central
* Hachette Digital Media
* Little, Brown and Company
* Back Bay Books (imprint of Little, Brown)
* Orbit Books
* Yen Press

Of course, there are many other fabulous publishers besides those listed above, but this gives you an idea of how things break down beneath the big media umbrella.

Hope you are enjoying your pre-holiday week!

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