Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Pearson

Fighting Illiteracy ~ WorldReader


This will be the 17th post I’ve done about WorldReader—if you put its name in the search bar up there, you’ll find this post and 16 others…

They sent me an email the other day with this exciting headline: Our Read To Kids Partnership Reaches 200,000!

from WorldReader:

“Two years ago, we asked ourselves a question: could we use mobile phones, local digital books, and local partnerships to get entire communities to read with their kids?

“Today, we’re incredibly proud to announce that over the course of our Read to Kids pilot program, co-created with Pearson, we’ve reached 200,000 families in and around Delhi, India with the life-changing power of reading.”

If you’re pressed for time and not able to take that last link, do, please, watch at least the first short video at the end of this post…

A bit more from WorldReader:

“Thanks to Pearson and to each of [our donors], we’re learning how to support parents to create a culture of reading in the home— a child’s first school. With what we learn, we hope to empower millions more families around the world, from their first days and throughout their lives. Each step gets us closer to realizing our shared vision that everyone can be a reader.”

You can read more about this extremely important program

And:

“Read to Kids is now expanding to the Syrian crisis and aims to reach another 50,000 refugees and host families in Jordan.”

There are a number of ways you can Get Involved


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Wiping Out Illiteracy


Last year I wrote about a major reading initiative in the post, Promoting Literacy by Putting It in World-Crisis-Solving PerspectiveProject Literacy

I recommend all readers, writers, and publishers absorb that post for one important reason:

“Illiteracy affects over 757 million people worldwide and has an impact on global development. Although it is a largely invisible issue, the repercussions of this can be seen in everyday struggles such as poverty, gender inequality, and access to basic civil rights.”

BTW, 757 million people is about 1 in 10 folks who can’t read…

So…

Four days ago, Project Literacy sent me an email—it was to alert me about their Annual Report.

Two basic facts about Project Literacy:

It’s a global campaign founded and convened by the learning company Pearson.

And, if you go to their About Page and scroll to the bottom you’ll see image-links to their 55 collaborating partners…

Apart from encouraging you to Donate, I’ll wrap this up with two videos from them:


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The Largest Book Publishers ~ 2016


As far as publishing goes, regular readers of this blog know I lean toward Self-Publishing; but, I don’t completely abhor Traditional Publishing… 

If you go to those last two links, you’ll find 151 posts at Self-Publishing and 41 posts at Traditional Publishing (This post might be at the top of both those lists…)

So, it seemed time for another article on the Traditional folks :-)

The information I’ll give you about traditional publishers isn’t restricted to the USA’s Big Five.

It comes from Publishers Weekly and lists The World’s 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016.

Check out that last link for more info about the list; but, without further ado, here is that list:

Rank 2016 Rank 2015 Publishing Group or Division Parent Company Parent Country 2015 Revenue in $M 2014 Revenue in $M
1 1 Pearson Pearson PLC UK $6,625 $7,072
2 2 ThomsonReuters The Woodbridge Company Ltd. Canada $5,776 $5,760
3 3 RELX Group Reed Elsevier PLC & Reed Elsevier NV UK/NL/US $5,209 $5,362
4 4 Wolters Kluwer Wolters Kluwer NL $4,592 $4,455
5 5 Penguin Random House Bertelsmann AG Germany $4,056 $4,046
6 7 China South Publishing & Media Group Co., Ltd China South Publishing & Media Group Co., Ltd $2,811 $2,579
7 6 Phoenix Publishing and Media Company Phoenix Publishing and Media Company China $2,755 $2,840
8 8 Hachette Livre Lagardère France $2,407 $2,439
9 9 McGraw-Hill Education Apollo Global Management LLC US $1,835 $1,855
10 11 Grupo Planeta Grupo Planeta Spain $1,809 $1,943
11 12 Wiley Wiley US $1,727 $1,822
12 12 Scholastic Scholastic US $1,673 $1,636
13 18 HarperCollins News Corp. US $1,646 $1,667
14 14 Cengage Learning Holdings II LP Apax and Omers Capital Partners US/Canada $1,633 $1,708
15 20 Springer Nature Holtzbrinck & EQT and GIC Investors Germany, Sweden, Singapore $1,605 $1,167
16 16 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company US/Cayman Islands $1,416 $1,372
17 15 China Publishing Group Corporation China Publishing Group Corporation China $1,402 $1,495
18 NEW Zhejiang Publishing United Group Zhejiang Publishing United Group China $1,364
19 10 Holtzbrinck Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck Germany $1,231 $2,000
20 21 China Education Publishing & Media China Education Publishing & Media Holdings Co. Ltd. China $1,154 $1,108
21 19 Oxford University Press Oxford University UK $1,137 $1,181
22 22 Informa Informa plc UK $1,073 $1,075
23 23 Shueisha Hitotsubashi Group Japan $1,013 $1,033
24 29 Kadokawa Publishing Kadokawa Holdings Inc. Japan $1,009 $793
25 24 Kodansha Ltd. Kodansha Ltd. Japan $969 $997
26 26 Shogakukan Hitotsubashi Group Japan $850 $859
27 27 Bonnier The Bonnier Group Sweden $827 $836
28 25 Egmont Group Egmont International Holding A/S Denmark $786 $896
29 30 Simon & Schuster CBS US $780 $778
30 28 Grupo Santillana PRISA SA Spain $702 $793
31 31 Woongjin ThinkBig Woongjin Holding Korea $552 $577
32 32 Klett Klett Gruppe Germany $540 $560
33 35 Messagerie / GeMS Messagerie Italiane Italy $502 $460
34 18 De Agostini Editore* Gruppo De Agostini Italy $483 $1,367
35 33 Groupe Madrigall Madrigall France $478 $531
36 34 Les Editions Lefebvre-Sarrut Frojal France $432 $482
37 38 Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press UK $399 $409
38 36 Media Participations Media Participations Belgium $371 $426
39 37 Mondadori Libri The Mondadori Group Italy $350 $410
40 40 Westermann Verlagsgruppe Medien Union Germany $327 $364
41 42 Sanoma Sanoma WSOY Finland $307 $355
42 43 Cornelsen Cornelsen Germany $284 $346
43 46 Haufe Gruppe Privately owned Germany $279 $285
44 44 Kyowon Co. Ltd. Kyowon Co. Ltd. Korea $277 $312
45 46 WEKA WEKA Firmengruppe Germany $253 $286
46 45 La Martinière Groupe La Martinière Groupe France $246 $292
47 49 Gakken Co. Ltd. Gakken Co. Ltd. Japan $239 $257
48 52 EKSMO-AST Privately owned Russia $233 $211
49 51 OLMA Media Group Privately owned Cyprus $213
50 50 Bungeishunju Ltd. Bungeishunju Ltd. Japan $201 $216
51 53 Groupe Albin Michel Groupe Albin Michel France $194 $204
52 57 Shinchosha Publishing Co, Ltd. Shinchosa Publishing Co, Ltd. Japan $182 $176

* The 2015 sales figure for De Agostini reflects sales of books and partworks only; it excludes all other revenue.

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Penguin Random House ~ What Does It Mean?


Will the proposed, new largest publisher of the former Big Six change the publishing business?

Will it successfully counter the Amazon foot-print?

Will anything substantial change?

While I feel the future of publishing will be some balance between “Full-Service” Publishers and thriving Self-Publishing, the remaining “legacy” publishers will need to learn from the self-publishers.

I found four sources with varied opinions on this merger.

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First, Gavin James Bower, editorial director at independent publisher Quartet Books, in Penguin merger minuses could be pluses for indies:

“The reactions to news that the publishing arms of Bertelsmann and Pearson are merging, creating the biggest publisher in the world in Penguin Random House, can be summed up in one word: negative.”

“The merger is an example of the big boys battening down the hatches; no matter what they say, this isn’t about exploiting ‘high-growth emerging markets’.”

“In any recession, the vanguard is to be found beyond the mainstream—and risks taken by those typically seen as outsiders. Indies, as they always do, will be seen as the risk-takers in a climate of doom and gloom, nurturing talent and publishing books not deemed safe enough for the panicky, profit-driven corporations.”

The next source of opinion is from Andy Lewis, Staff Writer for The Hollywood Reporter—What the Random House-Penguin Merger Means for Authors (Analysis):

“The Oct. 29 merger of book behemoths Random House and Penguin not only creates the world’s largest publisher…it also will present a formidable challenge to the growing power of such digital distributors as Amazon and Apple. And some already are worrying that the consolidation will decrease opportunities for authors and drive down advances.”

“But some…have argued that the future of publishing is with pure digital players unburdened by legacy costs (like printing).”

“Still, the combination is likely to be just the first shoe that drops in publishing. When news of the Penguin-Random House talks leaked, News Corp. owner HarperCollins made a late offer for Penguin for a reported $1.6 billion. Now analysts are wondering which of the remaining “Big Six” (Macmillan, Hachette or Simon & Schuster) Rupert Murdoch will court next.”

Next is Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director at Digital Book World, in a Forbes article—Five Thoughts on a Penguin-Random House Merger: Rapid Reaction:

“Penguin and Random House, by many accounts the two largest trade publishers in the world, have agreed to merge operations. The deal will be subject to regulatory approval and isn’t expected to close until the second half of 2013.”

“When two large companies merge, there are cost-savings to be had in combining shared business functions.”

“The company would have 9,000 employees and would have locations in about 20 countries around the world, including China, India, all major English-speaking countries and many countries in the Spanish-speaking world.”

“It’s been speculated the Penguin Random House would control about 40% of the U.S. trade book business….That gives the company more negotiating power, specifically with its largest trading partner, Amazon.”

“…the larger Penguin Random House might have the negotiating power to squeeze better terms from agents and authors in exchange for unmatched marketing and distribution resources.”

Next are Eric Pfanner & Amy Chozick at The New York TimesRandom House and Penguin Merger Creates Global Giant:

“In announcing the agreement, the European owners of Random House and Penguin—Bertelsmann and Pearson, respectively—said Bertelsmann would control 53 percent of the combined entity and Pearson 47 percent.”

“The other four houses among the so-called Big Six are also owned by larger media conglomerates: HarperCollins, which is part of News Corporation; Macmillan, owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck of Germany; Hachette, whose parent company is Lagardère of France; and Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS. They could all now face increased pressure to consolidate in response to a combined Penguin Random House.”

“Small publishers with a niche focus and loyal groups of authors and readers might manage to remain independent, said Douglas McCabe, an analyst at Enders Analysis in London.”

“The combined company is expected to invest heavily in e-books and what Mr. Dohle [the new CEO] called digital product development. He said that did not necessarily mean it would produce its own e-reader device, as some in the industry expected.”

“Authors and literary agents, one step removed from the merger, have expressed concern about consolidation, fearing that they will lose leverage if there are fewer publishers.”

“‘The idea of this company is to combine the small company culture and the small company feeling on the creative and content side with the richest and most enhanced access to services on the corporate side’, Mr. Dohle said.”

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Well now, I think we all know how leaders in mega-business can paint pictures that never translate to reality

Some folks feel this merger, as well as easily predicted further mergers, will not stave off Amazon’s growing power.

Some see the mergers as a prequel to more balance between digital and print.

Most people have no idea what will happen

Want to speculate in the Comments? :-)
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