Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Penguin Random House

Publishing Podcasts Galore !

Back on the 8th of November, I shared some marvelous free downloads from the Frankfurt Book FairPublishing Perspectives Podcasts

So, here come the freebies again in an article on Publishing Perspectives called, Podcasts for Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Enthusiasts, And Beyond.

Here are some excerpts (you might need them to decide if you want to click that last link...):

“…there’s good listening for publishing people just about everywhere these days on the international podcast scene.”


You may want to scroll down past the pictures of Christopher Kenneally and Orna Ross to this header:

International Books- and Publishing-Related Podcasts

Here are bits of the blurbs for those podcasts:

“…this podcast carries author interviews, behind-the-scenes information, and master classes from the literary scene in Hong Kong.”


“This is a science fiction and fantasy podcast from Pakistan…”


“This is an interview-based show in which local and international guests talk book publishing, especially in the Indian market.”


“This is a weekly ‘novel podcast’…”


“…both an online audio archive and a radio-style pan-African poetry show.”


“…writers from across the Penguin Random House division’s output.”


“Each podcast includes a compelling mix of readings and conversation.”


“This podcast is from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies.”


“…for those who still are wild about Harry, this Potter podcast from the fan site…”

Rough estimate—10 hours of listening…
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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.

If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Writer Beware !

None of us wants to be told we’re acting childish.

Author Scams from Author Solutions

Image courtesy of Umut Kemal ~

Yet, how many times have you thrown caution to the wind, thrust your trust out front, and been sorely burned because you didn’t act in a completely mature manner?

I’m 68 and I still, occasionally, do that—though much less than in my fifties :-)

But, if you’ve spent years creating a novel and you’ve decided to not wait years for a possible contract with a traditional publisher and you’re sure you want to self-publish (and, you’ve been very adult in making the decision to self-publish), you might still be scammed by one of the shadiest companies on the planet.

One of the best people I know who’s been sniffing-out the tactics of this particular company is David Gaughran.

And, if you take that last link, do click on all the menu tabs at the top—he has some of the best advice for writers wanting to explore self-publishing

I’ve featured David in nine other posts ; but, his most recent post—The Case Against Author Solutions, Part 1: The Numbers—deserves a few excerpts to encourage you to go read it:

(What this scamming company does to find the people they dupe—bolding by me…)

As if that weren’t enough to make you act like a discerning adult, how about the “marketing packages” they push once they’ve hooked someone:

“Author Solutions uses high-pressure tactics and emotional button-pushing to sell these wholly unsuitable, completely ineffective, and hugely overpriced marketing services to these inexperienced writers. The papers filed in the class action suit mirror the hundreds of complaints that I’ve received and read in this regard also.”

And what about that traditional publisher who bought Author Solutions—Penguin Random House?

Here’s what the Chairman said when they merged:

“We spent time getting to know the people [at Author Solutions] and their sophisticated operation. They have skills that can help us at Penguin.”


If you’re considering having your book published, don’t let the innocence of your youthful spirit stunt your growth as an author—do, go read David’s full article (and, bookmark his site so you can read Part 2).
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Help! I’ve Been Scammed!!

scam It appears that, just as big banking can get away with anything they do, so can big publishing.

Consider this answer to a comment on David Gaughran‘s blog [bolding by me]:

“…Author Solutions has proved to be an expert at creating a veneer of legitimacy. Appearing at literary festivals…is just one small aspect of that grand plan (and it really doesn’t help when they are invited to speak onstage at events like BEA either).

“Think about that (faux) legitimacy for a second. They are owned by the largest publisher in the world – Penguin Random House. They have partnerships with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Writers Digest, Hay House, Sony, Overdrive and Lulu – all respected companies. For example, if you go to the Sony Ebookstore and look for information on how you can publish there, you are sent to Author Solutions…and it’s the same with Overdrive.

“On top of that, they run a number of fake websites, purporting to be independent publishing information sites, that only recommend Author Solutions companies.

“The people they target aren’t experienced writers/self-publishers. They target those *without* experience (and the knowledge and instincts that come with experience). These people look at the companies partnering with them, look at the company that owns them, see the festivals they appear at, see their ads in places like the New York Times and the Bookseller and they think ‘these guys must be okay.’”

That rather lengthy quote was just one of the 38 comments on David Gaughran’s post, Author Solutions Takes Signing Scam To Miami Book Fair.

I’m glad I was poor when I got serious about getting published.

I didn’t have the thousands of dollars unsuspecting writers pay to companies like this

Some of David’s commenters claim that anyone spending thousands without investigating a deal deserves it; yet, Gaughran responds, “I really don’t blame anyone for falling for it.”

From the body of that blog post is revealed the sickening fact that Author Solutions made half a million dollars at the Miami Book Fair in 2012.

And, guess what? You can get scammed this year, too. Unless you heed the warnings, calm your fevered author’s heart, and do the hard work book promotion demands


Penguin Random House owns Author Solutions yet they have other operations like the $9,600 dollar scam offered through Simon & Schuster in that image.

And, they have a few other aliases they work under: AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, and Palibrio.

A couple of David’s commentors mentioned that an author could spend only $1,000 and have their own booth for the book fair.

Do you feel outrage at these companies or do you feel anyone paying them deserves what happens?

I published my latest book for $300 and I’m using my Sweat Equity to, slowly, encourage folks to read it—long haul promotion

There’s another good place to get info on author scams and I certainly hope my readers will share this kind of information, as widely as possible
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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