• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!



Page history last edited by Katie B. 7 years, 11 months ago




History of Publishing:

Publishing as it is known today depends on a series of three major inventions—writing, paper, and printing—and one crucial social development—the spread of literacy. The history of publishing houses began in the late 1800's. These first businesses formed into what are now many of the lead companies. Starting with J.B. Lippincott(1792) Harper and Bros(1817) became Harper and Row in (1962) and finally became HarperCollins in 1990. In the early 20th century books began a whole new role which was helping immigrants that were coming to the United States understand the English language. A new beginning of publishing houses broke loose during this time. The start of a few major businesses began during this time including, Doubleday & McClure(1897), The Mcgraw-Hill Book Company(1909), Prentice-Hall(1913), Alfred A. Knopf(1915), Simon & Schuster(1924) and Random House(1925). These first publishing houses led the way to what are now some of the major leaders in today's publishing.



A Publishing house founded in 1891




Behind the Scenes of Publishing:

Publishing is not as simple as some may think. Behind the scenes of the big publishing companies there are many different jobs that need to be done to reach the ultimate goal. Editors are a huge part of this goal. Each editor has a certain job to complete to make sure the book is ready to be published. These jobs are vital to the publishing business. 


  • Acquisitions Editor or Commission Editor- The person who finds the books for the publishing houses to publish. Most full time acquisitions editors find 15-20 books a year to publish. They also consider themselves as a type of author manager. Making sure the book they chose to publish gets done on time and within the contract.


  • Copy Editor- Is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the substance of the text. Copy editing is done before both typesetting and proofreading, the latter of which is the last step in the editorial cycle.


  • Developmental Editor- The developmental edit is a huge process sometimes involving ghostwriting. The developmental editor may rewrite sections where the author is stuck. Developmental editing is a matter of rearranging the text and getting it to a flow in a way that makes sense, that's logical, so the book's content is congruent instead of randomly thrown together.


  • Design Manager-Basically designs the appearance to the book itself. Which include the cover of the book, which types of font and paper to use.




Top Publishing Companies Today:







Simon & Schuster

Simon and Schuster is a publishing company that is partners with the CBS Corporation. It was founded in 1924 and is still going strong today. A couple main points that keep them as one of the leading publishers in the country and worldwide include:


  •  A major force in today’s consumer publishing industry, dedicated to bringing an extensive cross section of first class information and entertainment, in all printed, digital, and audio formats, to a worldwide audience of readers.
  • Publishes approximately 2000 titles annually.  Simon & Schuster has approximately 1350 employees and can distribute its titles in more than 150 countries and territories around the world.
  • Simon & Schuster has publishing and distribution capabilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and India, as well as an international sales presence in every major market.
  •  In 2010, Simon & Schuster placed 154 titles on the New York Times bestseller list, including fourteen #1 bestsellers. Simon & Schuster Audio is one of the original and largest audio publishers in the industry, with a list of high quality fiction and nonfiction from both Simon & Schuster and external publishing houses. 
  • The Audio Division’s Pimsleur Language Program is one of the fastest growing language education series in the world.
  • Has more than 11,000 titles available as eBooks.
  • In all, Simon & Schuster titles have received 55 Pulitzer Prizes, 15 National Book Awards, 14 Caldecott and 19 Newbery Medals
  • Simon & Schuster publishes many of the strongest and most recognizable brands in the world of entertainment, including titles based on CBS’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Bro Code based on “How I Met Your Mother,” and Showtime’s The L Word, and, under the Simon Spotlight imprint, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. titles featuring The Backyardigans, Wonder Pets and Avatar.


Random House

Random House, Inc. is the U.S. division of Random House, the world's largest trade-book publisher, and is owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's foremost media companies. Random Houses' model is, "Bringing you the best in fiction, non fiction, and children's books". Random House headquarters is located in New York. Other than the Untied States, Random House is stretched worldwide in 15 different countries across the globe with just over 5,000 employees.


Random House's mission is to connect readers worldwide to adult and children's fiction and nonfiction authors both familiar and new. It is home to more than 50 Nobel Prize laureates, over 100 Pulitzer Prize winners, and many of the most widely read authors of our time. As the world's largest print and digital trade book publisher with 200 editorially-independent imprints, it publishes approximately 10,000 new books annually in print, digital, and audio formats, and sells more than 400 million books a year across the globe. Random House is the book division of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, one of the world's leading media companies.


Random House also gives quite a bit back  to society. Here is a few points emphasizing on that:

  • Random House, Inc. Creative Writing Competition: For 20 years, Random House has provided annual scholarships to public high school students for original poetry, memoir, fiction, drama, and graphic novel compositions
  • Random House also renewed its one-million-dollar-multi-year pledge to the "First Book" program last year—over the course of ten years Random House will have given two million dollars for this important reading cause supporting underserved children
  • On average each year, Random House and its global affiliates donate more than three million of our print books to needy readers all over the globe


Penguin Group

Penguin Group was formed in 1996 as it merged with The Putnam Berkely Group. The Penguin Group, with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and China, is led by CEO and Chairman, John Makinson, and is owned by Pearson plc. Pearson is an international media company with market-leading businesses in education, business information, and consumer publishing.Being spread out in many locations is good for the company because they are able to produce what they need to keep up with the rest of the big publishing companies. 


Many top publishing companies are starting to shift their focus on E-Books. This video segment shows how recently The Penguin Group landed a huge E-Book publishing deal. The author Thomas Pynchon who has written many great novels is now available through the E-book that was published by this company. Pushing to keep up with the times this was a very smart move to get some of these known authors onto E-Books.




Lagardere is more than just a publishing company, they do a lot from digital media, to magazines, to television, even as far as sports. The reason they are on this list is because they are the 2nd biggest publishing company worldwide. Although, a lot of their business is done in Europe they still have a big impact everywhere. They were the first company to reach a record 5 million E-books sold, by the author James Patterson (Along Came a Spider, Alex Cross). 


The history of Lagardere can be traced back as far as 1826 in France when the first man laid down the foundation for what is now a huge company. Fast forward to 1992 which was when the Lagardere Group was officially founded under that name. Still based out of France they have locations all over the world.  Lagardere soon became a mass media company. They have four different buisnessess, Lagardere Publishing, Lagardere Active(Magazines), Lagardere Services(Retail), and Legardere Unlimited(Sport). Although it started as  publishing company it rose to become a huge mass media company.   



Harper Collins

HarperCollins is one of the world's largest publishing companies. Headquartered in New York City, the company is a subsidiary of News Corporation. The company name is a combination of Harper & Row - an American publishing company acquired in 1987, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers (founded 1817) and Row, Peterson & Company - and UK publishing company William Collins, Sons (founded 1819), acquired in 1990. The worldwide CEO of HarperCollins is Brian Murray. HarperCollins has publishing groups in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and India. The company publishes many different imprints, both former independent publishing houses and new imprints.


HarperCollins is growing rapidly in the digital sphere with 68 e-originals and more than 80 enhanced e-books in the marketplace. They have 2 main "groups" which are based on what area of books to publish. The first is called General Books Group. HarperCollins General Books Group had 89 titles on the New York Times bestseller list, with four titles hitting number one, including American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen & Jim DeFelice, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Movie Tie-in by Steve Harvey, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond, and The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens. The second main group is HarperCollins Childrens Group. Which, obviously focuses on childrens books. For the eleventh consecutive year, HarperCollins Children's Books had the greatest number of books on the New York Times bestseller lists among children's book publishers. Of the 51 titles that made the list, 12 reached the number one position.


Future of Publishing:


A group of new companies are creating a smart hybrid model that will be the other winner in the future.  This model pays the author no advance; in fact, often the author pays the publisher for its services rendered.  But it offers some editorial help, and creates a marketing plan for the book, unlike the old model of self-publishing which simply printed books, delivered in boxes to your door.  Many authors in the future will use this smart modern makeover of self-publishing.






Self Publishing:

"Self Publishing" is becoming the new thing for many authors trying to get there ideas out there. Self Publishing makes it easier to produce books and get them on the market. The price of self publishing is a lot cheaper then getting a big named company to publish it. Although those are a few of the positive things, there are many negative also. For example, using a self publisher company "DiggyPOD" will not get the book out on the market as effective as using a big publisher. Another is making an investment not knowing whether the book will sell. There are many "Self-Publisher" companies and websites out there for anyone who is interested. It makes it simple and cost effective. Here is a video of a company known as DiggyPOD which will make the book from start to finish. Many companies like Outskirt Press and Lulu put the book on the market via Amazon.com or through Barnes and Noble. 









Self Publishing Chart

This is a pie chart of the amount of money self published books make. The majority of self-published books is less than $1000.















Google Publishing:

Publishers choose whether to allow Google to digitize their out-of-print books that are still under copyright protection. If Google does so, it will also provide them with a digital copy for their own use, perhaps to sell on their Web sites. For books that it has digitized, Google allows people to read 20 percent of them online and purchase the entire books from the Google Play store, and it shares revenue with the publishers. “What’s really exciting about today’s settlement is the fact that Google will be getting access to books that have long been out of print, that are in copyright,” said Tom Turvey, director of strategic partnerships at Google. “It’s good for users who weren’t able to buy them before, and for publishers.”



On Ocotber 29th 2012:

Random House and Penguin Group made a deal to plan and combine their companies. It will be called Penguin Random House. The combination brings together two of the world's leading English language publishers, with highly complementary skills and strengths. Random House is the leading English language publisher in the US and the UK, while Penguin is the world's most famous publishing brand and has a strong presence in fast-growing developing markets. Both companies have a long history of publishing excellence, and both have been pioneers in the dramatic industry transformation towards digital publishing and book-selling. The combination is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals, including merger control clearances, and is expected to complete in the second half of 2013.





"Random House - Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books."Random House - Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://www.randomhouse.com/>. 


"New Book Releases, Bestsellers, Author Info. & More at Simon & Schuster." Simon & Schuster. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://www.simonandschuster.com/>. 


"Penguin.com (usa)." US Book Shop and Online Bookstore. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://www.us.penguingroup.com/>.

"Lagardère - Lagardère Publishing." Lagardère. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.lagardere.com/businesses/lagardere-publishing-1005.html>.


"HarperCollins Publishers â World Leading Book Publisher." HarperCollins Publishers â World Leading Book Publisher. 13 Nov. 2012 <http://www.harpercollins.com/>.


Miller, Claire C. Google Deal Gives Publishers A Choice: Digitize or Not. 04 Oct. 2012. New York Times. </www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/technology/google-and-publishers-settle-over-digital-books.html?_r=0>.


Morgan, Nick. "What Is the Future of Publishing?" Forbes. 12 July 2012. Forbes Magazine. 13 Nov. 2012 <http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2012/07/12/what-is-the-future-of-publishing/>.


Whalen, Terry. "What's an acquisitions editor?" What's an acquisitions editor? 2007. 13 Nov. 2012 <http://www.right-writing.com/acquisitions.html>.

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