The publishing industry has always been a tricky business, with an influential and massive global consumer market. Most of the major publishers are part of a bigger media enterprise, except for some prominent indie presses. Over 700 million books were sold in the United States alone last year, and non-traditional formats like e-books and audiobooks are becoming a huge selling point for the publishers.
The list of the top 10 publishers in U.S. are as follows,
a. Penguin Random House
This company is considered to be one of the biggest publishing houses in the industry. The Penguin Random House (PRH) was formed from a merger between Penguin Books and Random House. It is actually owned by multinational companies Pearson PLC and Bertelsmann. PRH publishes over 15,000 books a year and sells approximately 800 million copies or so of print, audio and eBooks annually. Some of their biggest titles of 2019 were The Guardian by John Grisham, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.
HarperCollins is a subsidiary of News Corp and was founded in 1989 in the form of a multi-million company merger between former publishing giants Harper & Row and William Collins. It has over 120 individual imprints, most of which are based in the U.S. They are responsible for publishing excellent works like Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, etc.
c. Simon & Schuster
Another giant of the publishing industry, Simon & Schuster was the original publisher of the “Lost Generation” authors like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Eliot and others. Owned by CBS Corporation as a subsidiary and founded in 1924, this publishing house have published the works of many prominent authors like Dan Brown and Stephen King. Presently, it releases over 2,000 titles a year. Hits like The Institute by Stephen King and Howard Stern Comes Again by Howard Stern were some of their best published works of 2019.
d. The Hachette Book Group
Hachette Book Group is owned by Hachette Livre, the largest publishing company in France, and the third largest publishing company overall. Hachette Livre is a subsidiary of Lagardère Group and has over 150 imprints to their name. Founded in 1992, this publishing house prints over 20,000 books a year, more than the Penguin Random House, making it the fastest growing publishing house. Some of Hachette Book Group’s 2019 publishing sensations were Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell and Little Weirds by Jenny Slate.
e. Macmillan Publishers
One of the subsidiaries of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Macmillan Publishers was formed in 2015 through a merger. It is one of the big five publisher with a renowned history which dates back to 1843, publishing the works of eminent authors like Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, and W. B. Yeats. Some of their biggest 2019 hits were Me by Elton John and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.
Scholastic is considered more of a publisher of educational books than traditional story books. It was founded in 1920 and has been an independent publisher ever since. It is the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world, owning the rights to some of the most well-known YA series of all time like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. It is consistent in publishing some of the most popular titles for children.
g. Disney Publishing Worldwide
Formerly known as The Disney Publishing Group and Buena Vista Publishing Group, Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is another children’s publisher that has been having a good run, particularly in the fiction category with titles like Star Wars and other Disney-owned properties. Recently, DPW increased its presence in the publishing industry when Hachette Book Group purchased more than 1,000 titles published by Disney, marking a partnership that is not only limited to traditional publishing but goes “beyond books across multiple platforms and media”.
h. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Another big publisher in the education publisher’s category, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was formed in 2007 after a merger between Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt. It mostly serves the educational sector and earns most of their money from it, but it also publishes other books like general interest, culinary, and children’s titles as well. It was formerly a subsidiary of Education Media and Publishing Group but owns itself and all its imprints. In 2019, HMH published elementary school textbooks in all subjects, as well as cookbooks.
i. Workman Publishing Company
Workman Publishing Company was founded in 1968 by Peter Workman. It is an independent publisher of trade books, known mainly for publishing non-fiction books along with calendars. Some of its well-known works that sold more than 100,000 print copies are What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, as well as many of Sandra Boynton’s children’s books, and Brain Quest.
j. Sterling Publishing
Originally founded in 1949, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. is a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, who acquired it in 2003. They publish on a wide range of subjects, with multiple imprints and have more than 5,000 titles in print. Some of their works include books for brands like Hasbro, USA TODAY, AARP and Hearst Magazines. They also act as distributor for North America as their domestic and international publisher.
The author of this title, Rohan Sarkar is a professional illustrator and is currently pursuing his masters in Toronto, Canada.