|The Big Five Publishers
The term “The Big Five” is commonly used within publishing circles to talk about the five largest publishers in the industry. Each of the big five
publishers has a collection of imprints, or smaller publishing houses, that reside with relative autonomy within the larger publishing umbrella.
Here’s a quick overview of just who the Big five are where they fit in the modern corporate world.
Currently with Random and Penguin merging and the flurry of acquisitions and mergers, we are down to the big five.
Hachette Book Group (Foreign Owned)
Formerly Warner Books (of Time Warner), Hachette was acquired by Hachette Livre, itself a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate
Lagardère Group. The publisher is known for a few of its larger imprints – Little, Brown & Company and Grand Central.
In addition to selling and distributing its own imprints, HBG distributes publishing lines for Chronicle Books, Microsoft Learning, Arcade, Time
Inc. Home Entertainment, Harry N. Abrams, Innovative Kids, Phaidon Press, Filipacchi Publishing, Kensington, MQ Publications, Strictly By The
Book, Weinstein Books and Gildan Media.
Owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, a multi-national company. HarperCollins is the combination of two other publishing companies (William
Collins, Sons and Co Ltd and Harper & Row). Both Harper and Collins were founded in the early 19th century. Today, HarperCollins has around
Other imprints include: Amistad, Avon, Avon A, Avon Inspire, Avon Red, Caedmon, Collins, Harper Business, Collins Design, Collins Living,
Ecco, Eos, Harper Mass Market, Harper Paperbacks, Harper Perennial, HarperAudio, HarperCollins, HarperCollins e-Books, It Books,
HarperLuxe, Harper One, Harper Studio, Morrow Cookbooks, Rayo, William Morrow, Amistad, Eos, Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Children's
Audio, HarperCollins Children's Books, Harper Festival, Harper Entertainment, Harper Teen, Harper Trophy, Joanna Cotler Books, Julie Andrews
Collection, Katherine Tegen Books, Laura Geringer Books, Rayo covering just about every imaginable publishing niche from all over the world.
MacMillan Publishers Ltd (Foreign Owned)
Founded in 1843 by Daniel and Alexander MacMillan, the company is now currently owned by the German Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing
Group. Residing in the New York City’s Flatiron building, the MacMillan imprints run the gamut from commercial fiction (St. Martin’s Press)
Other imprints include: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, FSG Hardcovers, FSG Paperbacks, Hill & Wang, Faber & Faber, First Second, Henry Holt &
Co., Henry Holt Hardcovers, Henry Holt Paperbacks, Metropolitan Books, Times Books, Macmillan Audio, Behind the Wheel, Nature Publishing
Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Picador, Quick and Dirty Tips, Scientific American, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, Thomas Dunne Books,
Tor/Forge, Tor Books, Forge Books, Orb Books, Tor/Seven Seas, Bedford, Freeman and Worth, Bedford/St. Martin’s, W.H. Freeman, Worth
Publishers, BFW High School, Hayden-McNeil, Palgrave Macmillan, Trade Books For Courses, FSG Books for Young Readers, Feiwel & Friends,
Holt Books for Young Readers, Kingfisher, Roaring Brook, Priddy Books, Starscape/Tor Teen, Square Fish, Young Listeners, Macmillan Kids
rough speculative fiction (Tor) and strong literary fiction (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
Penguin Random House (Foreign Owned)
Owned by the British conglomerate Pearson PLC, and the German conglomerate Bertelsmann, Penguin and Random House merged into one
company in 2013.
In 2012, Penguin purchased the self-publishing company Author Solutions for 116 million. Imprints include Elibris, iUniverse, Wordclay, Trafford,
Author House. It later sold Author solutions to Najafe Companies in December 2015.
Penguin Random imprints include: Ace Books, Alpha Books, Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, Avery, Berkley Books, Dial Books for Young Readers,
Dutton Books, Dutton Children's Books, Firebird, Frederick Warne, Gotham Books, G.P. Putnam's Sons, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young
Readers, Grosset & Dunlap, HP Books, Hudson Street Press, Jove, NAL, Pamela Dorman Books, Penguin, The Penguin Press, Perigee Books,
Philomel Books, Plume, Portfolio, Prentice Hall Press, Price Stern Sloan, Puffin Books, Razorbill, Riverhead, Sentinel, Speak, Tarcher, The Viking
Press, Viking Books for Young Readers, Crown Trade Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Random House Publishing Group, RH Audio
Publishing Group, Random House Children’s Books, RH Information Group, RH International, RH Large Print.
Simon & Schuster (American Owned)
Owned by the CBS Corporation, Simon & Schuster traces its publishing history back to the 1920s and the dawn of the crossword puzzle. Today,
Simon & Schuster publishes around two thousand titles each year through dozens of imprints including Pocket, Free Press, and Scribner.
Other imprints include: Aladdin, Atheneum, Atria, Beach Lane Books, Folger Shakespeare Library, Free Press, Howard Books, Little Simon,
Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Pimsleur, Pocket, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster
BFYR, Simon Pulse, Simon Spotlight, Threshold, Touchstone/Fireside.