Penguin Random House

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Penguin Random House LLC
TypeSubsidiary of Bertelsmann
Founded2013; 8 years ago (2013)
FounderMarkus Dohle
HeadquartersUnited Kingdom/United States
Number of locations
Random House Tower,
New York City, United States
Area served
Key people
Markus Dohle (CEO)
Thomas Rabe (Chairman)
Madeline McIntosh (CEO, PRH US)
Jim Johnston (CFO)
RevenueDecrease€3.359 billion (2017)
Number of employees
10,000 (as of 1 July 2013)

Penguin Random House LLC is a multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Penguin Group and Random House.[1][2]

In April 2020, Bertelsmann announced the completion of its purchase of Penguin Random House, which had been announced in December 2019, by buying Pearson plc's 25% ownership of the company. With that purchase, Bertelsmann became the sole owner of Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann's German-language publishing group Verlagsgruppe Random House will be completely integrated into Penguin Random House, adding 45 imprints to the company, for a total of 365 imprints.[3]

As of 2013, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints.[citation needed] These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital. Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany.[4][5]

In November 2020, The New York Times reported that Penguin Random House is purchasing Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion.[6] The deal is dependent on approval by international regulators.


Penguin Random House was founded in 2013 by Markus Dohle upon the completion of a £2.4 billion transaction between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. Bertelsmann and Pearson, the parent companies, initially owned 53% and 47%, respectively.[7] Jane Ciabattari of Library Journal has referred to this merger as the publishing industry's response to the increasing dominance of in the book market.[8] Markus Dohle was named CEO of the new company, which had more than 10,000 employees worldwide with 250 imprints and publishing houses and a publishing list of more than 15,000 new titles a year.[5][better source needed] Penguin Random House relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online writing community, in July 2013.[9] In September 2014, Random House Studio signed a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures, under which Random House would be the producer of films based on Penguin Random House books. The Universal subsidiary Focus Features has frequently collaborated with Random House Films.[10] Having previously created Puffin Rock animation, Richard Haines was chosen to head Penguin Random House Children's TV development strategy with the assistance of licensing, publishing, and TV development executive Emily Campan.[11]

In November 2015, Pearson announced it would rebrand to focus on its education division.[12] In July 2017, Pearson sold a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding.[13][14] On 18 December 2019, Bertelsmann agreed to acquire Pearson's 25% stake in Penguin Random House,[15] making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. The sale was completed on 2 April 2020.[3] In June 2020, Penguin Random House was one of a group of publishers who sued the Internet Archive, arguing that its collection of e-books was denying authors and publishers revenue and accusing the library of "willful mass copyright infringement".[16][17]

On 25 November 2020, Penguin Random House agreed to purchase American publisher Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion. A formal regulatory approval process will follow the purchase agreement.[18]

Divisions and imprints[edit]


DK (Dorling Kindersley) was founded in London in 1974 and is a reference publisher focusing on non-fiction for adults and children.[citation needed]

As of 2015, DK also has official publishing relationships with Angry Birds, Lego, Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney.[19][better source needed]

Crown Publishing Group[edit]

Crown Publishing was founded in 1933 as the Outlet Book Company, a remainder house, and is now a publisher of fiction and narrative non-fiction.[20]

  • Amphoto Books, publishes photography books
  • Broadway Books, founded in 1996 as part of Bantam Doubleday Dell and is now the paperback imprint of Crown
  • Clarkson Potter, produces cookbooks, illustrated gift books, and journals
  • Crown Archetype, hardcover publisher of pop-culture titles
  • Crown Business, publishes business-related content
  • Crown Forum, publishes political discourse
  • Harmony Books, publishes self-help titles
  • Hogarth Press, partnership between Crown in the US and Windus in the UK
  • Convergent, Image Catholic Books (Doubleday Religion), Waterbrook & Multnomah publish Christian non-fiction and fiction titles
  • Pam Krauss Books, founded in 1915 and publishes culinary, food, and lifestyle related titles
  • Rodale Books
  • Ten Speed Press, joined Crown in 2009 as a West Coast publisher of nonfiction and gift titles
  • Tim Duggan Books, founded in 2014
  • Watson-Guptill, publishes illustrated art books as part of Ten Speed Press[21]

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group[edit]

  • Alfred A. Knopf, publisher of hardcover fiction and nonfiction, founded in 1915 by Alfred A. Knopf, and Blanche Knopf. Titles under Alfred A. Knopf have won 58 Pulitzers as well as Nobel and National Book Awards.[22]
  • Doubleday, publisher of commercial, literary, and serious nonfiction founded in 1897
  • Pantheon, founded in 1942 by Kurt Wolff
  • Schocken, publisher of Judaica, became a part of Random House in 1945
  • Vintage Books, trade paperback publisher founded by Alfred A. Knopf in 1954
  • Anchor Books, publisher of history, science, women's studies, sociology and fiction
  • Vintage Español, Spanish-language publisher in the United States, founded in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf
  • Black Lizard, also known as Vintage Crime, publisher of crime fiction, acquired by Random House in 1990
  • Nan A. Talese, literary imprint formed in 1990 to house authors published by editor Nan A. Talese
  • Everyman's Library, a series of reprinted classic literature currently published in hardback[23][24]

Penguin Publishing Group[edit]

  • Avery, publisher of nonfiction and lifestyle books founded in 1974
  • Berkley Publishing Group/New American Library, contain several imprints including Jove, Signet, Ace, Roc, Sensation, and Caliber
  • DAW, publisher of science fiction and fantasy
  • Dutton, small boutique fiction and non-fiction publisher of about 40 books per year
  • Putnam, publisher founded in 1838
  • Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, established in 2010 as a boutique publisher of VP Pamela Dorman
  • Penguin, established in the 1930s as a publisher of mass market paperbacks; houses Penguin Books, Penguin Classics, and most recently Penguin Press
  • Perigee, originally the trade paperback imprint for G.P. Putnam's Sons; publishes prescriptive non-fiction, self-help and how-to books
  • Plume, trade paperback imprint with a focus on multi-cultural and LGBT publishing
  • Portfolio, founded in 2001 as a business imprint
  • Riverhead, publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction founded in 1994
  • Sentinel, founded in 2003 as a conservative imprint
  • Tarcher Perigee, publisher of mind, body, and spiritualism titles
  • Viking Press, founded in 1925 and publishes both fiction and non-fiction titles[25]

Penguin Young Readers Group[edit]

Penguin Young Readers Group is a division devoted to books for young readers and young adults.

  • Dial Books for Young Readers, publishes about 70 hardcover children's books per year
  • Firebird, publishes young adult science fiction and fantasy
  • Frederick Warne, publisher founded in 1865 that develops brands based on classic children's literature such as Peter Rabbit
  • G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, publisher of picture books
  • Grosset & Dunlap, publisher of paperback series, leveled readers, nonfiction, brands, and licenses for ages 0–12
  • Kathy Dawson Books, launched in 2014 by publisher Kathy Dawson to publish hardcover middle-grade and YA fiction
  • Ladybird Books, publishes books for toddlers
  • Nancy Paulsen Books, launched in 2011 by publisher Nancy Paulsen to publish picture books
  • Philomel Books
  • Price Stern Sloan (PSS!), founded to publish the Mad Libs books in the 1960s, expanded to publish additional children's, novelty, and humor titles
  • Puffin Books, publishes books for young readers in various formats
  • Razorbill, publishes middle grade and young adult books
  • Speak, launched in 2002 to publish classic and new young adult fiction
  • Viking, publishes books for young readers[25]

Random House Publishing Group[edit]

  • Ballantine Books, founded in 1952 to publish fiction and nonfiction hardcover and paperback titles
  • Bantam Books, originally a publisher of mass-market reprints; currently publishes fiction and nonfiction in all formats
  • Delacorte Press, founded in 1921 as a publisher of pulp magazines, detective stories, and movie articles, has expanded to publish original fiction in all formats
  • Del Rey Books, branch of Ballantine Books that focuses on science fiction and fantasy titles
  • The Dial Press, literary publisher
  • Modern Library, publisher of American and international classics founded by Boni & Liveright
  • Random House, originally founded in 1927 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, and publishes fiction
  • Heyne Publishing, a German fiction Publisher for mass-market
  • Spiegel & Grau
  • Alibi, Flirt, Hydra, and Loveswept, publish e-originals in genre fiction[26]

Random House Children's Books[edit]

  • Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, publisher of board books, picture books, novels and non-fiction
  • Bluefire, fantasy imprint for middle grade and young adult readers
  • Crown Books for Young Readers
  • Dragonfly, publishes paperback picture books
  • Ember, publishes young adult and middle grade trade paperbacks, such as titles by Judy Blume and Dana Reinhardt
  • Golden Books, picture book, novelty, and activity book publisher launched in 1900
  • Laurel-Leaf, publishes young adult literature in a mass-market format
  • Little Tiger Press, British publisher[27]
  • The Princeton Review, publishes print and digital test prep materials
  • Random House Books for Young Readers, publisher of Dr. Seuss, Babar, Magic Tree House series, Junie B. Jones, and Step into Reading
  • Random House Graphic, launched in 2018, publishes graphic novels[28]
  • Schwartz and Wade, launched in 2005 and directed by Anne Schwartz and Lee Wade
  • Sylvan Learning, publishes workbooks and study aids.[29]
  • Yearling Books, publishes middle grade paperbacks
  • Wendy Lamb Books, publisher of middle-grade and young adult fiction launched in 2002

Penguin Random House Digital Publishing Group[edit]

Penguin Random House International[edit]

  • Companhia das Letras (70% Brazil)
  • Penguin Random House Australia
  • Penguin Random House Group (UK)
  • Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial (Spain/Portugal/Latin America)
  • Penguin Random House India
  • Penguin Random House New Zealand
  • Penguin Random House Canada
  • Penguin Random House Struik (South Africa)
  • Transworld Ireland
  • Verlagsgruppe Penguin Random House (Germany)[33]

Penguin Random House Publisher Services[edit]

Handling distribution and marketing for Shambhala Publications, National Geographic Books, Wizards of the Coast, Kodansha USA (including Vertical Inc.), New York Review Books, Titan Books, Other Press, North Atlantic Books, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics among others.

It also handles direct market distribution for Marvel Comics starting 1 October 2021 [34] and direct market distributution for IDW Publishing starting 1 June 2022. [35]


Book Country[edit]

Book Country was a subsidiary online writing and publishing community.[36] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy. In July 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in over sixty literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction.[9] As of September 2013, the site had over 10,000 members.[37] As of November 2020 the site is no longer operational.


  1. ^ Calamur, Krishnadev (29 October 2012). "Penguin, Random House Announce Merger". NPR. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Pearson, Bertelsmann Confirm Publishing Tie-Up". NPR. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b Maher, John (2 April 2020) "Bertelsmann Now Owns 100% of Penguin Random House" Publishers Weekly
  4. ^ "Welcome to Penguin Random House". 1 April 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b "CEO Markus Dohle Announces Penguin Random House Global Leadership Team" (PDF). Penguin Random House. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  6. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Lee, Edmund (25 November 2020). "Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Penguin and Random House complete merger". The Telegraph. 9 February 2017.
  8. ^ Ciabattari, Jane (2013). "Now There Are 5". Library Journal. Media Source Inc. 138 (14): 26–29.
  9. ^ a b Suw Charman-Anderson (29 July 2013). "Book Country: Developing Authors And Audiences". Forbes.
  10. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (24 September 2014). "Universal, Penguin Random House in 2-year First-look Pact". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  11. ^ Whittock, Jesse. (30 November 2015). Penguin Random House makes TV play. TBI Magazine. (Informa Telecoms & Media). Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  12. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (7 January 2016). "Pearson rebrand to reflect 100% focus on education". The Bookseller. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Pearson sells 22% stake in Penguin Random House". BBC News. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  14. ^ Sweney, Mark (11 July 2017). "Pearson sells slice of Penguin for $1bn". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  15. ^ Spahr, Wolfgang (18 December 2019) "BMG Parent Bertelsmann to Acquire Full Stake in Penguin Random House" | Billboard
  16. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A. (1 June 2020). "Publishers Sue Internet Archive Over Free E-Books". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  17. ^ Text of Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive is available from: CourtListener 
  18. ^ Whitten, Sarah (25 November 2020). "ViacomCBS Sells Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2 billion". CNBC. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  19. ^ "About DK". DK Publishing. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  20. ^ Mcdowell, Edwin (8 February 1990). "Nat Wartels, 88, the Chairman Of the Crown Publishing Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  21. ^ "The Crown Publishing GroupThe Crown Publishing Group". The Crown Publishing Group. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  22. ^ Rich, Motoko (18 April 2007). "Pulitzer Prizes – Alfred A. Knopf – Books". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Imprints | Knopf Doubleday". Knopf Doubleday. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Random House – Bertelsmann AG" (in German). Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  25. ^ a b "Imprints | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Our Imprints". Random House. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  27. ^ Nawotka, Ed (27 March 2019). "PRH Acquires U.K.'s Little Tiger Group". Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  28. ^ "New Venture: Random House Graphic". Publishers Weekly. 10 October 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  29. ^ "Random House Children's Books". Random House. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  30. ^ "Santillana vende Ediciones Generales a Penguin Random House para centrarse en el área educativa". El País (in Spanish). Madrid: PRISA. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  31. ^ "Penguin Random House India acquires Duckbill Books children's publishing division". 29 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Penguin Random House India acquires the book publishing assets of Duckbill". 29 November 2019.
  33. ^ "Offices | Penguin Random House".
  34. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (25 March 2021). "Marvel Comics Shifts to New Distributor in Industry-Rattling Move - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  35. ^ "IDW Publishing Expands Partnership with Penguin Random House Publisher Services in an Exclusive Multi-Year Agreement to Distribute IDW Comics Worldwide | IDW Publishing".
  36. ^ "What's the Penguin About?". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  37. ^ "Workshopping Community Book Country Hits Membership Milestone". 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]