Sunday, June 15, 2008

Top Ten Publishers

I found this very interesting article called Top Ten Publishers in America, by Michael Hyatt, who writes the blog "From Where I Sit." Michael Hyatt is the President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, the leading Christian Publisher in the US.

I found this interesting because it is based on market share: who is getting the most books into the hands of the most readers. Market Share is one gage of a successful company and many would argue it is the best gage, more than earnings or revenue.

No real suprises. Random House is still the king of the publishing hill, despite Scholastic's incredible earnings from Harry Potter and the fact that both Micheal Moore and Ted Turner are being published by Hatchett. I don't know what their profits are, but more people are reading Random House Books than any other.

Book Expo is still very much on my mind right now, so this article made me think about the myriad of presses and authors I saw while wandering through the booths and aisles. Publishing is a gigantic industry, and Random House appears to be "the winner." Why them and not Simon and Schuster? What makes Random House so strong? Maybe it's like asking why Coca-Cola has a greater market share over Pepsi? I mean, they're basically the same drink, so what makes Coke stand out? Longevity? Better marketing? What is it about Random House that gives it the greater market share? From what I saw at Expo, no press really stood out over another. The "big houses" were all publishing pretty much the same type of book. The people were equally as pleasant to talk to. I saw nothing about Random House to distinguish them from Harpor Collins.

I find this subject just another facinating piece of the mysterious book industry which I am now a part of. A tiny part, but a part none the less.

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