Say you’re a professional or businessperson who relocated to the United States. Or you’re a student who came to the this country to study. Or you live outside the United States but deal with Americans. You’re reasonably fluent in English, but you want to improve your skills. A new tool, PenguinStacks, is for you. Launched in beta this spring in the United States and Brazil, it takes aim at nonnative readers of English. The 120 titles on the site were assessed by New York University (NYU) PhD linguistics’ candidates and grouped into three levels.
Nine months after the merger of two of the biggest names in the publishing world, stakeholders and industry watchers may have their first good idea of what to expect from the newly created book giant Penguin Random House (PRH). The company released the results of its 2013 fiscal year, and the details paint a rosy picture for investors, even while executives say there is a lot of work left to be done merging the former Penguin and Random House business operations.
In a quick reversal of its position on Kindle lending, Penguin on September 26 loosened the terms of its renewed agreement with OverDrive, announced only the day before. The publisher has agreed to allow library patrons to download ebook titles wirelessly via OverDrive’s “Get for Kindle” function instead of, as initially announced, first downloading titles to a computer, and then side-loading those titles to their Kindle classic or Paperwhite using a USB cord.
“Penguin will resume doing business with OverDrive as of this morning,” Penguin spokesperson Erica Glass told LJ on September 25. According to a blog post by Karen Estrovich, collection development manager for OverDrive, 17,000 Penguin ebooks are already “live and available for purchase in OverDrive Marketplace.” Although Estrovich refers to the transaction as a purchase, the books are being offered for a one year term on a one copy/one user lending model.
With the completion of the Penguin Random House merger on July 1, the company is now the world’s largest consumer book publisher. The newly formed company will have $3.9 billion in revenue, 10,000 employees, nearly 250 imprints, and a global reach, combining Random House’s strength in Latin America with Penguin’s hold in India and China. Penguin Random House will publish 15,000 new titles a year, about one-quarter of the world’s English-language books. What will this mean for the publishing landscape?
My favorite comment on the merger of Penguin and Random House was in an Op Ed in the New York Times. “[M]aybe Random Penguin, as a few wags have suggested, would have been a more apt name.” (The name was widely tweeted and depicted as well.) I can see the image in my own mind, an even more eccentric-looking penguin than Penguin’s own, looking around with a slightly drunken gaze. It is so much more satisfying than the temporary logo.
Penguin Group today announced that it will be changing the terms on its library ebook lending program, and on Tuesday, April 2, will begin allowing libraries to purchase and lend ebook titles the day that hardcover editions are released, according to The Associated Press. Previously, Penguin had placed a six month embargo on new ebooks, [...]
From Laura Hazard-Owen at paidContent: Random House parent company Bertelsmann and Penguin parent company Pearson announced Thursday that the Department of Justice has approved the proposed merger between Random House and Penguin “without conditions.” The merger, which remains under review by other antitrust authorities including the European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau, would create [...]
Macmillan on Friday became the last of five major publishers to settle a lawsuit over the pricing of ebooks originally filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 15 states in April 2012. In an email addressed to “Authors, Illustrators and Agents” Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote that he believed the company had done nothing wrong and could still win the case, but the risk of losing the legal battle had become too high.