No, the name won’t be Random Penguin, nor does their (temporary) logo bring any excited penguin/house mashups. But frequent users of our publishers’ archives and those with an interest in the book trade may be interested to know that Random House and Penguin have negotiated the largest-ever publishing house merger to create Penguin Random House.
How the merger affects the publishing industry remains to be seen, though the combined entity is sure to have extraordinary influence with an approximately 27% share of the UK’s book publishing market and 25% share of the US market. The merger brings the new corporate strapline ‘The world’s first truly global trade book publishing company’.
Those with an interest in the changing world of contemporary publishing may also wish to take a historical look at the publishing industry. The University of Reading is home to the archives of several imprints currently owned by Random House, including Chatto & Windus, Jonathan Cape, Bodley Head, Secker & Warbug and Hogarth Press. Although the Penguin Archive is held by Bristol University, our readers are able to access Penguin material via the archives of Ladybird Books, as well as other affiliated collections such as the papers of literary personalities and staff.