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Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Publishing

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As Franklin Foer writes in The Atlantic, the proposed merger, announced last week, between book publisher Simon & Schuster (currently owned by ViacomCBS) and Penguin Random House, the biggest book publisher in the world (owned by private German media conglomerate Bertelsmann), would publish roughly a third of all books in the U.S. and reduce the “Big Five” publishers into the “Big Four” (Hachette, Macmillan, and HarperCollins comprising the other three). The less competitive landscape would certainly mean less leverage for book authors and their agents. But Foer argues that this proposed merger needs to be understood in context: Book publishers…


An industry insider spills the beans on what you need to get a publishing deal

An author opens a package with print samples of her new book and checks the hardcover.
An author opens a package with print samples of her new book and checks the hardcover.
Photo: makasana/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A book publisher I used to work with once met with a potential business book author, heard the author’s pitch, and offered him and his agent a few hundred thousand dollars right on the spot.

When the publisher later told his marketing director about it, the marketing director said, “He must have an amazing platform.”

“He doesn’t have much of a social media presence. He gives talks, but he doesn’t get paid for them,” the publisher said. “But you just have to hear him talk.”

He was right. That book has now sold over a million copies, and if you’re…

Marker

Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

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