What the Penguin-Random House Merger Means to You, Average Reader

What the Penguin-Random House Merger Means to You, Average Reader

Think of less diversity among books. Imagine less personality between publishers. And then think of a relentless conveyor belt of books that will enforce this lack of distinction.

Think of less diversity among books. Imagine less personality among publishers. And then think of a relentless conveyor belt of books that will enforce this lack of distinction. That’s the dystopian publishing-world future imagined in the wake of last week’s Penguin-Random House merger by Boris KachkaNew York magazine’s book editor, in an Op-Ed published in Wednesday’s The New York Times

There used to be the Big Six publishers: Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, Penguin, and Hachette. After the merger, there are five. This may seem like something only publishing industry insiders would care about. But it shouldn’t be. 

The biggest fear of the Penguin Random House merger is the lack of diversity inside the publishing industry, which likely will result in a lack of diversity in the books we end up reading. Here’s how that scenario comes to fruition: