December 12, 2023 in 

The Big Five largest publishers are Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette and Macmillan.

The Big Five are the five largest English-language book publishers worldwide, accounting for approximately two-thirds of books published worldwide in the English language. These five publishers include Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan.

The Big Five were established in 2013, following Penguin & Random House’s merger. Each subsidiary is owned by one of three large media conglomerates: Hachette is part of Lagardere Group; HarperCollins by News Corp and Simon & Schuster by CBS Corp, respectively, with Macmillan alone remaining unaffiliated to any larger conglomerate; it belongs to German firm Holtzbrinck Publishing Group instead.

The Big Five publishers have long been under attack for their dominance and pricing of electronic books; further, Hachette and Amazon have received particular criticism regarding author treatment.

The Big Five publishes an impressive range of books – bestsellers to literary fiction to non-fiction – from bestsellers to non-fiction to children’s literature and romance novels, cookbooks, and self-help tomes. Children are a solid focus for these five publishers as primary children’s publishers with extensive children’s book offerings and romance novels, cookbooks, and self-help texts in their catalog.

Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan comprise The Big Five publishers in the US: Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan control an overwhelming share of the market and hold immense power, often dictate terms to authors, bookstores and new authors/small presses in terms of book publication terms imposed upon authors/booksellers while making entry more challenging than necessary for newcomers and smaller presses alike into said market; yet these publishers publish fantastic titles as they invest heavily into marketing/promotion efforts which make their presence felt; while they may not always perfect, these five giant publishers remain significant contributors within publishing industry as an integral part.

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