Its not-so-random acts of publishing have transformed Random House into the world's largest trade book publisher. The book publishing subsidiary of media giant Bertelsmann, Random House operates its eponymous imprint and some 200 others such as Alfred A. Knopf, Ballantine, Bantam, Dell, and Doubleday. Its top-sellers include Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, and its stable of authors includes Elmore Leonard, Toni Morrison, and Dr. Seuss. In addition, the company publishes Fodor's popular travel books, audio products, and electronic books. Outside the US, Random House oversees publishers such as McClelland & Stewart (Canada) and Plaza & Janés (Spain). In 2012 it announced plans to combine with The Penguin Group.
Change in Company Type
Random House is merging with Penguin, a unit of publishing giant Pearson, in order to create the largest consumer book publisher in the world. Bertelsmann will control 53% of the combined entity, and Pearson 47%. The consolidation is being made as the changing industry adapts to the increasingly digital marketplace.
Random House publishes some 10,000 new books each year, and sells more than 400 million print, audio, and electronic books annually in some 15 countries. It operates through four main divisions: Crown Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Random House Publishing Group, and Random House Children's Books.
The RandomHouse.com affiliate program includes a network of sites and brands such as Fodors.com, LivingLanguage.com, Primagames.com, RH Princeton Review, Random House Audio, Seussville, House of Collectibles, Kids@Random, and others.
Like the rest of the publishing world, the company has been focusing on the digital front to offset the declining sales of physical books. Random House has begun selling entire books to consumers directly online, placing it in competition with other book retailers.
In 2012 Random House launched BookScout, a new app forFacebook created by the company's corporate Digital Marketplace Development Group which will enable readers to discover new authors and share books with friends by adding the new app to their Facebook Timeline.
In 2011 it made its books available on Apple's iBookstore. In other efforts to boost its digital holdings, in 2011 Random House acquired digital media agency Smashing Ideas. The two businesses had a previous relationship as partners, working to develop a series of apps for kids, including Wild About Books and Pat the Bunny.
In order to diversify its revenue streams, in Random House embarked on an ambitious deal with Focus Features in a joint movie venture called Random House Films. The unit develops, produces, and finances film projects based on books published by Random House. The first film made in the partnership was the 2007 drama Reservation Road, based on the novel of the same name by author John Burnham Schwartz. In 2011 Random House Films released One Day starring Anne Hathaway, based on British author David Nicholls's novel.