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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Gratifying Year for Random House

Mega-publisher doing well despite the economy

From Publishers Lunch

Year-end letter time continues with Random House ceo Markus Dohle's missive to staff, in which he highlights "another successful year" for the company at a time of "enduring change and challenges for our industry." He points to a culture and organization that's more "collaborative, team-oriented, flexible, efficient, and agile" and allows Random House staffers to implement strategies more effectively. "In short, we aren’t reacting to change, we are driving it."

Dohle called Random House's continuing success "all the more impressive in light of the prevailing weak economy." He highlighted "hundreds" of bestsellers in the US, UK, Germany, and Spain including Christopher Paolini's INHERITANCE, George R.R. Martin's SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, Laura Hillenbrand's UNBROKEN, Kate McCann's MADELEINE, and Spanish and German-language editions of Walter Isaacson's STEVE JOBS. But Dohle also drew attention to debut fiction, "at an all-time high for Random House worldwide" as well as contributions from "every corner" of the company.

(I particularly like that "every corner" of the company -- it was Random House New Zealand who published a beautifully designed full-color edition of Tupaia this year.) 

"Random House is and will always be an editorially driven company, and now our authors are enjoying additional readership and revenue from our diverse and expanding digital reach and know-how," Dohle said. "From direct-to-digital publishing and app development to direct-to-consumer marketing and social-networking promotions, we are continuing to take every advantage of the shift to digital and the explosive boom in digital-device reading."

Next year, Dohle said, Random House will strive to do more for authors, retailers, and readers, be it "added services and an enhanced portfolio of offerings for our authors; increased support through ever-greater supply-chain efficiencies across all channels of distribution for retailers, particularly physical booksellers" and for readers, "closer connections with their favorite authors, and easier discovery of their page-turning stories––wherever they are, whatever format and platform they choose."

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