CEO of Random House, Markus Dohle, has sent three letters--to booksellers, authors and agents--addressing the momentous news about his publishing company merging with Penguin. The letters, intended to offer elaboration on the merger, the possibility of which sent shock waves through the industry last week, are also intended to calm three of the house's publishing partners, who are no doubt concerned about what the future will now hold.
In his letter to booksellers, Dohle said the new company will be better equipped to "deliver amazing books, innovative sales and marketing creativity, and the best-in-class supply chain support, all of which will combine to help you to continue to connect our authors with your readers." The CEO did not, however, offer specifics on these things, noting instead that new company will not actually come into being for some time. Dohle said that, for now, "Random House and Penguin remain competitors" and, until the merger is approved by the government, which he suspects will happen in "the second half of 2013," it is impossible to "discuss post-closing plans."
Addressing authors, Dohle said one aspect of the merger he is "most excited about" is the creation of a company that is "author-publisher-and editor-centered--just like Random House." He added that authors will "benefit from an extraordinary breadth of publishing choices and editorial talents and experience," when the two biggest members of the Big Six merge. He also assured writers that the new company will remain "endowed withcreative autonomy, and financial resources, to decide which books to publish, and how to publish them." Dohle also noted that Penguin Random House will "supply more services for physical retailers, while expanding our opportunities in the digital space."
To agents, who have been particularly worried about the effect the merger will have on advances, Dohle promised many of the same things as he did to authors. He also assured agents that backlist will remain "a priority." Again, though, the theme returned to the "breadth of publishing choices" this new company will offer. The CEO closed by saying the goal is to "publish the content you entrust us with for everyone, everywhere, in every format, and on every platform."
Read the full version of each letter below.
Dohle's letter to booksellers.
Dohle's letter to agents.
Dohle's letter to authors.