How Three Recently Acquired Businesses Made Us a Bigger Spanish-Language Powerhouse, More Health-Conscious, and More Stylish
Expanding the reach of our authors to their readers, building our business, and growing our market share are important objectives for Penguin Random House in all our markets. These objectives are achieved in many ways, among them through three singular, compelling business acquisitions over the past year: Ediciones B, Rodale Books, and Out of Print.
Already a Spanish-language publishing powerhouse, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial (PGRH) took a major stride toward increasing its cultural and commercial presence in Spain, Latin America, and Portugal with its acquisition of Ediciones B’s imprints from Grupo Zeta last July.
With its 2014 addition of the Santillana Ediciones Generales publishing programs, and now Ediciones B, PRHGE is comprised of over 40 imprints, each of which retains its own identity and creative autonomy. Collectively, they publish more than 1,700 titles each year, mostly Spanish-language originals, and Spanish translations of fiction and nonfiction works for adults, children, and young readers in hardcover, paperback, digital e-books, and audio editions. Upon the closing of the transaction, Nuria Cabuti, CEO, PRHGE, said, “Our growing company will better enable us to deliver on our driving passion to publish books in both traditional and new formats to help our authors reach the five-hundred-million Spanish-speaking readers worldwide, by opening up new, exciting possibilities for them, and for our booksellers and consumers.”
Health, wellness, fitness, and cooking are among the most popular and enduring categories for book buyers around the world, and especially in the U.S. So, when Penguin Random House was presented by Hearst with the opportunity to expand its publishing portfolio earlier this year, they took it by purchasing the trade-book publishing assets of the authoritative U.S. wellness publisher Rodale Books.
Rodale Books’ Adult Nonfiction publishing program immediately became an imprint of the Illustrated and Lifestyle division of the Crown Publishing Group. The fledgling Rodale Kids imprint is now part of Random House Children’s Books. All told, Penguin Random House acquired over 100 frontlist titles and more than 2,000 backlist works, including the classics AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH by Al Gore; THE SOUTH BEACH DIET; and trade titles from Prevention, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and Rodale’s other magazine and iconic brands.
As Markus Dohle said in January, “Our exceptional publishing teams look forward to building upon Rodale Books’ decades of success and supporting its distinguished authors and their books for decades more.”
“It is our mission to make wearing your favorite book feel as good as reading it does.”
This is the guiding mantra of Out of Print (OOP), the eight-year-old pioneering creator and retailer of licensed literary-themed products. In what may be its most non-traditional corporate acquisition to date, Penguin Random House purchased the company last June from its co-founders, Todd Lawton and Jeffrey Le Blanc, who both continue as Managing Directors under the new ownership. Out of Print supplies readers in over 90 countries with an ever-growing variety of high-quality tee shirts, inspiring adult and children’s apparel, totes, and accessories, jewelry, home goods, and novelties that “celebrate the bookish lifestyle.”
Out of Print sells its products in more than 1,000bookstores as well as fashion, college, and gift retailers, and on its popular consumer destination, www.outofprintclothing.com, which reaches 100,000-plus customers monthly. Almost half of its customer base is between 25-44 years old, almost three-quarters are married, and more than 90% are college educated. Its top product categories are adult tee-shirts, socks, and totes. Its “Banned Books” mugs and socks are bestsellers.
Since becoming part of Penguin Random House, OOP has been working with publishers’ marketers to help create buzz for pre-published works, and has begun enabling commerce on author micro-sites, fan pages, and social media.