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A Closer Look at Two of Our Publishing Businesses in Emerging Markets

Who is the biggest English-language book publisher in the second-biggest English-language book market? Who among our divisions sold 3.75 million Peppa Pig book sets last year? Read on to find out.

  At Penguin Random House India and Penguin Random House North Asia, we see our growth potential as vital and vibrant. Penguin Random House India, who last year celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, and Penguin Random House North Asia, our home in the Chinese market, are keenly attuned to their local reading cultures. Both divisions are heavily influenced by the fast-growing English-language book-reading local population.  Editions of U.S. and UK bestsellers and prize winners are avidly sought after and widely discussed in person and online. Commercially, both publishing groups are benefitting from the home-grown boom in e-commerce. Online book buying is prevalent in rural areas in India, where there are few bookstores. In China, there are rising book sales online and with mobile devices, as consumer visits to local bookstores are not very habitual. [caption id="attachment_9979" align="alignright" width="173"] Gaurav Shrinagesh[/caption] Too, both companies are led by dynamic CEOs: Gaurav Shrinagesh is the longtime head of PRH India. Azia Cheng was appointed to lead PRH North Asia last year. Together with their deeply committed staff, they share a passion to maximize the ever-increasing local opportunities to reach larger and new audiences for their authors’ books. As Markus Dohle reported in a companywide blog post upon his return from attending India’s Jaipur Literature Festival in January, “The development of PRH India in the past five years is a great success story.” India is the world’s second-largest English-language market, with some 130 million people fluent in the language. We are the largest English-language trade publisher In India. “Whether we publish in English, Hindi, or other local languages thanks to new publishing opportunities, what matters most is the importance of books in the Indian culture,” he wrote. [caption id="attachment_9980" align="alignright" width="173"] Azia Cheng[/caption] That books matter in India is evident in the solid growth rate for PRH India: overall revenues have increased 23% over the past two years, with the company’s market share at 31%, and its English-language sales growth up 80%, 2005-2017. Its strong local literary program  publishes over 250 titles in English every year. Dohle believes that “India is an exciting market, and with the young demographic and vibrant economy, we are poised for continued growth over the next years and decades.” China, of course, also is one of the world’s largest book markets, whose readers are drawn to many different kinds of books. “The Chinese tend to be brand conscious and heavily influenced by their social environments,” Azia Cheng told BENET at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. “In terms of international content for adult audiences, readers are fans of books written by European and U.S. authors, and are attracted to classics by Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Jane Austen, among many others. Movie tie-ins and Nobel and other prize winners’ works are also popular. “Our consumers appreciate quality content,” Cheng says, and “we tailor our marketing to meet consumer preferences.” They also appreciate children’s books. The beloved Peppa Pig is PRH North Asia’s greatest success. In 2017, they sold 3.75 million Peppa book sets through physical and online retail. The division expects to take great future advantage of the parent company’s worldwide strength in children’s publishing to engage in collaborative projects, such as their recent large acquisition of the rights to several dozen Random House Children’s Books U.S. titles. In China, as well as in India, DK Publishing has achieved a significant increase year on year revenue. It expects further growth this year and next from its Knowledge series and from its Children’s titles in translation and English-language export editions. According to Cheng, an important emerging publishing trend in China is the monetization of creative content through different business models. “As one of the largest providers of content and intellectual property,” she observes, “there are numerous ways for Penguin Random House to experiment and to try new approaches to connect our authors with readers. We always are looking to explore new opportunities for the future.”

Introducing New Penguin Random House Imprints from Around the World

Over the last year our publishing groups worldwide announced or launched exciting new imprints. The imprints’ goals and mission range from giving more diverse voices a platform and publishing home to providing tailored content for digital devices and offering ancillary products that leverage the power and impact of our greatest authors. Here is a roundup of some of our new imprints:

  KOKILA Penguin Young Readers (U.S.) [caption id="attachment_10180" align="alignright" width="170"] Namrata Tripathi[/caption] KOKILA (pronounced KO-ki-la), the new Penguin Young Readers imprint, will bring together an inclusive community of authors and illustrators, publishing professionals, and readers to examine and celebrate stories that reflect the richness of our world. Kokila will be helmed by VP and Publisher Namrata Tripathi, former Associate Publisher and Editorial Director of Dial Books for Young Readers. The name Kokila comes from the Sanskrit name for the koel bird. The kokila has great significance in Indian poetry and myth, and is celebrated as a harbinger of new beginnings. In the spirit of its name, Kokila aims to center stories from the margins and to make space for storytellers to explore the full range of their experiences adding nuance and depth to the way children and young adults see the world and their place in it. Kokila will publish works by Pablo Cartaya, Sherine Hamdy and Myra El-Mir, Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, and Nilah Magruder. The imprint's first list of books will be released in the Summer of 2019. “The idea exchange resulting from mixing cultures and languages has shaped the way I see the world,” says Namrata Tripathi. “At Kokila, we hope to build a community around authors, illustrators, and readers who believe in the power of sharing stories from across the full spectrum of experiences. And they will be supported by publishing professionals with a deep commitment to that mission.”   ONE WORLD Random House (U.S.)

Last year, Random House relaunched ONE WORLD under Chris Jackson as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. His mandate is to revitalize and expand the historic publishing program—originally established in 1991 as the first multicultural imprint at a major publishing house.

According to Mr. Jackson, “The fundamental mission of One World is to provide a home for writers—including novelists, essayists, memoirists, journalists, and thinkers and writers unconstrained by genre—who want to tell stories and explore ideas that help us reimagine our politics, culture, and interior lives, without the filter of the dominant culture. Twenty-five years ago One World was launched as an imprint that would tell stories for and from and about all of us—and that kind of vision remains a radical and vital one today. I’m thrilled we’ll be reanimating that idea and expanding its possibilities to capture the world in its fullness for this moment.” The imprint’s first two titles, BONES by Joe Tone and WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER by Ta-Nehisi Coates, were published to much critical acclaim.   POP PRESS Penguin Random House UK (Ebury) Ebury, one of the UK’s leading non-fiction publishers, launched a new imprint – Pop Press – dedicated to creative gift publishing last fall. Headed up by Laura Higginson, Editorial Director, and Elen Jones, Senior Commissioning Editor, Pop Press will publish 18 titles a year focused on trend-led, beautifully designed, impulse-price-point gift books. Recent and upcoming publications include: THE PERIODIC TABLE OF FEMINISM, which navigates the history of feminism through some of its most prominent advocates; HOW TO BE A PRINCESS, a collection of inspirational fairy tales for modern heroines to mark the upcoming Royal Wedding in May; STOP LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE, an illustrated manual that reminds us we can survive without our smartphones; and for some Christmas entertainment there's WHERE'S THE MERMAID?, a fun WHERE'S WALLY-style book for mermaid fans of all ages! With books increasingly sharing the same space in retailers as luxury greetings cards, mugs, t-shirts and stationery, Pop is Ebury’s way to focus its collective, creative energy to ensure its books are the gifts that shoppers choose.   PENGUIN LIFE Penguin Random House Australia In January of this year, Penguin Random House Australia launched Penguin Life, an imprint focused on personal development and healthy living. Penguin Life will publish six books this year, debuting with THE LONGEVITY DIET by Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute. Longo’s book has sold more than 300,000 copies to date in Italy. Other authors on the list are The Body Image Movement founder Taryn Brumfitt, the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center director Martin Seligman, and founder of the SugarByHalf campaign and former team doctor for the Australian cricket team, Dr Peter Brukner. “Penguin Life enables us, as a business, to better connect with communities and social issues, and take more responsibility for how we influence and contribute to readers’ lives,” says Nikki Christer, PRH Australia’s group publishing director.   PETIT Penguin Random House India Penguin Random House India will launch a digital imprint Penguin Petit.  Featuring a carefully curated selection from Penguin Random House India’s extensive list of titles, Penguin Petits are short reads, approximately 50 pages each, designed for ease of reading across digital devices.  Readers will now be able to enjoy the writings by some of their favourite authors in short, low priced and highly accessible digital formats, including works by Premchand, Gulzar, Devdutt Pattanaik, Ramachandra Guha, Sudha Murty and Anita Nair. Penguin Petits will provide great, quality content to suit a broad range of interests, from fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, mythology to self-help, history and current affairs, and will be available in an e-book format. Rukun Kaul, Associate Vice President, Digital and Business Initiatives, Penguin Random House India, said “With Penguin Petit, Penguin Random House India makes a foray into the world of accessible short-form reading. It’s designed for an increasingly mobile India that might want to be able to read anywhere and at any time. With its easy downloadability, wide range of content and accessible pricing, Penguin Petit should appeal to many readers. Our books and authors will also benefit from the easy discoverability and increased visibility that comes with making great reads available in a shorter and more affordable format.”   ORIGEN Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial  Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial USA launched Origen (Origin), a new religious imprint for Spanish-language books, which will feature titles on self-help, relationships, and a Christian-based lifestyle. The imprint will also publish titles for children and young adults under the Origen Kids label. “For many years, we have observed that a large number of Spanish-speaking readers are interested in religious books,” says Silvia Matute, president of PRHGE USA. “It just made sense for PRHGE to create a religious book imprint and start catering to the religious [Spanish-language] reader.” The new imprint will publish approximately 20 titles per year, among them works by prominent Hispanics, such as Pope Francis and evangelical pastor Samuel Rodriguez. The first four titles were released in October, including Pope Francis’s QUIÉN SOY YO PARA JUZGAR? Sister companies in Mexico, Colombia, and the rest of Latin America will publish additional titles that will be distributed as part of the Origen list.

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.

  Ediciones B: Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial 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.”   Rodale Books: Crown Publishing Group & Random House Children’s Books U.S. 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.”   OUT OF PRINT: Penguin Random House U.S. & Beyond “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,, 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.

Beyond the Book: Captivating Existing Audiences and Capturing New Readers at Penguin Random House UK

Penguin Random House UK pushes the boundaries beyond the book and uses technology to give audiences a personalized experience with campaigns like Ask Penguin and the Pride Book Club.


Getting Personal

Through our Penguin Books UK channels, we are engaging with readers in a completely new way by focusing on personalization. Ask Penguin, our biweekly personal book recommendations, allows us to have direct conversations with our readers on Facebook and Twitter. Using #AskPenguin, our followers receive completely bespoke recommendations based on their mood, a theme they’re interested in, or other books they have enjoyed. [caption id="attachment_8413" align="alignright" width="295"] William Sieghart, founder of National Poetry Day and author of The Poetry Pharmacy, recommends poems to Twitter users based on their mood[/caption] For example, to mark National Poetry Day in September, William Sieghart, founder of the annual celebration of poetry and author of The Poetry Pharmacy, recommended poems to suit the mood of requesters, which ranged from tiredness to triumph. We are also experimenting with Twitter threads, creating themed reading lists and stories. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017, for example, we used this feature to showcase a number of inspirational women who appear in our bestselling title The Female Lead - Women Who Shape Our World by Edwina Dunn, with original photography by Brigitte Lacombe.  [caption id="attachment_8410" align="alignnone" width="600"] Caption: Our colleagues behind Ask Penguin, Savannah McGowan, Claire Davis, Zainab Juma and Indira Birnie, are brought to life for social media users[/caption]

Penguin Platform

Our young adult community aimed at 16 to 19 year olds, Penguin Platform, is growing rapidly, as we drive discussion on issues this audience cares about through our online book clubs and targeted content. We recently ran a Pride Book Club, collaborating with well-known YouTubers and influencers, to encourage this digitally engaged audience to join a virtual book club and have conversations with us and our network of book bloggers. The online book club proved so popular with our young adult community that we launched a Black History Month edition in October featuring Yrsa Daley-Ward, Zadie Smith, Kayo Chingonyi, George the Poet, and many more inspirational authors. [caption id="attachment_8416" align="alignnone" width="600"] Pride Book Club packages were sent to influencers who have a total following of 1.4m[/caption] As a result of having direct conversations with our young adult community and using in-depth insights on the causes and issues this audience cares about, we are able to deliver a tailored, relevant offering to our Penguin Platform audience.
By going beyond the book and using technology to directly engage with our audiences, we’re able to captivate both loyal readers and new audiences alike.
   Our Black History Month Book Club features important backlist classics and new releases, including  authors Nicola Yoon, Sam Selvon and George the Poet.
  To stay up-to-date on UK news, visit:

Penguin Random House U.S. Extends the Wonder Brand with Major Licensing Campaign

The international success of R.J. Palacio’s #1 bestselling book WONDER continues to expand in new and creative ways. The story of Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, has been read by more than 6 million people worldwide since it was published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in 2012. The book has launched an inspiring movement to Choose Kind (#choosekind), the ever-important idea that choosing kindness inspires a chain reaction of good will toward others. Random House Children’s Books has implemented a unique cross-company licensing program partnering with Crown imprint Clarkson Potter and Out of Print Clothing along with outside companies that manufacture consumer products.

“We’ve successfully extended the Wonder brand into new product categories including apparel, accessories, stationery and classroom materials,” said Rachel Bader, director of licensing for Random House Children’s Books. “These products help grow Wonder’s equity beyond books—by introducing the brand to new audiences and reaching existing fans through new retail channels.” A new stationery line developed by Clarkson Potter supports a cross-divisional collaboration within Penguin Random House and offers our sales team fresh opportunities to approach retail with an array of new Wonder-branded merchandise. Potter’s line includes a set of four Wonder notebooks (Draw, Dream, Doodle and Write), a Choose Kind Journal: Do One Wonderful Thing Every Day, and a Wonder Note Cube. Next summer, the publisher will be launching a Wonder School Planner just in time for back-to-school.     More high profile brand exposure is tied to the eagerly awaited film adaption of WONDER starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. The film was produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman and debuts in theaters on November 17, 2017. Lionsgate has also been an enthusiastic partner supporting a number of #ChooseKind activities as well as becoming part of the curriculum in many schools across the country in advance of the film’s premiere. On September 26, 2017, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers published the special movie tie-in edition of WONDER which shares fun anecdotes from the cast and crew and features an eight-page full-color insert with photos from the film. The book also has a foreword by the director Stephen Chbosky, an afterword by R.J. Palacio and a family discussion guide. In addition, Hot Topic, a retail outlet that specializes in pop culture-inspired fashion, is selling WONDER t-shirts in-store and online in the run-up to the expected blockbuster box office opening of the movie nationwide.   To stay up-to-date on US publishing news, visit:
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Penguin Random House Canada Partners with Toronto International Film Festival to Reach New Audiences

In 2010, Random House of Canada and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) formed a partnership to produce an event series that would bring together book and film lovers, called Books on Film. The idea was conceived to give audiences an opportunity to examine great cinema that began as outstanding literature, with a behind-the-scenes look at some of their favorite book-to-film adaptations. Each spring, the Books on Film series includes six events, all of which feature the presentation of a film along with a special onstage interview with authors, filmmakers, and industry experts, and each event is hosted by CBC Radio personality Eleanor Wachtel.

Seven years later, Penguin Random House Canada remains TIFF’s dedicated programming partner for this series, and Books on Film has become TIFF’s most popular program for their subscribers. Films that have been featured in the series include Moneyball, Midnight’s Children, and Atonement, and participants have included authors Kazuo Ishiguro (this year’s Nobel Laureate and pictured in the above photograph), Yann Martel, Zadie Smith, and Colm Tóibín along with director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta and actress, writer, and director Sarah Polley, to name just a few. The Books on Film series provides Penguin Random House Canada with the opportunity to showcase our books to TIFF’s large audience, through the events themselves, at which we have the opportunity for promotion of related titles as well as the film tie-in title being featured, and through advertising and outreach about the series to TIFF’s extensive database. This partnership has also led to opportunities to work with TIFF on other author events, such as a special event featuring author Lilly Singh earlier this year. [caption id="attachment_8255" align="alignleft" width="300"] Yann Martel with host Eleanor Wachtel[/caption] To develop the lineup of events each year, the Penguin Random House Canada marketing team puts forward ideas based on our extensive backlist of movie tie-in titles, and we discuss these ideas with the organizers at TIFF and with the host of the series, Eleanor Wachtel. Wachtel is the longtime host of CBC Radio’s flagship national literary program Writers & Company, in which she interviews writers from all around the world. She plays a key role in curating the list of films to be included in the series, and the pairing of the films with great interviewees for the events. This has been a very successful partnership for Penguin Random House Canada, and we are pleased to see it continue. Planning is now under way for the 2018 Books on Film series. To stay up-to-date on our Canadian publishing news, visit

Bringing a New “Convention” Model to the Brazilian Young Adult Readership

Like many countries around the world, Brazil has seen a surge in young adult literature. Young readers flock to every book festival, treat their favorite authors like rock stars, and form huge communities online. It seemed like a missed opportunity that there wasn’t a festival focused on them in our country. Organizers that invited YA authors didn’t really know what to do with crowds that were willing to sleep overnight to secure a place in line to get an autograph.

[caption id="attachment_8353" align="alignright" width="400"] Benjamin Alire Sáenz at a book signing[/caption] Instead of waiting for someone else to solve this issue, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We observed local festivals and researched conventions abroad, such as LeakyCon, YALLFest and Yalc. In 2017, we finally felt ready to announce FLIPOP (Pop Literature Festival), a two-day event with international writers (Alwyn Hamilton and Benjamin Alire Sáenz) and fourteen Brazilian authors. The event, which took place in July, consisted of eight panels focused on such topics as global community building, diversity in literature, favorite (and least favorite) clichés, tips for new writers, and the power of digital influencers. One visitor won a whole year of Seguinte’s releases and everyone took home Eco bags, bookmarks, and buttons. The festival ended with the Selection Ball, a dance party for all attendees. Click here to watch a video about the event. When we announced the FLIPOP, we thought our main challenge would be getting people to understand this new format, which was closer to a convention than the book fairs with which readers are accustomed. However, as soon as we announced FLIPOP, there was an immediate reaction among readers along the lines of “Why has there never been something like this before?” Tickets gave access to both days, and all 350 of them sold out in two weeks. Marketing was done solely through our social media channels, and 26 percent of attendees came from other cities, just for the festival, and 12 percent even flew in from other states. During FLIPOP, we received a lot of feedback from people, who thanked us for providing a place where they felt a true sense of belonging. Both authors and readers said they enjoyed the deeper conversations that the panels provided. “What I loved about this festival is that we could all enjoy it together. Authors and readers—there’s a bit of this in every one of us—were able to connect through this passion we share. I am waiting for next year’s FLIPOP. If it was up to me, we could have one every weekend!” said Iris Figueiredo, author of Céu Sem Estrelas. Since the event, we have been frequently asked, “When is there going to be another FLIPOP?” Other publishing houses have already contacted us asking to be a part of it. Now that we’ve set the example and showed that it can be successful, we’re already full of ideas to make FLIPOP 2018 a bigger and even better event for our young readers. To stay up-to-date on publishing news from Seguinte, visit: 

Penguin Random House India Invites Audiences to Celebrate Its 30th Anniversary

Penguin Random House India turns 30 this year. As an ongoing anniversary-year celebration, the company is engaging readers in creative new ways, from sharing backlist classics to producing a phenomenally popular crowd-sourced Twitter campaign.

To kick off its anniversary celebration, the company created and published Penguin 30, which contains excerpts from thirty of its most celebrated bestsellers published during the past three decades. Among them: Nehru’s autobiography and such novels as Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. The volume received considerable attention nationally when PRH India collaborated with The Book Fairies, a worldwide initiative whose goal is sharing books with others by hiding them in public places. Several book fairies went on a special journey with a mission to hide thirty copies of the Penguin 30 special anniversary edition throughout Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Participating local book lovers then went on a quest to find the volumes, using clues from the magical “The Book Fairies” portal on Instagram. The most adept book seekers posted photos of themselves and their finds. (View a selection: @penguinindia.) Similarly, and in keeping with its anniversary motto #KeepReading, PRH India partnered with BODM (Books on the Delhi Metro), and provided special anniversary editions that were placed at various metro stations at the Delhi Metro line for one week in August. Part of the great eye-catching appeal of the campaign was that the lovely anniversary special editions were color-coordinated with the metro lines: blue covers on the blue line; yellow covers on the yellow line; red on the red line; and so forth. What made the promotion extra-worthwhile is that Books on the Delhi Metro is a nonprofit initiative aimed at promoting reading while commuting. Reading initiatives by BODM have taken social media by storm recently as reading enthusiasts drop off books for people to pick up, read, and then return for others to enjoy reading, as they have. BODM shared updates on Facebook and Instagram regularly, as did PRH India’s own social media pages. “We received extensive media coverage, word of mouth, and great satisfaction for our part in commuter book discovery, for this campaign,” said Hemali Sodhi, SVP, Marketing, and Publisher, Children’s, Penguin Random House India. Launching a #KeepTweeting contest was an entirely different way of inviting audiences to join in the celebration. Twitter users were given the first line of a story and invited to keep adding the next lines until the story was complete. The idea was to create the first-ever short story with thirty lines to commemorate the 30th anniversary in India. Who knew turning thirty could be such fun and attract so many new readers to Penguin Random House India’s great books?   To stay up-to-date on publishing news from India, visit:

No author? No Problem for Penguin Random House South Africa’s Promotion of Jamie Oliver’s New Book

How do you successfully publicize a cookbook whose author is unavailable in person? This was the challenge Penguin Random House South Africa faced this September in launching the internationally beloved Jamie Oliver’s new work, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food. Their solution: have Jamie appear virtually, while prominent members of his international culinary team came together onsite.

To launch the book with a big splash, the publisher took over Jamie Oliver’s celebrated Italian restaurant Melrose Arch in the Marble Arch section of Johannesburg. Media from Cape Town joined their Johannesburg counterparts there. Sponsors were secured to help underwrite the event financially, and their involvement ensured that the hosts could turn this event into a top-class evening that guests would talk about for months to come. Oliver “attended” via a specially filmed video clip welcoming the guests. On hand to introduce each of the several canapés prepared for the guests was Jamie Oliver’s International Group’s head chef, Shane Smit, who spoke passionately about his own experiences preparing the new recipes from the book and his delight in being part of this food global phenomenon. Chef Shane is himself a renowned celebrity chef who has worked in several international five-star establishments, including Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Oxford, UK. Press and social media coverage of the evening was extensive, and, thanks in part to this memorably creative evening, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food has become one of South Africa’s top-selling nonfiction titles this fall. As an additional ongoing promotional benefit from the event, for a limited time, Jamie’s Italian restaurant customers in Johannesburg will be able to try 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food dishes straight from Jamie’s new cookbook, which is an excellent opportunity to generate additional awareness for the new book.   To stay up-to-date on our South Africa publishing news, visit:

Penguin Random House Australia Engages Readers with Street Press–Style Magazine

Penguin Random House Australia is known for quality publishing when it comes to adult and young readers’ books, but its marketing team’s idea to engage with readers has opened the door to an entirely different kind of publishing. Their quarterly street-press-style magazine, Underline, not only showcases their talented published authors, but supports one of the publisher’s pillars for growth: discovering new audiences and readers.

Launched late in 2016, Underline is the first of its kind and is created entirely in-house by the PRH Australia marketing team. Designed to be dog-eared and devoured at leisure, each issue of Underline is a chance for readers to delve a little further into some of the world’s finest literature—and into the minds behind it. In less than a year, Underline has gained much acclaim from authors, customers, and readers alike. Readily available at bookstores, cafés, theatres, bars, and boutiques throughout Australia, Underline is now nearing publication of its fifth issue and its first birthday edition, which will be published this November. Due to overwhelming positive feedback and ongoing demand from booksellers and readers, its circulation has risen with each issue since launch and now stands at 50,000 copies nationwide. Four to six weeks after the print issue hits the streets, an online edition is available to read through Issuu, an online magazine platform, with both formats promoted through PRH Australia’s online channels. Underline brings together extracts, interviews, articles, short stories, recipes, reflections, and much more to celebrate brilliant writing in its many forms. Tim Winton, John Safran, Ali Smith, and Jamila Rizvi have been presented on covers. The November-issue cover story features Man Booker Prize–winning Richard Flanagan in a four-page profile and an extract from his new novel, First Person. Previous Underline content has included recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi; extracts from Howard Jacobson, Tracey Chevalier, and Robert Dessaix; posters for the Vintage Woolf series, Black Classics, and Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami; book reviews from Fiona McFarlane, Candice Fox, and Chris Kraus; and themed collections such as Strange Perspectives, Modern Australian Classics, and Shakespeare Revisited. Each issue ends on a page called End Notes, where five newly released Penguin Random House books are highlighted as must-reads. Previously featured are works by Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Emma Cline, and Mohsin Hamid. “Underline has been incredibly well received thus far. The pride the team takes in its creation and reception has been instrumental to its success, and we’re all very excited to explore more and more innovative ways to bring our fabulous literary list to readers and the Underline brand to life,” said Jake Davies, group head of Marketing, Penguin Random House Australia. Click here to read previous issues.   To stay up-to-date on Australian news, visit: