Publishing companies and what they’re about

There are many major publishing companies that work with both aspiring and inspiring writers, some well-established and others rising. My choice of a major publishing company was Penguin Books.

Penguin Books is a British publishing house which was co-founded by Sir Allen Lane and his brothers, Richard and John in 1935. Penguin Books were revolutionary in their part of publishing inexpensive paperback books in English high streets, their part in allowing a wider reading list was pivotal in how we can easily access so many books now.  This was their goal.

I chose Penguin Books as they have a plethora of different genres that they publish, this ranges from children’s books such as  Tom Fletcher’s “The Christmasaurus”, to Clive Cussler’s “Typhoon Fury” which is a suspense novel focusing on war in the Phillipines – both from Penguin Books publishing.

Penguin books also have some off-shooting ventures that further broaden the range of books in their arsenal, one of these being ‘Puffin books’ which is designed for ages 7+ and is focused solely on children’s authors such as Roald Dahl, Jeff Kinney and Jacqueline Wilson. They also advertise another service for younger children aged 0-7 called “Ladybird”.

It’s appropriate for Penguin books to have all of these different services that aid children in reading from such an early age, it goes to show that their original ideals of creating in-expensive paperback books to allow a larger population to read is still in full effect, even today.

2 thoughts on “Publishing companies and what they’re about”

  1. Amy Aspin’s reply

    HarperCollins Publishers LLC is one of the world’s largest publishing companies and is one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies, alongside Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. In 1989, Collins was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and the publisher was combined with Harper & Row. This then created the merged company of HarperCollins. In addition to the simplified and merged name, the logo for HarperCollins was derived from the torch logo for Harper and Row, and the fountain logo for Collins, which were combined into a stylized set of flames atop waves.

    Before the merger, Children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom was the director of Harper’s Department of Books for Boys and Girls from the years 1940 to 1973, overseeing the publication of classics such as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, The Giving Tree and Charlotte’s Web. Whereas after the merger the company HarperCollins produces great novels such as Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (2015), Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard (2006) and American Gods, Neil Gaiman (2001).

    HarperCollins has over 120 book imprints, most of which are based in the USA. Collins still exists as an imprint, mostly for wildlife and natural history books, field guides, as well as English and bilingual dictionaries. On February 8, 2013, it was announced that some parts of the Collins non-fiction imprint would be merged with the HarperPress imprint to form the new William Collins imprint.

  2. Bloodaxe books is an independent publishing company that was named after the Viking Erik Bloodaxe, who was the last Viking king of independent Northumbria. They are a leading publisher of poetry in Britain, and has patrons such as Carol Ann Duffy and Benjamin Zephaniah.

    The company was founded by Neil Astley in 1978 in Newcastle, and in 1982, Astley and Simon Thirsk became the founder directors of Bloodaxe Books ltd, which is now a non-profit limited company. They receive grant support from Arts Council England, which has made it possible for them to publish around thirty new titles per year and to sell more poetry books than any other subsidised publishers in Britain. They are now internationally renowned for their quality of literature and excellence in book design.

    Many of the authors have won prizes for the books that have been published including the T.S Eliot Prize, which was awarded to authors such as Philip Gross in 2009 for The Water Table, and JEn Hadfield in 2008 for Nigh-No-Place; the Pulitzer, which was awarded to W.S Merwin in 2009 for Shadow of Sirius and in 2000 to C.K Williams for Repair; and the Nobel Prize for Literature awarded many times to various authors from years 1974 to 2011. They have also opened up contemporary poetry to thousands of new readers.

    The company was split three ways in 1997, as distribution was taken over by Littlehampton Book Services. Editorial, publicity and rights were moved to a new base in Northumberland in 2000 and the sales and finance was taken over by the sister company Pandon Press in North Wales. Now, Bloodaxe’s editorial, publicity and rights office is still located in Northumberland and sales are still taken care of in North Wales. However, distribution is now being done by Grantham Book Services and book trade marketing is taken care of by PG UK.

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