Penguin Random House buys Simon & Schuster

  • Penguin Random House buys global publisher for $2.175 billion
  • Acquisition strengthens position in Group’s second-largest market, the U.S
  • Simon & Schuster is the publishing home to well-known authors such as Hillary Clinton, John Irving, Stephen King, and Bob Woodward
  • Transaction expected to close during 2021
Report: Germany's Bertelsmann Interested in Buying Simon & Schuster | Valor  de cambio

Bertelsmann, the international media, services, and education company, is further expanding its global content businesses with the acquisition of the publishing house Simon & Schuster. Bertelsmann’s global trade book publishing group, Penguin Random House, is purchasing the book publishing business from the media company ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion. Simon & Schuster strengthens Bertelsmann’s footprint globally, and particular in the U.S., its second-largest market. Simon & Schuster employs around 1,500 people worldwide and generated revenues of $814 million in 2019. It publishes works from well-known authors and public figures including Hillary Clinton, John Irving, Stephen King, and Bob Woodward. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close during 2021. Bertelsmann will pay the purchase price in cash from existing liquid funds. Simon & Schuster will continue to be managed as a separate publishing unit under the Penguin Random House umbrella. Jonathan Karp, President & CEO of Simon & Schuster, and Dennis Eulau, COO and CFO, will continue at the helm of the publishing house.

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This Week in Literature and Arts [November 22—November 29]

November 22, 1968: The Beatles release the “White Album.”

November 23, 1888: Harpo Marx is born in New York City. The second of eventually five children, his parents named him Adolph, but he disliked it and changed to Arthur in his 20s. I highly recommend Harpo’s memoirs (Harpo Speaks, etc.), they’re very charming reads.

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Knowledge Unlatched releases short videos on the relevance of its Open Access partner collections and models

As Knowledge Unlatched approaches the last couple of weeks of its 2020 pledging season (the official pledging deadline is December 11, 2020), libraries worldwide still deciding which of the many book collections to pledge for may find these five-minute videos useful, particularly if they are only still mostly familiar with KU’s legacy collection, KU Select HSS and know little about KU’s various other offerings, especially its partnerships with some of the world’s most reputable academic publishers, including, among others, Routledge, Beghahn, Brill, Pluto Press, and Language Science Press.

Each of these short but informative videos features a publisher describing the partnership it has developed with KU in order to unlatch quality scholarly books in various disciplines over the next few years. As with KU’s main Open Access library crowdfunding model (used for KU Select since 2013), the more libraries pledge support for these ‘partner’ collections, the more books will be published Open Access and made freely available to researchers worldwide.

The following are this year’s collections:

Berghahn Migration & Development Studies

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Rethinking the role of an open digital library

The goal of the One Country One Library project has been to develop a national platform of books and other publications (including short stories, academic articles and journals, textbooks, audiobooks, educational videos, and podcasts) that would be freely accessible via a website or app within the country’s borders. In a recent Library Tech Report (vol. 56, no. 7), published by the American Library Association, the project’s founder and manager describes the idea, the model and the experience.

“The idea for the national library did not come overnight. It was the result of working on various projects over a long period of time with a number of for-profit and nonprofit companies and organizations that cater to public, academic, and school libraries and use technology to deepen the impact of digital libraries in their communities.

Since the advent of the internet, many projects have brought ebooks and other digital publications to patrons outside the confines of physical libraries. Having participated in such projects and worked directly with libraries and publishers to create positive outcomes for all sides, I witnessed firsthand their power to transform education and lifelong learning for people who otherwise may not have easy access to libraries. I also saw that every initiative centered on opening digital content legally and promoting reading and education was also, at its core, an attempt to redefine the role of a library.”

Adapted from “One Country One Library,” Library Technology Reports vol. 56, no. 7 (Oct. 2020).


For the rest of the article, visit the American Libraries Magazine’s web site.

To obtain the full report, visit the ALA Store.

UK universities come together to drive down the price of digital archival collections


Jisc is relaunching a digital archival collection purchasing scheme that will help institutions reduce the cost of buying digital collections and archives from publishers and opens up the scheme to academic-related affiliates.

Digital archival collections of primary source material are an important complement to traditional resources, journals and books. However, a survey conducted by Jisc reveals that cost is a major issue for most collection managers. A little more than a quarter (26%) of respondents spent up to £100,000 on one-off digital archival collections over the last five years, and only 27% indicate they are always or sometimes able to negotiate fees with publishers.

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Doing Simple Things Well

Something of a shockwave ran through the publishing world in Spring 2019 when Stanford University announced it could no longer support its University Press, and that the venerable and high-prestige Stanford University Press (founded in 1892) would be closing. A shock, but for many, no real surprise, as a chilly wind had been blowing through the academic monograph publishing industry for several years. Outside of a shelter under the wing of a giant multinational (Routledge, Wiley), or life as a tiny niche labor-of-love press, is there a future?  The Stanford story, despite its subsequent temporary stay of execution, said – maybe not.

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Oxford University Press’s flagship What Everyone Needs to Know ® series available in one digital space for the first time

What Everyone Needs to Know

Oxford University Press (OUP) has released over 100 titles from the What Everyone Needs to Know® series online, giving readers access to them in one digital space for the very first time.

The new online version of What Everyone Needs to Know® is designed with our users in mind: easy-to-use search and browse tools allow researchers, lecturers, and students to find the content they need quickly. Integrated technology also makes it easy for readers to share precise content with colleagues and students, facilitating seminar discussions and sparking essay ideas. There is no shelf life for the digital product so users can return to online pages again and again, year after year.

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McGraw Hill Now Provides Digital Textbooks to Academic Libraries on the ProQuest® Ebook Central® Platform

The agreement gives college students convenient access to more than 800 McGraw Hill textbooks through ProQuest

Learning science company McGraw Hill has begun making its widely used digital textbooks available for sale and distribution to U.S. academic libraries through Ebook Central, the eBook platform from EdTech leader ProQuest, a leading partner to academic libraries in the U.S. and globally.

Now, all libraries using Ebook Central can select from hundreds of McGraw Hill eBooks that align with their individual education needs and enable students to access them in a convenient and timely manner. So far, more than 60 libraries have acquired McGraw Hill’s digital textbooks through Ebook Central.

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Interview with Graeme Nicol, Chief Executive of Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Graeme Nicol
Graeme Nicol

In a recently published article on Cambridge Scholars Publishing (CSP), NSR focused on the beginnings of the UK-based press, its fascinating history, as well as its productive present. The second part of the feature on CSP hears directly from CSP’s Chief Executive and co-owner, Graeme Nicol, an engineer, publisher, cyclist, and coffee enthusiast. In this interview with NSR, Nicol explains one of the unexpected strategies that CSP uses: an in-house print and fulfillment operation called ‘Print on Time.’

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