Shakeups in Publishing

In the aftermath of the failed Simon & Schuster acquisition, Penguin Random House’s CEO has resigned only one month after her predecessor’s resignation:

Madeline McIntosh, one of the most powerful figures in American book publishing, is stepping down from her role as chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., the company announced on Tuesday.

The announcement comes during a time of great turbulence for Penguin Random House, by far the country’s largest book publisher. Markus Dohle, who was the chief executive of Penguin Random House, and McIntosh’s boss, resigned from his position in December.

The company also lost a bid last year to buy Simon & Schuster, a large rival publishing house, after the government successfully sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds. The deal’s collapse cost Penguin Random House a $200 million termination fee, in addition to enormous legal costs. Dohle had overseen the attempted acquisition.

McIntosh has been the head of Penguin Random House U.S. since 2018. Before that, she held a variety of roles at the company, which she first joined almost 30 years ago. She also worked briefly at Amazon.

This is going to have some major fallout in both companies. Expect sizeable layoffs in the industry.

In other news, it’s safe to anticipate that TOR Books is going to be acquired, probably by the same Chinese-funded Astra startup that acquired DAW Books. How long Chinese money is going to support the 白左 aka baizuo, which literally means “white left”, that run these publishing companies should be interesting to watch.

It appears Baen Books has undergone a reverse-revolution, as Toni is back, having unseated her erstwhile successor who proved to be a complete SJW. Precisely how the purchase of TOR will affect them is unknown, but TOR owns a substantial share of Baen, so they will be affected to at least some degree.

On the Castalia front, we have set up our own warehousing and shipping in the USA, which should go a long way toward addressing our longtime customer service issues and prevent us from becoming dependent upon Amazon. This service will begin in March. We also expect to be able to offer shipping services to independent authors and other publishers who want to sell their books directly to their readers, as well as eventually providing an Arktoons-to-print service for our comics creators.