Today, as part of its new “brand system,” the international mega-publisher revealed its new corporate wordmark, which is a much more elegant and understated design than those floating around the Internet. The logo, designed in a Courier-style font called Shift, will most often be paired with logos for the publisher’s various 250 brands and imprints.
Random House Children’s Books has acquired actress Amanda Peet’s new children’s book Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein. Peet co-wrote the title with her friend Andrea Troyer.
The book is about a young Jewish girl who doesn’t quite understand why Santa Claus never brings her gifts. “When my two children, Frankie and Molly, started asking me why we don’t have a Christmas tree and colored lights on the roof and a plate of cookies for Santa, it was hard to come up with an appealing answer,” explained Peet in a statement. “The book came out of a desire to capture the feeling of being left out during the Christmas holidays and to explain how you can’t always get what you want—and how sorting that out, for Jews and Gentiles alike, is part of what the holiday spirit is all about.”
The publisher acquired the world rights in all languages to the book.
Sad to see that Clare Hall-Craggs is an early casualty of the Random House/Penguin merger/
Clare Hall-Craggs is leaving her job as publicity director of Random House Children’s Publishers following the merger with Penguin’s children’s division.
Hall-Craggs departs today (13th May) after 15 years at Random House, where she led a team of seven publicists. During her time at the company she has worked with authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Terry Pratchett, Shirley Hughes, Simon Mayo and Beth Reekles.
Apparently last month staff at Random House Children’s Publishers were told that up to 18 roles were at risk of redundancy.
as reported in The Bookseller
Penguin Random House UK is to create a single children’s division, bringing together Penguin Children’s and Random House Children’s Publishers.
Francesca Dow, previously m.d. of Penguin Children’s, is to be the m.d. of the new division, reporting to Penguin Random House UK c.e.o. Tom Weldon. Philippa Dickinson, currently m.d. of Random House Children’s Publishers, is to take on the new role of consultant children’s publisher "with specific editorial responsibility for key projects and authors", before retiring next year.
The company said there were no current plans to co-locate the two divisions, though a spokesperson said that the "ideal situation" would be to bring them under one roof.
Channel 5 has commissioned the first children’s TV series from Random House Children’s Screen Entertainment (RHCSE), the UK production house created by Random House Children’s Publishing and Komixx Entertainment.
"Wanda and the Alien" is based on the series of books by writer and illustrator Sue Hendra in which a little girl rabbit befriends an alien. It is set to air in 2014 as a series of 52 10-minute programmes using flash animation. The series is already in pre-production at Mackinnon & Saunders digital studios in Manchester.
RCHSE has appointed kids’ content distributor CAKE to handle global distribution of the series.
Alice Hoffman To Write Middle Grade Novel For Random House
Novelist Alice Hoffman has inked a deal for a middle grade novel. Random House Children’s Books will publish Nightbird in spring 2015.
Tina Wexler at ICM negotiated the deal with Random House Children’s Books publisher Barbara Marcus. Wendy Lamb will edit the book for her Wendy Lamb Books imprint. Hoffman has written 21 novels and eight YA and children’s books.
Dr Seuss titles are to become available as ebooks, a press release issued yesterday has announced.
The titles to be released as Random House Children’s Books ebooks on Tuesday, October 22, are
I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!; Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!; The Cat’s Quizzer; The Shape of Me and Other Stuff; Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book; Happy Birthday to You!; Horton Hatches the Egg; How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories; The Sneetches and Other Stories; Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories; And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street; I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories; If I Ran the Circus; If I Ran the Zoo; On Beyond Zebra!; The King’s Stilts; and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.
The ebooks to be released on Tuesday, November 5, are
Oh Say Can You Say?; Bartholomew and the Oobleck; Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?; Hunches in Bunches; I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew; McElligot’s Pool; The Butter Battle Book; and You’re Only Old Once!
New York, NY, September 4, 2013—Random House Children’s Books, the longtime publishing home of the beloved and bestselling Dr. Seuss books in their print editions (www.seussville.com), will now also publish these stories as ebooks beginning on September 24 and continuing throughout November, marking the first time they have been available in this format. This landmark publishing event was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books, and Susan Brandt, President, Licensing & Marketing, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P
Thoughts on the Penguin/RandomHouse merger, by Boris Katchka:
Consolidation carries costs you won’t find on a price sticker. Dozens of formerly independent firms have been folded into this conglomerate: not just Anchor, Doubleday, Dutton, Knopf, Pantheon, G. P. Putnam’s Sons and Viking, which still wield significant resources, but also storied names like Jonathan Cape, Fawcett, Grosset & Dunlap, and Jeremy P. Tarcher. Many of these have been reduced to mere imprints, brands stamped on a book’s title page, though every good imprint bears the faint mark of a bygone firm with its own mission and sensibility.
Decades of consolidation have cost writers and consumers alike. There is, for one, the persistent gripe of writers and agents: companies either forbid (as at Penguin) or restrict (at Random House) their constituent imprints from bidding against one another for a manuscript. That means not only lower advances, but also fewer options for writers to get the kind of painstaking attention — from editors, marketers and publicists — that it takes to turn their manuscripts into something valuable.
Among the imprints that survive, the tendency is to homogenize and focus on a few general fields like ambitious nonfiction, accessible literary fiction or thrillers. “Legacy” publishing does best in the first category: it commands the advances needed for research, the editing talent to shape the writing and the marketing muscle to distribute those doorstop biographies on Father’s Day.
In the more commercial genres — romance, horror, “Fifty Shades” — writers are beginning to find success in self-publishing. That’s a bit of a misnomer, because often it involves an agent who packages a book with any number of freelance editors and marketers, many of them refugees from the ever-shrinking houses. (Amazon’s publishing platform, which runs on more of a packaging model, has made inroads into these genres.)
As for literary fiction, more and more of the interesting and strange variety — the labors of love on which famous editors like Robert Giroux, Maxwell Perkins and Barney Rosset once placed their bets — may migrate to smaller presses. Graywolf, Milkweed and McSweeney’s (none of them in New York) may not have the resources of their spiritual predecessors, but they have what new owners often lack: personality, mission and focus.
So many books are published — almost certainly, more than ever — that predicting a blanket decline in quality would be ridiculous. But whether literary culture is best served by the ceaseless centralization of publishing is a question worth asking.
The Big Five have been so busy reducing old companies to brands that they’ve neglected the notion of what a brand should mean. Can any reader tell a Pantheon from a Riverhead novel? The logo doesn’t do the trick. The value of a publishing house — and now an imprint — has been its function as that dreaded straw man of the self-publishing gurus: a gatekeeper. In the hoary Model T days, gatekeepers weren’t a cabal but a cacophony, competing tooth and nail.
The Bow Tie Goes Independent
David Fickling is to leave Random House, where he is publisher at the David Fickling Books children’s imprint, to set up as an independent publisher.
Fickling’s new company will take the name David Fickling Books, with Simon Mason joining as the company’s managing director. The venture will continue to be based in its existing Oxford office and plans to publish 25-30 books a year.
Meanwhile titles scheduled to be published at Random House’s DFB imprint after Fickling’s departure will continue to be published as DFB books by the RHCP fiction team headed by Annie Eaton and the picture book team led by Fiona Macmillan.
RHCP’s existing DFB backlist—which includes the young adult edition of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas—will gradually move to one of the other imprints in the Random House children’s division…
“I like publishing to be personal, and I want to keep at the level of making books. I’m 60, it’s about legacy—the storyhouse going on, the editorial team continuing to go on publishing the best books they can find. It’s also about sharing with authors, and partnerships. And it’s about autonomy—publishers have to recognise great work when they see it; and when they see it, act and get it out there.”
Fickling said he was looking forward to joining the community of small independent publishers. “I admire Andrew Franklin at Profile, Jamie Byng at Canongate, these amazing publishers and many others. These are the great powerhouses. I want to work with them too, and be a publisher in that group.”