: Penguin Group :
: profile :
As one of the most innovative names in consumer publishing, Penguin continues to seek to lead an industry valued at around $15bn and growing at around 4% per year. Penguin aims to grow faster than the market by investing in great authors, targeting higher growth segments (such as children’s publishing and illustrated reference) and building the Penguin brand, which is one of the most recognised media brands in the world.
We are one of the premier English language publishers, ranking in the top two in all our major markets. Three years ago, we set out to increase investment in building a bigger family of best selling authors and developing a new generation of literary talent. This investment is paying off with a record number of best selling titles, more first novels making it on to the bestseller lists and a host of major literary awards on both sides of the Atlantic.
We are also investing more in the technology and partnerships that enable us to connect with our readers. By developing companion websites, promoting author webcasts and forming online communities (around particular genres such as romance, science fiction and mystery), we can form closer, more direct relationships with our readers. This helps us to target our marketing, generating new sales across Penguin. At the same time, we are looking to the future, taking our titles into ebook format with a range of partners.
However, the biggest change at Penguin over the last year has been the acquisition of Dorling Kindersley, the world’s premier family illustrated reference publisher. It gives us the ability to lift sales and profits as we bring Dorling Kindersley up to Penguin’s best-in-class margins and use Penguin’s marketing and distribution network to boost sales of Dorling Kindersley titles. We also aim to sprinkle the Dorling Kindersley magic right across Pearson to enhance the appeal of some of Pearson Education’s leading school programmes, enrich the Lifelong Learning channel of our Learning Network and add to our new broadband education television properties.
It is one more example of how Penguin continues to follow new directions, finding better ways of getting things done at every stage of the publishing process. As we do so, we will focus on what we do best – publishing the very best books on any subject in any format.
Penguin is one of the world’s premier English language publishers – number one in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and India and number two in the US and Canada. It pub-lishes the very best new fiction and non-fiction, literary prize winners and commercial blockbusters on subjects ranging from history and science to essential reference. Our imprints include Allen Lane, Avery, Berkley Books, Dutton, Hamish Hamilton, Michael Joseph, Plume, Putnam, Riverhead and Viking. Our venture into ebooks is just beginning and we are pursuing a number of initiatives with our ebook fulfilment partner, Lightning Source. We’ve also joined with Gemstar, makers of ebooks, to distribute books by select best selling authors and we have hundreds of Penguin titles already on pilot pro-grammes at Rocketbook, Softbook and Peanut Press.
Children’s: We are the world’s leading children’s publisher, helping characters such as Peter Rabbit, The Little Engine That Could and Spot capture the imagination of children all over the world. Our children’s imprints include globally recognised names such as Puffin, Frederick Warne, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Dial Books and Ladybird.
Classics: The world has not changed so much that the best literature of several thousand years and countless cultures has lost its relevance. From the first history of Herodotus to the novels which shook the 20th Century, we are the leading publishers of classic literature in the world. With over 1,600 titles ranging from poetry to history, we have created the largest online resource dedicated to the world’s classic literature at penguinclassics.com.
Dorling Kindersley: We are now the world’s premier illustrated reference publisher. Aiming to be a complete ‘cradle to grave’ pub-lisher that families can grow up with, we produce books for children of all ages and books for adults covering a huge variety of subjects including childcare, health, gardening, food and wine, travel, business and sports. Designed to make complicated subjects simple, DK has built a unique and attractive graphic style which is now recognised around the world. Not only does our ‘lexigraphic’ design approach make our books easily translatable across cultures, but it’s formed the basis of our library of 2.5 million wholly owned digital images which have many applications – in print or online.
: performance :
The Penguin Group (or Penguin Putnam as we are known in the US) posted its best ever performance in 2000. Underlying sales increased by 6.2% and underlying profits by 19.6%.
Penguin’s success was built on increased investment and development of new author talent and established best selling authors such as Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Clive Cussler, Spencer Johnson, Nora Roberts and many others.
In the US, Penguin Putnam achieved record revenues and profits and gained market share across all categories – adult hardcover, mass market, trade paperback and children’s books. It landed 106 titles on the New York Times bestsellers lists, up 56% on 1999, including 13 titles that reached the number one position. Its adult hardcover and paperback titles spent a total of 600 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists, up 36% on 1999. In the UK, Penguin had 39 titles in The Bookseller Booktrack top 15, with best selling authors including Alex Garland, Jeremy Paxman, Sue Townsend and Jamie Oliver, whose Return of the Naked Chef was the number one book for 16 weeks.
Penguin titles won some of the most prestigious industry awards, including the Whitbread Prize (Matthew Kneale’s English Passengers), the Whitbread first novel award (Zadie Smith’s White Teeth) and, in the US, a National Book Award for Non-fiction (Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea). Our US children’s publishing division published titles that won the 2001 Caldecott Award (Judith St George and David Small’s So you Want To be President?), the 2001 Newbery Award (Richard Peck’s A Year Down Yonder) and the 2001 Coretta Scott King Award (Joan Bauer’s Hope was Here). It is the first time a single publisher has ever won all three awards in the same year.
All the stars are aligned for an even stronger performance in 2001. We are publishing a raft of new books this year by existing best selling authors – among them Patricia Cornwell, Maeve Binchy, Amy Tan and Nick Hornby. Dorling Kindersley also has a powerful line-up of new books. And we are continuing to step up investment in publishing new authors. We are investing in online and ebook enterprises too, focused on securing long-term growth opportunities and creating more direct relationships with our readers. During the year, we developed hundreds of new author websites and staged interactive Yahoo! webcasts in the US with our best selling authors.
The integration of Dorling Kindersley went to plan. We consolidated DK’s warehousing with Penguin, merged the finance systems and combined the UK sales and marketing functions. As a result, we have significantly improved operating efficiencies. We steered the business to break even in 2000 and we expect significant revenue and profit growth over the next few years. Dorling Kindersley is also opening new revenue opportunities across Pearson, creating new printed and online learning materials with Pearson Education and developing services for the lifelong learning market with Learning Network and Pearson Broadband.