‘The Big Six’: who are they?

This phrase gets bandied around—a lot—in writing circles. We all know that the big six are a core group of publishers who’ve held the power in publishing for a long time. We know they’re all based in NY city. We know they’re all now scrabbling for their lives to ensure they stay relevant—and dominant—in the face of the e- and self-publishing revolution.

But exactly who are they?

  • Simon & Schuster – Pocket Books; Touchstone; Fireside; (and others)
  • Hachette Book Group (USA) – Little Brown & Co; Grand Central
  • Harper Collins – Avon; Harper Mass Market/Paperback/One/Business; William Morrow.
  • Bertelsmann AG – Random House; Ballantine; Bantam Dell; DelRay; Doubleday (and heaps of others)
  • Penguin Group (USA) – Penguin; Berkley; (Putnam, Signet, Viking, Plume, Grosset, Ace, Tarcher, Dutton, Penguin Press, Pedigree, Portfolio)
  • McMillan US – St Martin’s Press; Henry Holt & Co; Farrar, Straus & Giroux

If the list wasn’t so US-centric it might also include Harlequin Enterprises which has its headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Or I might just be biased ;)