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Random House, Inc. is the world's largest English-language general trade book publisher. It has been owned since 1998 by the large German private media corporation Bertelsmannmarker and has become the umbrella brand for Bertelsmann book publishing. Random House also has a home video distribution arm, Random House Home Video.

Random House, U.S.A.

Random House was founded in 1927 by Americans Bennett Cerf, Christopher Coombes and Donald Klopfer, two years after they acquired the Modern Library imprint. Cerf is quoted as saying, "We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random," which suggested the name Random House.

Its Americanmarker divisions currently include the Crown Publishing Group, the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, the Random House Audio Publishing Group, the Random House Publishing Group, and Random House Children's Books. Del Rey Manga publishes English manga in North America.

Random House entered reference publishing in 1947 with the American College Dictionary, which was followed in 1966 by its first unabridged dictionary. Today it publishes the Random House Dictionary of the English Language and Random House Webster's College dictionaries, probably the main competitors for Merriam-Webster reference titles.

The distinguished American publishers Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Pantheon Books were acquired by Random House in 1960 and 1961, respectively; works continue to be published under these imprints with editorial independence, such as Everyman's Library, a series of classical literature reprints. Random House has been the distributor for Shambhala Publications since 1974. They also currently distribute Rizzoli Books, National Geographicmarker Books, Steerforth Press, Wizards of the Coastmarker, Vertical Books, Welcome Books, New York Review of Books, Titan Books, Other Press, Hatherleigh Press, North Atlantic Books, Monacelli Press Books, and DC Comics. In 1998, Bertelsmann AGmarker bought Random House and it soon went global.

The publisher's main U.S. office is located at 1745 Broadwaymarker in Manhattanmarker, in the 684-foot Random House Towermarker, completed in 2003 and spanning the entire west side of the block between West 55th Street and west 56th. Its lobby showcases floor-to-ceiling glassed-in bookcases filled with books published by the company's many imprints.

Random House, UK

The Random House Group is one of the largest general book publishing companies in the UK. The Group is based in London and has subsidiary companies in Australia, New Zealand and India, with a joint venture in South Africa called Random House Struik.

The Group comprises six publishing companies with over 40 diverse and highly respected imprints and brand-name publishers including, Century, BBC Books, Jonathan Cape, William Heinemann, Chatto & Windus, Vintage, Corgi, Doubleday, Bantam Press and Virgin Books.

Random House’s non-fiction publishing consists of broad general non-fiction and specialist categories such as cookery, gardening, travel and business books. The Group’s classic backlist of over 6000 titles includes the works of Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch and Virginia Woolf amongst others. Random House Children’s Books publishes many bestselling writers including Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson, the former Children’s Laureate. The Random House Group distribution business services its own imprints as well as 60 other UK publishers.

Other international branches

Verlagsgruppe Random House was established after Bertelsmann's 1998 acquisition of Random House, grouping its German imprints (until then operating as Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann) under the new name. It is the second largest book publisher in Germanymarker with 42 imprints as of October 2009, including historic publishing houses Goldmann and Heyne. It is headquartered in Munichmarker (with additional locations in Güterslohmarker and Cologne) and publishes roughly 2.500 titles per year.

Random House of Canada was established in 1944 as the Canadian distributor of Random House Books. In 1986 the company established its own indigenous Canadian publishing program that has become one of the most successful in Canadian history.

Random House also operates branches in Australia, New Zealandmarker, South Africa (as a joint venture under the name Random House Struik), and Indiamarker as part of the overseas structure of The Random House Group Ltd. UK. In Australia offices are in Sydneymarker and Melbournemarker. In New Zealand it is based in Glenfieldmarker, Aucklandmarker, while Random House's Indian headquarters are located in New Delhimarker.

Random House Mondadori is Random House's Spanish-language joint venture with Italian publisher Mondadori, targeting markets in South and Middle America and Spainmarker. It is headquartered in Barcelonamarker with locations in Argentinamarker, Chilemarker, Colombiamarker, Mexicomarker, Uruguaymarker, and Venezuelamarker.

What began in 2004 as a joint venture with JoongAng M&B has been Random House Korea since 2006. Together with the group's joint venture with Japanese publisher Kodansha (under the name Random House Kodansha) it makes up the Random House Asia division.

Divisions and Imprints

Random House, U.S.A.

Crown Publishing Group
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Random House Publishing Group
Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Listening Library
  • Random House Audio
  • Random House Audio Assets
  • Random House Audio Dimensions
  • Random House Audio Roads
  • Random House Audio Voices
  • Random House Audio Price-less
Random House Children's Books
Random House Information Group
Random House Large Print

Random House International

  • Areté
  • McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
  • Plaza & Janés
  • Random House Australia
  • Random House of Canada
  • Random House Kodansha
  • Random House Korea
  • Random House Mondadori
  • Random House Struik
  • The Random House Group
  • Transworld Ireland
  • Transworld UK
  • Verlagsgruppe Random House

See also


  1. [1] Bennet Alfred Cerf Biography
  2. Random House Company History, from Accessed April 13, 2008.

External links

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