The Authors Guild has responded to the news of the upcoming Penguin Random House merger, calling for “close scrutiny from antitrust officials at the Justice Department or the FTC” before the publishers combine forces.
The Guild feels that the super-publisher will control more than 35 percent of the “fiction and narrative non-fiction market,” a worrisome development for the group. Authors Guild president Scott Turow had this comment:
Survival of the largest appears to be the message here … Penguin Random House, our first mega-publisher, would have additional negotiating leverage with the bookselling giants, but that leverage would come at a high cost for the literary market and therefore for readers. There are already far too few publishers willing to invest in nonfiction authors, who may require years to research and write histories, biographies, and other works, and in novelists, who may need the help of a substantial publisher to effectively market their books to readers.