So, the Hachette Book Group is acquiring the Perseus Books Group again, 18 months after its first failed attempt to do so. This time it looks like the deal will stick, though.
If you read industry news deals or press releases, you’ll see all kinds of positive spin on deals like these. This is the third major publishing merger in the past three-plus years, preceded by the 2013 merger between Penguin and Random House and the acquisition earlier that same year of Harlequin by HarperCollins. The companies like to talk about expanding their global reach and investing in broadening their lists. And while these corporate agendas sound good on paper, the consolidation of publishing is not good for authors.
Legacy book publishing is already an inflexible dinosaur. Big publishers throw ludicrous sums of money at celebrity projects and well-connected authors. The inequity between author advance monies and monies allocated to marketing campaigns can only leave you scratching your head as to why a company would acquire an asset only to underfund it once it becomes a product….