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
Bertelsmann and has become the umbrella brand
for Bertelsmann book publishing.
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
Its American imprints currently include the Bantam
Dell Publishing Group, the Crown Publishing Group
including Three Rivers Press, the Doubleday Broadway
Publishing Group, the Knopf Publishing Group,
the Random House Audio Publishing Group, the Random
House Diversified Publishing Group, the Random
House Information Group, the Random House Ballantine
Publishing Group, and Random House Ventures. 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 Geographic Books, Steerforth
Press, Wizards of the Coast, Vertical Books, Welcome
Books, New York Review of Books, Titan Books,
Other Press, Hatherleigh Press and DC Comics.
In 1998, Bertelsmann AG bought Random House and
it soon went global.
The publisher's main U.S. office is located at
1745 Broadway in Manhattan, in the 684-foot Random
House Tower, 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
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 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
Random House is the second largest book publisher
in Germany with 40 imprints as of September 2008,
including historic publishing houses Goldmann
and Heyne. It is headquartered in Munich.
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 Zealand, South Africa, India and South Korea.
In Australia offices are in Sydney and Melbourne.
In New Zealand it is based in Glenfield, Auckland,
while Random House's Indian headquarters are located
in New Delhi. (Credit:
Man Australia has assisted Random House, Virgin
Books and some of their authors in a media, new
media and publicity capacity