Big Five Publishing: At A Glance


There used to be six big companies in the publishing industry. Now there are five. Though the Big Five is smaller, the group continues to dominate the trade-book publishing industry, with a 34 percent market share in 2015. Each of these behemoths has dozens of imprints and divisions. It’s tricky to remember which imprint is owned by which Big Five publisher.

The Big Six became the Big Five in 2013 when Penguin and Random House merged. There are successful trade book publishers such as Scholastic (publisher of Harry Potter books) that are not part of the group. Trade books refer to commercial books meant for general readership, such as novels, memoirs and biographies, and children’s books.

The Big Five publishers are:

  • Penguin Random House
  • Harper Collins
  • Macmillan
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Hachette

Hundreds of Imprints

Are you confusing Grand Central with Gallery, or Avon with Avalon? Just what is the difference between Dell and Del Rey?  Designer and author Ali Almossawi created a chart that gives you a snapshot of the Big Five universe. If you’re a writer seeking opportunities or a researcher studying the industry, the chart is very helpful.

View the chart:

The Big Five U.S. Trade Book Publishers