Publishing, under pressure – The New York Times

But the conservative groups are becoming more organized and better funded, Elizabeth said. They have sophisticated operations at the state and local levels and show no signs of slowing down their efforts.

“It’s happening everywhere and it’s very alarming for publishers and the wider book world,” she told me.

The publishers are also encountering resistance from within their own ranks. Employees were uneasy and angry about the issues of wages and diversity at a company that has a history of paying its editors, publicists, marketers and other workers low wages while requiring them to live in the astronomically expensive area of ​​New York City .

A younger generation of workers is challenging the industry’s longstanding assumption that newcomers will work long hours for lower wages. They have started demanding that leaders build a more diverse workforce and increase their wages. A unionized group of HarperCollins workers went on strike in November, arguing that the minimum starting wage should be raised from $45,000 to $50,000.

More than a month later, the strike hasn’t stopped HarperCollins from publishing books. But the action has gained support. Padma Lakshmi, the author and chef, hosted the National Book Awards last month with a union button on her dress given to her outside of the gala by striking workers.

In 2013, I covered the publishing industry during the merger of Penguin and Random House, a mind-blowing move that created the world’s most dominant book publisher. A charming Random House executive, Markus Dohle, was brought on to lead the newly merged company as CEO, and his rise in the industry seemed unstoppable.

A lot has changed since then. Dohle fought to acquire Simon & Schuster, another major publisher. The Justice Department sued to stop the merger, arguing that it would have stifled competition and harmed authors. After a trial in August, a judge ruled in favor of the government blocking the deal, a blow to Dohle. He resigned as CEO this month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *