Random House, Penguin, Alfred A. Knopf, Doubleday, Crown, Pantheon, Ballantine, Viking, Putnam, Dutton, and many other publishing houses are now only one publisher. This new behemoth is called Penguin Random-House. I guess Penguin House sounded too silly. Along with Random Penguins there are only 4 other big publishers; Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. If you thought getting a publishing contract was impossible before then it is now double impossible. Self-publishing gets a bad rap because there is little if any quality control. But the marketplace is now the filter. Amazing books are published by independent authors. I know, I helped launch quite a few of them.
None of the big publishers were interested in The Elf On The Shelf and today it is practically synonymous with Christmas. They even had a giant balloon in the Macy’s parade this year.