Imagine if one rich person decided to run a book publishing company. Oddly, there are few major book publishers that are owned by a single individual, though one might say Rupert Murdoch's News Corp comes close in its ownership of Harper Collins and Jeff Bezos in his ownership of Amazon. But imagine if book publishing were like the old newspaper business, where a handful of powerful individuals controlled the news.
Who would make a good publisher? The richest men know how to make money but would they know how to be great publishers? It seems like wealth and publishing don't go together.
Bill Gates is worth $81 billion. Warren Buffett is at $67 billion. Larry Ellison is worth $50 billion and the Koch brothers are each worth $42 billion. Five people have over a quarter trillion dollars in their net worth. Any one of them-- or any combination of them could alter the landscape of book publishing.