Friday, October 15, 2021

Are World’s Largest Publishers Growing?


What are the biggest publishers in the world? Who are the top made-in-USA publishing companies?  Wonder no more.   

According to an annual analysis released under the aegis of Livres Hebdo and published in Publishers Weekly, four out of the world’s top 15 publishers in 2019 brought in less revenue in 2020, but 11 showed increases despite a pandemic. Though the Big 5 in book publishing shrunk to the Big 4, leaving us with Harper Collins, Hachette livre, Penguin Random House, and Macmillan, there are bigger publishing companies out there.   

The top five publishers in the world are:

  • Reed Elsevier PLD, NV
  • The Woodbridge Co. Ltd
  • Bertelsman AG
  • Pearson
  • Wolters Kluwer 

They combined for 25 billion bucks in revenue in 2020 -- up a half-billion dollars from a year ago. Bertlesman owns Penguin Random House but the other top publishers don’t own any of the really big book publishers.   

So, five publishing companies are in the world’s top 25 that are 100% American-owned. They are: 


  • Wiley No. 8 
  • Harper Collins No. 10 
  • McGraw-Hill Education No. 11 
  • Scholastic No. 13
  • Simon & Schuster No. 25

The nations that feature publishing companies in the top 25 are: 

  • UK
  • US
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • China
  • Japan 
  • South Korea
  • Cayman Islands

Most authors don’t pay too much attention to the finances or national origins of book publishers, but the take-aways here are: 


  • Publishing as an industry is seeing a revenue increase.
  • America is home to many of the top publishing companies.
  • The biggest book publishers continue to consolidate.

The publishing world is growing, yet getting smaller.


“There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

-Victor Hugo

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-Oscar Wilde

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Contact For Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

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