News for Authors

Penguin Random House Publishing Highlights: 2020

by The Author Newsletter Team|January, 2021

Despite the countless challenges we all faced in 2020, Penguin Random House continues to celebrate honors and accolades for our books and authors. Let’s take a moment to look back on the many successes our talented authors achieved. Read more

Looking Ahead at Consumer Insights for Early 2021

by Grant Griglak|December, 2020

At Penguin Random House, direct communication and relationships with readers are key to marketplace success, and strong consumer marketing and outreach begin with understanding our audience. For a look at the quarter ahead (Q1 2021), read on! If you’d like to review the changes the team has been tracking over the course of the pandemic, check out the newsletter article from July here.

 

For the past couple of years, the Penguin Random House Consumer Insights team has produced a report called Moments, which aims to predict consumer sentiment and behaviors that we can expect during the following quarter (i.e., to capture a consumer mindset at a moment in time). To compile this report, we look at signals through various lenses, including cultural, commercial, category, and consumer, and we use multiple data sources including sales data, keyword search trends, and social media listening, as well as trade and consumer media. Here are the consumer mindsets that we think will be relevant in Q1 2021.

Seeking Empathy in a Post-Truth World: We struggle to find unity and compromise in a world where we face “truth decay.” This elucidates the tension that political polarization is on the rise—as more Americans use words like “different,” “dislikable,” and “immoral” to describe those of the opposite party (Vox)—while at the same time, seven in ten Americans believe they have “more in common with one another than many think” (Politico). As folks flock to “uncensored” sites like Parler and MeWe, how do we help Americans look past “their side” and find common ground in the truth and in respecting human rights? Books are uniquely positioned to help build empathy and see the world from someone else’s point of view—whether that’s through fiction or nonfiction, for kids or adults.

Spirituality Rising: After years of decreases in the percentage of Americans engaging with formalized religion, many are turning to faith and other spiritual avenues for hope, clarity, and community during this uncertain time. In fact, 24 percent of U.S. adults said their faith had become stronger as a result of the pandemic, while just 2 percent said their faith had weakened (Pew). The uptick also applies to nondenominational spirituality. For example, Google searches for “psychic predictions coronavirus” surged 250 percent globally from March to June” (Grazia).

Raising for Resilience: Parents are playing a multitude of roles, as they seek to ensure their kids are getting everything they need to thrive in today’s world. We see them championing education apps like Up or classes cultivating financial literacy, culinary knowledge, and job-seeking savvy. Smart educational institutions are teaching coding to toddlers and furnishing students with the crucial skill sets they need to thrive in emerging industries such as e-sports. Parents are also looking for advice in places like Nurture, which provides neuroscience-backed parenting tips and products.

The New Community: As consumers grapple with grief and anxiety about the pandemic, they seek connection more than ever. In addition to the devastating health impact of the COVID-19 crisis, people are struggling with “a loss of connection and identity while isolated” (Fast Company). Whether through virtual events (like Zoom’s new Zapps, games like Among Us, or simply virtual book clubs) or passion for fandoms (from Billie Eilish to Sesame Street), brands are poised to help fill the void.

 

Moments Q1 2021 also highlights anticipated consumer sentiment around key occasions:

  • New Year’s Day: Consumers are seeking inclusive wellness, activism as self-care, and journaling to process their emotions.
  • Valentine’s Day: In addition to romance, consumers want to celebrate their friends, their kids, and their pets.
  • Black History Month: Consumers are asking brands to go deeper than the usual Black History Month messaging such as MLK and Rosa Parks. While those figures are incredibly important, this year, consumers are looking for brands to walk the walk when it comes to supporting racial justice, and to go beyond February and integrate Black voices, stories, and consumers into everyday action.
  • Easter: While Easter is technically not until Q2 (April 4), consumers will be prepping ten to twelve weeks in advance. Those who celebrate tend to be younger, Millennial-parent families in the South and Midwest.

 

If you have content in your book that aligns with any of these themes or moments, contact your marketing team to discuss ways to activate your audience with relevant messaging, offers, and discussion opportunities!

 

 

Grant Griglak is Director, Consumer & Marketplace Insights at Penguin Random House.

A Letter from Our U.S. CEO: Launching Our Holiday Campaign

by The Author Newsletter Team|November, 2020

With the holiday season upon us, Penguin Random House is launching a campaign that celebrates what makes books so meaningful this time of year. Read on for a letter from our U.S. CEO, Madeline McIntosh, who shares details about the Books Give More campaign! Read more

A Recap of Virtual Events at Penguin Random House

by Phil Stamper-Halpin|November, 2020

From Instagram Live to Crowdcast to Zoom and everywhere in between, Penguin Random House has been putting on a broad selection of virtual events. Read on for a recap of some of these events, plus an introduction to Books Connect Us Live. Read more

Help Us Foster Greater Diversity and Inclusion at Penguin Random House

by The Author Newsletter Team|October, 2020

Calling all PRH authors and creators with books published from 2019 to 2021! Please participate in our author survey, which is a key step in helping us to conduct an audit of our publishing programs. Your participation is invaluable to us as we work toward our goal of publishing books that more comprehensively reflect our society and the diverse communities of readers we serve. Read more

How PRH Education is Meeting Educators’ Adapting Needs

by Luis Diaz|October, 2020

As we begin a school year unlike any other, Penguin Random House Education is dedicated to working with educators as they adapt to a shifting landscape. Read on to learn about what PRH Education is doing to meet the needs of teachers and students alike during this time. Read more

Give the Gift of Books from Penguin Random House!

by The Author Newsletter Team|October, 2020

We are delighted to extend this special author promotion to help you stock up on books (yours or those by others) and help those in need this holiday season!
Read more

Introducing Our Global Social Impact Website

by The Author Newsletter Team|September, 2020

Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, recently sent the following letter to employees worldwide announcing the launch of the Global Social Impact website. Read on to discover how our company’s actions and values unify employees globally into a collective force dedicated to transforming lives and communities locally. Read more

Behind the Scenes: Producing Audiobooks in Quarantine with PRH Audio

by Dan Zitt|September, 2020

Many of us transitioned to working from home in March, and for the Penguin Random House Audio group, this shift in operations presented some challenges. Read on to learn how PRH Audio has moved to creating and producing audiobooks from home, and to see some photos of at-home audio setups!
Read more

Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy

by The Author Newsletter Team|September, 2020

This privacy policy, effective September 15, 2020, outlines our privacy practices exclusively as it relates to the Survey for the Penguin Random House Audit of its Publishing Houses. This page does not apply to our handling of personal data outside of that specific use case. If you are looking for our Author Portal Privacy Policy please click here.
Read more