Updated: Dec 24, 2020
You may have seen the Thanksgiving week rumblings about Penguin Random House aiming to buy Simon & Schuster. These are modern-day giant names in the book biz. What it means is that the Big 5 is morphing into the Big 4. Or, as the Washington Post's Ron Charles put it, "the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs."
Constriction in the book industry isn't quite as dramatic as we're seeing in the crumbling newspaper business, where hedge fund operators have moved in to strangle small and mid-sized papers and squeeze journalists out of jobs. But everybody who puts pen to paper these days is getting kicked around, and that goes for so many people bubbling with book ideas and manuscripts.
Fewer publishers translates to fewer buyers, a narrowed market — and good ideas dying on the vine. Hybrid publishers like New Bay Books aim to fill the void by shepherding ideas through the writing stage to market and providing services along the way.
In the end, that means more choices for readers, so many of whom are diving into books eagerly these troubled times.