Monday, January 30, 2012

The Big Six Publishers

There are different types of book markets: trade publishers, classroom publishing, publishing for educators and caregivers, parenting publishing, regional publishing, special interests, and religious publishers. "The Big Six Publishers" are the ones that everyone dreams of getting a book deal with. It's the nickname given to the largest group of trade publishers. On July 1, 2013, a huge merger (The Penguin Group and Random House) took place and it is now considered the BIG 5 Publishers.

The Big Six Publishers || what are the big 5 publishers? | 2013 publishing merger | what publishing houses will help me be the most successful

According to,, and Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe (I personally asked her at an SCBWI conference), and multiple Google searches, the BIG SIX (now the big five) are listed below. I have included some of their imprints, as well. Those that publish picture books are in bold.

  1. Simon and Schuster
    • Aladdin
    • Atheneum
    • Atria Books
    • Beach Lane Books
    • Folger Shakespeare Library
    • Free Press
    • Howard Books
    • Little Simon
    • Margaret K. McElderry Books
    • Paula Wiseman Books
    • Pimsleur
    • Pocket Books
    • Scribner
    • Simon & Schuster
    • Simon & Schuster Audio
    • Simon & Schuster BFYR
    • Simon Pulse
    • Simon Spotlight
    • Threshold
    • Touchstone
  2. HarperCollins
    • Greenwillow
    • Joanna Colter Books
    • Laura Geringer Books
    • Katherine Tegan Books
    • HarperTrophy
  3. Penguin Random House
    • Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
    • Bantam Books
    • David Fickling Books
    • Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
    • Delacorte Press Trade Paperbacks
    • Dragonfly (paperback picture books)
    • Yearling Books
    • Laurel-Leaf
    • Disney Books for Young Readers 
    • Doubleday Books for Young Readers
    • Golden Books 
    • Little Golden Books
    • Knopf Trade Paperbacks
    • Random House Books for Young Readers
    • Robin Corey Books (pop-up books, novelty formats, board books, the occasional picture book)
    • Schwartz and Wade Books
    • Wendy Lamb Books
    • Tricycle Press
    • Wendy Lamb Books
    • G.P. Putnam's Sons
    • Dial Books for Young Readers
    • Dutton
    • Grosset and Dunlap
    • Philomel
    • Puffin Books
    • Viking Children's Books
  4. MacMillan/Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
  5. Hachette Book Group (formerly Time Warner)
    • Little, Brown and Company
So if you want to "make it big" in the trade book world, you pretty much have to get an agent. And if your goal is picture books, then check out my Agents Tab for 50+ agents that represent picture book writers. Good luck!

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. At least the big six have a lot of imprints. Although our books won't work for every one of them, it does mean there are more of big six imprints we have a chance with. So really, it's not six, it's 10 + (depending on what you write). (And yes, I am trying to look at this for the glass half full side of things). :D

  2. Yes, lots of imprints, some of which also accept unsolicited mss. And I didn't even list ALL the imprints!

  3. Great to have this comprehensive list all in one place! Thanks, Christie!

  4. Great work pulling together the list Christie!!

    - Cathy

  5. Wow - GREAT list. Bookmarking it!


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