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Penguin Posts Record Profit in Down Economy

Nearly every segment of Penguin publishing showed improvement in 2008 helping the company achieve a growth of 26% over 2007 and a profit margin of 10.3%. Sales were up 3% not withstanding the increased value of the dollar. Penguin had one or more #1 New York Time Bestseller 94% of the year, their authors brought in two Pulitizer Prizes, increased growth in the trade paperback and mass market units (that would be Berkley), and young adult (probably Richelle Mead and the like).

The press releases says that Penguin continues digital innovation but I haven’t really seen it.

Segments from the Press Release of interest:


  • G. P. Putnam’s Sons was again the #1 New York Times bestselling hardcover imprint, a position it has held for more than two decades.  
  • Penguin Group (USA) led the industry in overall total of #1 New York Times trade and mass market paperback books.  
  • Penguin Group (USA) delivered #1 New York Times bestsellers across 13 imprints.


Over the last several years, improved technology has made books more accessible online to mainstream America. Sales of Penguin Group (USA)’s eBooks have surged as the company has invested in making 6,400 books available on many electronic reading devices including the iPhone, developed online eBook stores, and published exclusive new content in eBook form. The company also launched an original digital program, Penguin 2.0, which offers consumers the unique opportunity to customize books, among other online services and features.

Penguin Group (USA):

  • Saw its eBook sales jump close to 500% over 2007.  
  • Has 6,400 eBooks now available in the US; 8,500 total eBooks across the Group.  
  • Was the first publisher to create an iPhone app for optimal viewing of its website on mobile devices.  
  • Launched a line of eSpecials, short pieces of writing encompassing everything from updates to nonfiction works to unpublished novellas by bestselling authors.  
  • Opened Enriched eBook Classics stores on Amazon and on the Penguin Group (USA) website.  
  • Saw its website traffic climb 10% to 3.5 million unique visitors.  
  • Launched the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award with

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

One Comment

  1. Evangeline
    Mar 17, 2009 @ 12:25:38

    Besides the great news that Penguin is showing profit in a struggling economy, their strides in keeping up with technology and a new generation of readers is pertinent for unpublished authors when it comes to discerning which houses/imprints to submit to.

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