The "Big 5" is a nickname for the major trade book publishing companies in the United States. Getting published by one of the Big 5 book publishers is the goal of many authors, as being published by a major publishing house is perceived to have some advantages over smaller presses or self-publishing, as well as offering higher quality and status.
Formerly known as "The Big 6" (until Random House and Penguin officially merged in June 2013), all of the Big 5 book publishers have their main U.S. headquarters in the hub of book publishing, New York City.
The "Big 5" Book Publishers in the United States
... are now mostly U.S. divisions of publishers based in foreign countries. In alphabetical order, they are:
Hachette Book Group
Hachette Book Group (HBG) is a division of the second-largest trade and educational book publisher in the world, Hachette Livre. Hachette Livre is based in France and is a subsidiary of the French media company, Lagardère.
Hachette's American roots trace back to 1837 the year that one of its publishers, Little, Brown, and Company, was founded. Time Warner acquired Little, Brown in 1968 and HBG was created when Hachette Livre acquired Time Warner Book Group in 2006.
Hachette's publishing divisions include Grand Central Publishing; Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers; Faith Words; Center Street; Orbit; Yen Press; Hachette Audio; and Hachette Digital. Read about Forever, Hachette's Romance line, and about Forever Yours, their digital-first Romance line.
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
HarperCollins Publishers is a subsidiary of News Corp, the global media company led by Australian businessman Rupert Murdoch.
The "Harper" half of HarperCollins began in New York City in 1817 as J. and J. Harper, named after its founders, brothers James and John Harper. The company became Harper & Brothers and, eventually, Harper & Row, which NewsCorp acquired in 1987. In 1990, NewsCorp acquired the British publisher William Collins & Sons and formed the worldwide book group.
Some of HarperCollins publishers and imprints are HarperCollins; William Morrow; Avon Books; Broadside Books; Harper Business; HarperCollins Childrens; HarperTeen; Ecco Books; It Books; Newmarket Press; Harper One; Harper Voyager US; Harper Perennial; HarperAcademic and Harper Audio.
New York, NY 10007
Macmillan is a global trade publishing company, which is owned by the German Company Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, with imprints in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and around the world.
The Macmillan U.S. trade book publishers include Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Henry Holt and Company; Picador; St. Martin’s Press; Tor/Forge; Macmillan Audio; and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Macmillan also publishes into the college and academic book marketplace. In the many of the Macmillan U.S. publishers headquartered in New York City's historic Flatiron Building.
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Penguin Random House
Originally international publishing giants in their own rights, on July 1, 2013, Penguin, a Pearson company and Random House, owned by the German company Bertelsmann, combined their adult and children's fiction and non-fiction print and digital trade book publishing divisions.
As a result, Penguin Random House has nearly 250 imprints and publishing houses. Some of the most well-known Penguin Random House publishing groups are Random House Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Crown Publishing Group; Penguin Group U.S.; Dorling Kindersley; Mass Market Paperbacks, Penguin Group U.S.; Random House Children's Books; Penguin Young Readers Group, U.S.
Random House Offices
New York, NY 10019
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
345 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
Simon and Schuster
Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 by Richard L. (Dick) Simon and M. Lincoln (Max) Schuster with a bestselling crossword puzzle book. At various times in its history, it has been owned by Marshall Field, Gulf + Western, and Viacom. Simon and Schuster is currently the publishing arm of the media company CBS Corporation, where its diverse offerings include books in the adult publishing, children's publishing, audiobooks, and digital book arenas.
Simon and Schuster's publishing divisions and imprints include Atria, Folger Shakespeare Library, Free Press, Gallery Books, Howard Books, Pocket Books, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Threshold Editions, and Touchstone.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020