2006 Reading Year in Review - Part 6: Publishers and Imprints

>> Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Publishers and imprints were not something I paid much attention to until a couple of years ago. Actually, when I first started keeping track of what I read, it wasn't even something I noted down in my spreadsheet.

A few years ago, though, I thought it might be interesting to see if I was more drawn to the books of any particular publisher, so I started gathering this information. In 2006, I read these percentages of books from each publisher:

Penguin-Putnam: 29.5%
Harlequin: 18%
Random House: 14.5%
Kensington: 6%
E-publishers: 6%
Dorchester: 5.5%
HarperCollins: 5.5%
Simon & Schuster: 5.5%
Macmillan: 3.5%
Warner: 1.5%
Others: 5%
The top 5:

  1. Penguin-Putnam - 59 books (29.5%): They publish some of my favourites, like Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Loretta Chase, Sharon Shinn and Emma Holly, and some very talented newer authors, whom I've recently put on my autobuy list, like Nalini Singh, Lydia Joyce, Meljean Brook and J.R. Ward.

    I should also note that of the 23 books that I rated in the A range last year, 13 were from this publisher, a very impressive 57%.

  2. Harlequin - 36 books (18%): This includes old, backlist titles by favourite "big" authors, like Anne Stuart, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jennifer Crusie, Linda Howard and Nora Roberts. These authors account for a third of the books read here.

    Favourite line seems to be Harlequin Intrigue, with 5 books, closely followed by Silhouette Special Edition and Silhouette Intimate Moments, with 4 each.

    Harlequin's non-category romance lines (like Bombshell, HQN, Mira, Luna and Red Dress Ink), have a total of 7 books.

  3. Random House: 29 books (14.5%): They have some very good authors (Linda Howard, Madeline Hunter, Susan Carroll, Bill Bryson, Suzanne Brockmann, Mary Jo Putney, Catherine Asaro, Shana Abé), and they used to publish such faves as Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick, Connie Brockway.

    I didn't rate any of their books below B-, and only one got that grade, the others were B or better.

  4. Kensington - 12 books (6%): a variety of authors here, and the kinds of books were just as varied, from a sweet Trad Regency by Donna Simpson to Shannon McKenna's hot, hot books. The grades seem to be all over the place, too, with a few Bs, but also a few Cs and even one of my rare Ds.

  5. E-publishers - 12 books (6%): Obviously, this is not one publisher, as all the other cases above. I didn't buy from a great variety of e-publishers, really. I got: 5 books from Ellora's Cave, 3 each from Torquere and Loose-Id and one from Phaze. My favourites were from Loose-Id and Torquere (Stephanie Vaughan and Evangeline Anderson), and I also liked Lisa Marie Rice and Kimberly Dean from EC.
Big Winners:

Random House went from 11.5% last year to 14.5% in 2006.

Dorchester grew from 3% to 5.5%

Penguin-Putnam went from 27% to 29.5%

Big Losers:

Harlequin went from 22% last year to 18% in 2006.

HarperCollins grew from 9.5% to 5.5%

Simon & Schuster went from 8% to 5.5%

Coming up tomorrow: New authors discovered


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