random house logoNew York magazine has posted a brief article about Random House (now owned by Bertelsmann) that includes some interesting figures and quotes.

Among the interesting figures:

  • 80 percent of Random’s profit comes from its backlist
  • 55 percent of Random’s profit comes from fiction
  • 67 percent of Random’s income comes from paperbacks

(I can’t tell if the author is being careful about the use of the terms “income” and “profit,” and I’ve replicated his usage.)

And here’s an interesting quote, from RH CEO Peter Olson. I won’t comment because think it speaks for itself:

The most-profitable books are highly successful authors early in their career with a contract that doesn’t reflect their success.