Do you want to know who the big 5 publishing companies in the world are? Maybe you have heard people mention the big 5 and want to know more about them?

Or are you looking for information on publishing companies? No matter the reason that brought you here, we have the answers for you! 

Finding out who the big five publishing companies are can be tricky, especially if you have never looked into it before. You head online for some clarity, but all you find is conflicting information.

Frustrated and disappointed, you wonder if you will ever know who the five big publishing companies are. 

Well, that’s where we come in! Today, we are here with a complete guide showing you who the big five publishing companies in the world are. Keep reading to find out who they are and a little bit about them.

By the end of today’s article, you are sure to be a publishing company expert! 

Who Are The Big 5 Publishing Companies In The World?

Although there are hundreds of publishing companies across the world, from small-town publishing companies to huge organizations, there are five that are considered the ‘big five.’

These companies are responsible for some of the biggest book releases of our time, with books like The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo,  Fifty Shades Of Grey, and Alice in Wonderland topping the best-seller list. 

These publishing companies are home to the classics, like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, and contemporary best-sellers like Colleen Hoover and Lee Child. They have the formula of creating a best-seller down, and no doubt fill countless bookshelves across the country. 

But what do we really know about the big five publishing companies? Now that we know who they are, let’s take a closer look at each publishing house to learn more about them. 

Harper Collins

First up, we have HarperCollins. The company has been publishing books since 1817 and has become the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world.

With their headquarters in New York, Harper Collins is known across the world.

Their books are stocked in most bookstores and online retailers, offering everything from Mark Twain, the Bronte Sisters, and Agatha Christie to Colleen Hoover and Madeline Miller. 

Countless books published by HarperCollins top the bestseller lists, with new books being released constantly. 

Harper Collins has spent the last twenty-five years adding companies in the U.S., U.K., and other countries. They have offices across the globe and a total revenue of $2 billion in 2021.

It’s no wonder they are in today’s list of the biggest publishing companies in the world! 

Hachette Book Group

The Hachette Book Group was created between 1989 and 1990 when Time Inc merged with Warner Communications. The deal saw Time Warner Trade Publishing come into existence.

The name has changed several times until Time Warner Book Group was bought by Lagardere in 2006. 

It became the Hachette Book Group then and has made several acquisitions including titles from Disney’s Hyperion imprint, Perseus Books Group, and Black Dog & Leventhal.

These acquisitions have helped to bolster their sales and expanded their reach across the globe. 

Their recent acquisitions of over a thousand children’s titles from Disney, in particular, have increased their sales tenfold. In one year. They publish roughly 1400 adult books, 300 young adult books, and over 450 audiobooks. 

Publishing authors like Tom Lin, Nichole Perkins, Stephanie Land, and Jen Sincero, books from the Hachette Book Group regularly enter the bestseller list, with over 30 of them reaching the number one spot! 

Their incorporation of other companies has helped them to boost sales and makes them responsible for supplying the world with some of the most popular books! 


Founded in 1843, Macmillan is one of the oldest publishing companies on today’s list. A string of mergers in 2015 saw them strengthen their position. Thanks to imprints like Tor, St Martin’s Press, Straus, Giroux, and Farrar, they now publish in every genre. 

With award-winning authors like Andre Aciman, Julissa Arce, Mary Kay Andrews, and Paul Auster on their roster, it’s no wonder that Macmillan is part of the big five! With a revenue of $1.4 billion, it’s clear they know how to publish a book! 

Their education imprints, Macmillan Education and Palgrave bolster their sales every year, offering a book teaching you virtually anything!

Whether you want to master IT skills, write a book, or improve your hobby, there is a book published by Macmillan to help. 

Who Are The Big 5 Publishing Companies In The World?

Penguin/Random House 

Perhaps the biggest names on today’s list, the big five were the big six until Penguin and Random House merged in 2013. The Penguin Group and Random House publishing were already some of the biggest names in publishing, but this merger solidified their position. 

With revenue of €4 billion in 2021 and 15,000 titles published annually, it is clear that they are dominating the publishing world! With its headquarters in London, Penguin Random House publishes work globally.

They have several reading groups and imprints under their banner too, like Crown Publishing Group and Viking Press. 

Penguin Random House is responsible for some of the biggest names, with their classic collection covering everyone from Mary Shelley to Graham Greene.

Their modern releases have included some of the best sellers including Prince Harry’s Spare and Danielle Steel’s latest novel. 

Penguin Random House publishes in virtually every genre and it’s no surprise they feature in the big five! 

Simon & Schuster 

Founded in 1924, Simon & Schuster is a subsidiary of Paramount Global. With a revenue of $993 million in 2021, they continue to bring the world best-sellers in a range of genres. Simon & Schuster remains one of the country’s biggest producers of books. 

Simon & Schuster has a wide variety of authors on their roster, including Howard Stern, Phillippa Gregory, and Dan Brown. These authors are responsible for huge best sellers including The Da Vinci Code and The White Queen Series. 

Simon & Schuster has also acquired several imprints like Distican and Green Tiger Press. There was also a proposed buyout in 2020, where Penguin Random House sought to acquire Simon & Schuster.

The deal eventually collapsed in 2022 and Simon & Schuster has continued trading. 

With its headquarters in New York City, the publishing company distributes books across the globe.

Their books are available to purchase in most bookstores and through online retailers. Simon & Schuster remains one of the biggest publishing companies in the United States and this seems unlikely to change any time soon. 

They are always looking for new work and encourage all authors to send work through a literary agent to them for consideration. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, the big five publishing companies are Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Harper Collins.

These companies are responsible for the biggest book releases of all time and continue to publish books every week. 

It is unlikely that these companies will disappear any time soon and will continue to keep putting books on our shelves! Why not take a look at your bookshelf and see how many of the big five are sitting on it?

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