Thursday, November 3, 2011

In case you haven't heard by now, HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., announced earlier this week that it would finalize a deal to buy Thomas Nelson by the end of the year. Since HarperCollins already owns Zondervan, they will now own both of the the largest publishers in Christian publishing. This will make the company the single biggest stakeholder in Christian publishing.

It was reported that the news was received favorably by employees at Thomas Nelson when the announcement was made. Mark Schoenwald, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson, said that the company was excited to be joining HarperCollins. "We believe this transaction represents an attractive strategic fit for our company. With HarperCollins' resources and capabilities to draw on, we will capitalize on the many opportunities in this rapidly changing world of publishing."

Changes in publishing have been the topic of discussion on every blog and at every writers' conference in the past few years. We've seen bookstores close, and many wonder how digital publishing is going to affect print books in the future. Publishers are looking to the future and are beginning to prepare for what some see as a total digital age of books. HarperCollins has already developed a global print and digital platform, and some see this as an advantage for Thomas Nelson. With e-book distribution of print-on-demand, digital-to-print, and marketing on a worldwide scale into more than 175 markets, Thomas Nelson authors can expect to expand their readership.

HarperCollins Vice President, Corporate Communications Erin Crum told Christian Retailing: "HarperCollins will continue to publish both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan books, Bibles and products. The two companies have distinct and complementary missions, and we intend to keep these missions intact."

Whatever the future holds for publishing, it's going to be interesting to see how this latest deal plays out. What are your thoughts on the purchase?


  1. I don't write for Thomas Nelson, but I have written for another company that was bought out by a larger publisher--Summerside Press, who was acquired by Guideposts. The transition was good, and so far, the impact has been favorable as far as distribution and resources.

    I do worry, however, about the shrinking number of independent publishers. Will this mean fewer new authors? Fewer breakout books?

    Not sure.

  2. The TN employees might have received the news "favorably" but just wait until the consolidations occur and they lose their jobs. Sad that these people will no longer have a way to support themselves because of this buyout. I know people who work there and they are quite anxious. :(


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