Boycott Penguin Random House until they cut financial ties to Donald Trump
We believe in free speech, but not in speech that incites hatred, distrust, and physical violence. What is happening right now is far more dangerous than mere divisive politicking and we believe our publishing colleagues can do better.
This is not a call to ban a book. We do not believe in book banning or censorship. Money talks, and that is where we are coming from. Read on to learn more.
The publishing industry's mainline support comes from book sales, physical and digital. There are other means of income through sub-rights (i.e. excerpts in magazines, book club editions, film rights, audio rights) but the proof in the publishing pudding comes from sales figures. If a book does not sell, it will not stay in print. If a publisher can't make enough income from book sales, it will not stay in business.
There is nothing more important in this confused country than freedom of speech. And the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court made it clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that money is a form of free speech. At ANTIBOOKCLUB, we believe that knowledge is a greater form of wealth than any physical currency and we hope to enlighten, and motivate, readers in this moment: where you spend your book dollars does matter. In a capitalistic society, when you withhold your money from a company, your voice will be heard.
Penguin Random House is one of the "Big Five" in publishing. They are not only a book publisher by that very name, they are also the umbrella corporation to other publishers. The publishers under a larger corporation's umbrella are known as imprints. While every imprint has their own focus (be it fiction, graphic novel, art books, and so on), the money earned under each supports the whole. Every imprint has a colophon, which is that logo you see on the spine of every book (typically at the bottom edge of the spine). Posted below are all the colophons of all the imprints under Penguin Random House. You can learn more about these imprints by visiting the Penguin Random House website, where we pulled these images from.
The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump is currently published in a paperback edition (and e-book edition) by Ballantine Books, an imprint under PRH. The success of this book enabled Donald Trump's rise; the book helped make him a household name in the 1980s. It is unfair to accuse Penguin Random House of conspiring to bring this reprehensible person to the highest office in the land; certainly back when this book was published, he was only a twerpy megalomaniac. But now, with decades of evidence of his racist and misogynistic ways, Penguin Random House can choose to continue lining his pockets from book sales, or they can drop the book entirely from their catalogue, and send a clear message to readers worldwide that they will no longer support this hate-filled shart-cannon via publicity (by keeping the book on shelves) or financially (by writing him royalty checks).
You can help make this happen: Do not buy books published by Penguin Random House or any of its imprints until they cut financial ties with President-elect Trump. Print out the colophons here and the next time you go to the bookstore and see any of these logos on a book you are interested in, put the book down. Better yet, tell the booksellers why you are putting the book down.
Your voice can be heard across all arenas of our industry, even in used bookstores. Used book sales do not trickle back to the publisher or author, but if a book is not selling at a used store, then the resale value of the book diminishes to a penny, and used stores stop buying it. Public libraries will also stop carrying books that are not being checked out over time (and libraries purchase from the publisher or their distributor).
This is a call to action. We do not want Penguin Random House or its imprints to go out of business. We want PRH to cut financial ties to President-elect Trump. Until they do so, we call on readers the world over to step up and be heard.