Penguin RandomHouse CEO is excited to bring foreign titles to China and take Chinese literature everywhere. Mei Jia reports.
Markus Dohle knew he has “the best job in the world” when Dan Brown knocked on his office door in 2008. The CEO of the world’s largest trade-book publisher, Penguin Random House, was then CEO of Random House. It was five years before the two groupsmergedwhenthe bestselling writer popped in to meet Dohle.
“It was my first day at Random House,” he recalls during his recent visit to Beijing.
“I came into the office at 8 in the morning on June 2. One hour later, Brown came in and said he was dropping by and wanted to introduce himself.”
Dohle responded: “‘I think I have to introducemyself to you.’” The two became friends. “Till today, we catch up as often as possible.”
Dohle believes that staying connected with people, products, services and the industry is crucial to any leader.
“Staying in touch with authors especially important,” he says.
That’s why he met Grand Slam champion Li Na during his China visit. Penguin brought her autobiography, Li Na: My Life, to Englishlanguage readers.
Dohle says he feels privileged to have met Li, as a tennis fan and a pro himself in his younger days.
“Publishing is a people business,” he says.
Dohle and his team upgraded the integrated group’s logo and have sustained a momentum of selling more than 700 million books a year, from printed to audio to e-books. They’ve published more than 60 Nobel winners’ works, and their authors keep sweeping awards.
The group earned $3.76 billion in 2015. It’s among the United States’ most popular employers.
Its core comprises 250 smaller publishing brands and imprints from different territories.
Dohle got his Chinese name, Du Lemeng (meaning a happy combination or alliance), while visiting the country in 2012, during the merger’s final negotiations.
Dohle sees the merger as a combination of two communities into a family of creative homes that’s successful “both on the business side and on the cultural side”. The integration “increases our presence in the targeted growth markets of China, Brazil and India”.
The secret to managing such a large community, he says, is “to run a large place like a small place, in that you can remain nimble and flexible”. is Markus Dohle,
He has organized the group, which operates in 25 countries and regions, in a decentralized way.
That’s because he believes publishing is a language and rights business that supports local cultures, voices and talent.
The group has continued to learn about the Chinese market and anticipates big opportunities as more Chinese read English-language titles, he says.
It plans to bring global best-sellers to China, while taking more Chinese titles international.
Dohle is proud of publishing Mo Yan overseas and says the group is planning more Chinese-language titles, especially given rising demand for children’s literature.
“Publishing is less a global business but more a rather decentralized, creative and multi-local one,” he says.
“You can only do it bottom up. You can’t do it top down. That’s how we approach our international businesses and approach China, too, with our local publishing here.”
He insists print will survive, despite the rise of digital platforms, since 2009, when paper books began to decline.
“My basic strategic assumption is that print will always be important— always. Not for 50 years or 100 years — always. And digital is becoming more and more important. There will be a healthy coexistence between the two,” he says. He was proved correct. In 2015, printing increased by more than 6 percent in theUnitedKingdom and about 3 percent in the United States.
Dohle was born in Arnsberg, Germany, in 1968 and trained in industrial engineering and management at the University of Karlsruhe.
He says every day is different him.
He’s still deeply inspired and excited by the opportunity to publish great stories after 22 years in the sector.
he CEO leads such campaigns as “Give a book” and the Readathon, and supports libraries.
“We see ourselves as a creative force and as a cultural institution, not as a corporation. Our larger purpose is to create the future of books and love for reading in our society for generations to come,” he says.
“We know if we actually achieve that large purpose, then — as a by-product and a logical consequence — we’re also going to be financially successful.”
Print will always be important — always. Not for 50 years or 100 years — always. And digital is becoming more and more important. There will be a healthy coexistence between the two.” CEO of Penguin Random House Springsteen.
— Mature Bruce worked to capitalize on his strengths while compensating forimperfect vocal tone.
— Among the bucket moments: realizing a “teenage daydream” while playing with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Springsteen’s California phase yielded picture-perfect landscape descriptions, though readers will spend more time hanging out in — no surprise — a different state.
Gauzy, dreamlike photos inside the covers depict a vanished era in Asbury Park, NewJersey, the hugely symbolic seaside city of Springsteen’s formative musical years.
Readers may need to buckle up for parts of this 508-page spin. He contemplates some deeply personal topics as a way of providing context for his art.
Springsteen, 67, reveals what he wishes he’d said after the beloved Big Man was subjected to a sickening racial slur. He also shares the heart-wrenching hospital scene when Clarence Clemons drew his last breath.
Then he candidly discusses his own harrowing health battles.
Markus Dohle is proud of publishing Mo Yan overseas and says Penguin Random House is planning more Chinese-language titles, especially given rising demand for children’s literature.
Chinese titles published by Penguin Random House cover a wide range, from literature works by Nobel laureate Mo Yan to an autobiography by tennis champion Li Na.
Rock legend Bruce