World renowned author Stephen King to testify for government in books merger trial.
The Justice Department bids to convince a federal judge that the proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster would damage the careers of some of the most popular authors, it is leaning in part on the testimony of a writer who has thrived like few others: Stephen King. With over 60 best sellers, he’s the king of horror.
The author of “Carrie,” “The Shining” and many other favorites, King has willingly — even eagerly — placed himself in opposition to Simon & Schuster, his longtime publisher. He was not chosen by the government just for his fame, but for his public criticism of the $2.2 billion deal announced in late 2021, joining two of the world’s biggest publishers into what rival CEO Michael Pietsch of Hachette Book Group has called a “gigantically prominent” entity.
If this would harm the earnings of other well-known authors, then it would be a death sentence for Indies and Small Press. They already control most of the book publishing market. Many book blogger won’t remotely take a book if it is not published by one of the big five.
So, at first glance, the issue may seem personal with Mr. King, but it a look out for the Indie and Small Press too.