A Guide to YA Imprints - Penguin

Hey y'all!I've been working on a project recently to help clarify a few things within the publishing industry. As y'all know, I want to work in publishing when I'm older (preferably in marketing or publicity, but I'll figure it out.) In any case, BookExpo America had me thinking about a few items.First off, there's a difference between marketing and publicity, which I've only really started to understand. I've always prided myself on trying to be up-to-date on industry news. I read Publisher's Weekly religiously, but there's always been a few things I've been a little fuzzy on. One of them? Imprints.


For those of you who don't know a lot about the publishing world, imprints are like small designations of publishing houses dedicated to specific types of books. Sometimes they're headed by specific editors or figureheads, and sometimes they're dedicated to specific age groups or marketing demographics.Today I'm here to tackle Penguin's.I've been putting a bit of an open call on my Twitter account for anybody working for a major publishing house - smaller ones are less likely to have imprints - to email or DM me to answer a few questions. So I've been talking to a few industry professionals and asking them about the structure, function, and types of books within their respective houses.Again, this is a seventeen year old's take on the subject, so these are my general impressions of the imprints and designations. If you have any background knowledge or corrections, feel free to give me the head's up! I figure this is a project that'd be helpful for bloggers and people involved with the industry who work with the imprints but aren't always specifically aware of what they are.

What do y'all think?

(Special thanks to Elizabeth Lunn for helping me out with this one.)

From what I understand, Penguin's imprints are mostly divided by actual format and by leadership. For example, Nancy Paulsen likes to acquire books with "with themes and characters that broaden the scope and audience of [our] books." Props to her for embracing diversity in publishing!

As any of y'all who keep up with publishing news know - or even with global business - Penguin and Random House recently merged into Penguin Random House, which is now the largest English language publisher in the world. The childrens' groups still work separately, in separate offices, and have separate imprints, but a few of the overall designations are a bit fuzzy. (If any of y'all were at BEA, the booth was still directing people to separate Penguin and Random House signings and publicists. They did a pretty great job though.) I'm still looking for someone to ask about Random House imprints - feel free to let me know if you can help! - but for now, here's Penguin.

PYRG Imprints-3

"I think one aspect that makes Penguin Young Readers unique is that our imprints include a set of Editors, Designers, and Managing Editors who work together on the same projects. At a lot of publishing houses, there are “pools” of individual departments—ex: all Designers will work in the same area and receive projects based on priority and availability. At Philomel, for example, we have five Editorial people, two Designers, and three Managing Editors. Us three Man/Ed people also work with the six Putnam Editors and four Putnam Designers, but a project would never go from a Philomel Editor to a Putnam Designer. Does that make sense? (I know, it is SO confusing!) I actually really like this setup because it’s fun for me to work so closely with Designers and Editors, and everything feels like a more collaborative effort. On the other hand, I could not tell you the name of one Designer for Razorbill… because we never have to interact!"

So in essence, Penguin organizes a lot of jobs BY imprint rather than by individual departments. (Although the Design team is a bit different - they receive projects by availability and not necessarily by imprint because it's a general pool.)Meanwhile, if you see the words "Penguin Teen" and "Penguin Kids" online, those aren't actually imprints - they're marketing designations.

Penguin Teen - young adult booksPenguin Kids - picture books and middle grade books

The social media teams are headed by the marketing department, which means that they don't specifically follow imprints. The Twitter accounts will tweet about any YA books regardless of imprint. Some imprints DO have their own social media accounts, but the marketing department generally covers everything.

2www.penguin.comwww.penguinrandom.comPenguinTeen | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookTumblr*Penguin Kids | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookPenguin Random House | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookPhilomel | TwitterNancy Paulsen | TwitterJill Santopolo | TwitterPenguin Books USA | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

*Note: If you're a blogger interested in reviewing or working with Penguin, their Tumblr page is super helpful! It's a great place to get to know the team, or hear about their latest titles!

What do y'all think?