Do You Judge a Book by its Publisher? | Discussion

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I recently saw this question on a Goodreads poll, which got me thinking, do some people actually reference a book’s publisher rather than the book’s content? Let’s talk.

I’m not going to lie; I read a lot of books that come from the Big Five publishers. What are those? You might have heard of them. The Big Five includes:

  • HarperCollins
  • Penguin Random House
  • Hachette (Little, Brown)
  • Macmillan, and
  • Simon & Schuster

I’m sure you’ve read at least one book from all of these publishers. What all these publishers have in common are that they’re huge. HarperCollins, for instance, publishes more than 10,000 books per year. And while that’s amazing, we sometimes tend to forget the other, smaller publishers that also publish amazing books.

There are many books that can act as contenders for books that are published by one of the bigger publishing companies. So why aren’t they being recognized for their thrilling plots or amazing characters? The difference between bigger publishing companies and independent publishing companies is that the bigger publishing companies have more people, more books, more recognition.

But we have to remember: a book’s publisher is not a measure of the book’s rating. Maybe you haven’t heard of this book because it isn’t being as publicized as much. But I can name at least five books off the top of my head that are incredibly written and have an amazing plot, yet they aren’t published by a Big Five. So what does this mean? It means you have to keep your eyes out! You see a synopsis of a book on Goodreads that you’re really interested in, but it’s not being published by one of the common publishers that you usually read from? So what? Buy that book and read it!

Recognize books that aren’t published by a popular, big publishing company. If you love it, spread the word about it! Because every book has to start from somewhere, and there’s probably a book that you would love out there that’s not being published by a big publisher.

So support independent authors and publishers. Because (warning: big cliché that’s ultimately true) what’s inside the book is more important that the outside or where it’s from.

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Have you ever judged a book by its publisher? What books do you love that are written by indie authors? Comment below with your thoughts!


24 thoughts on “Do You Judge a Book by its Publisher? | Discussion

  1. I think the only time I do is if it is by Swoon Reads lol because it’s a guaranteed romance novel so I have to be in the mood for that. Otherwise I don’t even notice publishers unless I’m trying to purchase one that doesn’t sell physical copies in Canada! Great post!


  2. I never judge because as you said, there other fantastic books out there’s that are indie. I have two favorite authors and they are both indie: Micalea Smeltzer and Randi Cooley Wilson. They are both amazing writers. There’s Elle Kennedy with her Off-Campus series, Kristen Callihan with her Game On series, Ashley Drew, Lily Paradis, to name a few. I tend to read a lot of NA books from indie authors. So I guess I don’t really judge 🙂
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews


  3. I’d lie if I said I don’t judge books by publisher, although I do read books published by smaller publishers too.
    My favorite publishers are Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Carina (which is a part of Harper Collins) and Sourcebooks Landmark.
    As for indie authors, I don’t read them often, but I really like J.A. Templeton. I often like to say she’s one of my favorite authors.


  4. I never even take note of the publisher until I’m writing the little information section on my reviews! I’ve noticed that quite a few of my favourite series are published by Bloomsbury or Scholastic, but it doesn’t effect my rating at all. That’s more of a thing I notice when seeing all the tiny logos on my bookshelves 🙂


  5. Great post! I typically don’t think about publishers when I pick books to read, but the consequence of that is that I probably primarily read from the Big 5 because those are the ones that are most visible. But I definitely agree that you shouldn’t judge books by their publishers. I know some publishing houses have certain reputations or themes that they stick to, so for that reason “judging” based on the publisher makes sense (i.e. if you don’t like sci-fi/fantasy, you shouldn’t read books published by Tor). But generally speaking, smaller publishers need more visibility and it’s great to seek them out to broaden your scope!


  6. Honestly, the last thing I notice about a book is its publisher. At the end of the day I go by books that I think I’m going to enjoy and I usually base my decision to read them off the synopsis and my excitement over it. I definitely think books from the big 5 publishing houses definitely are a bit more recognizable but that doesn’t mean I’ll be interested in them. Great discussion post. 😀


  7. I totally admit that I do sometimes judge by the publisher, but a book not being published from one of my “go-to” publishers doesn’t mean that I won’t read it. I’ve been reading quite a few books lately that are self-published. It’s more of a bonus if a book is published by one of those publishers than it is a drawback if it isn’t (I hope that made sense).


  8. That’s weird! I mean I can see where the person is coming from if they do judge a book by it’s publisher but you really can’t do that if you have favourites from across the publishing board. You shouldn’t not read a book because it’s from a certain publisher. I barely notice the publishers to be honest!


  9. I tend to not judge by the publisher in a negative way, but sometimes if I do see a book published by say a branch of penguin like penguin classics, I know it must be worth the read since it holds that status in the publisher. But for the most part I don’t bother too much with the publishers because I’m focused on judging by the covers!


  10. I’ve actually never noticed a book’s publisher until I got into book blogging a few months ago! It wasn’t until then that I noticed that a lot of books that I’ve read and enjoyed are published by the Big Five publishers, but also by smaller publishers. I wouldn’t say that I currently judge a book by its publisher, although I have a tendency to be more wary of self-published books – I haven’t had the best luck with these so far. Overall, I’m very non-judgemental when it comes to the book publisher. Great discussion post! 🙂


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