Opinion: Stephen King Has Testified against Simon & Schuster's Efforts to Merge with Penguin Random House

Daniella Cressman

Stephen King—if you haven't yet heard of him—is a phenomenally successful novelist who refers to himself as a suspense writer, though he is praised as a horror author by the general public because he has a deep attraction to the macabre.

Recently, Simon & Schuster has made efforts to merge with Penguin Random House, but the acclaimed author adamantly believes that this is the wrong decision.

“I came because I think that consolidation is bad for competition...The way the industry has evolved...it becomes tougher and tougher for writers to find money to live on.” —Stephen King

King felt so strongly about the issue that he voluntarily testified to the government.

"King’s displeasure about the proposed merger led him to voluntarily testify for the government." —Associated Press

Remarkably, King himself would likely benefit personally and professionally from the merger, but he has a history of favoring priorities other than his own material wealth: if the two houses combined, this would mean there were fewer publishers out there for up-and-coming authors in an industry where the competition is already quite fierce and it is immensely challenging to earn a living from one's creative projects.

"King’s remarkable career has come amid waves of consolidation in the industry. As he noted in his remarks, there were dozens of publishers in New York when his breakthrough novel, 'Carrie,' came out, in 1974, and he has seen many of them either acquired by larger companies or forced out of business." —Associated Press

In short, King believes in leveling the playing field as much as possible so that everyone has a fair chance. I was already a die-hard fan of his, but I now have a newfound respect for the man.

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