The term "house" has been used in the publishing industry for many years to refer to a publishing company. The exact origin of this term is not clear, but it is believed to have come from the idea of a "printing house," which was a term used in the early days of printing to describe a place where printing was done. Over time, the term "house" came to be used more broadly to refer to any company that published books or other printed materials.
Another theory is that the term "house" is derived from the idea of a "house style," which refers to a publisher's particular way of editing, formatting, and presenting its books. Just as a house has a particular style or design, a publishing company can be said to have a particular "house style" that distinguishes it from other publishers.
Regardless of the origin of the term, the use of "house" to refer to a publishing company has become a common and widely recognized convention in the industry. Today, it is common to hear phrases such as "the house of Random House" or "the Penguin house" to refer to specific publishing companies.
There are several large publishing houses in the United States, but some of the biggest ones are:
Penguin Random House: This is the largest trade book publisher in the world, formed by the merger of Penguin and Random House in 2013. It publishes books across a wide range of genres and imprints, including literary fiction, nonfiction, and children's books.
HarperCollins: This is one of the largest publishing companies in the world, with a focus on general trade books, children's books, and educational materials. Some of its imprints include Harper, William Morrow, and Avon.
Simon & Schuster: This is a major publishing house that publishes books across a wide range of genres, including literary fiction, nonfiction, and children's books. It has several imprints, including Atria, Gallery Books, and Scribner.
Hachette Book Group: This is a division of Hachette Livre, one of the largest publishing companies in the world. It publishes books across a range of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, and children's books. Its imprints include Little, Brown and Company, Grand Central Publishing, and Orbit.
Macmillan Publishers: This is a global trade publishing company that publishes books across a range of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, and children's books. Some of its imprints include Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt and Company, and St. Martin's Press.
These five publishing houses are among the largest and most influential in the United States and the world, and they publish some of the most popular and acclaimed books in the market.