As the publishing division of the CBS Corporation, Simon & Schuster publishes and distributes consumer books under imprints such as Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, Scribner, and Free Press.
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
Publishing revenues for 2011 decreased 1% to $787 million from $791 million for the prior year, as strong growth in the sale of digital content, which more than doubled from 2010, was offset by lower print book sales. Publishing adjusted OIBDA for 2011 rose 28% to $92 million from $72 million for the prior year, reflecting lower direct operating costs. These include the impact of cost-containment measures, the decline in expenses resulting from an increase in more profitable digital sales as a percentage of total revenues, and the absence of a provision for doubtful accounts recorded in 2010. Adjusted OIBDA excludes restructuring charges of $2 million for 2011 and $4 million for 2010. The Publishing segment contributed 6% of generated revenues by CBS Corporation.
The parent noted that the "strong growth in the sale of more profitable digital content was offset by lower print book sales," partly a result of the collapse of Borders US.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
In October 2011, Simon & Schuster launched the Author Portal, which provides sale-data information to authors (and illustrators) via My Sales. According to Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, "the portal was not a response to Amazon, but rather an effort to accede to authors’ requests to have immediate access to their sales figures, without being forced to ask their editors or agents to provide the information" (New York Times). Random House and the Hachette Book Group took this step alongside Simon & Schuster, after more and more authors were attracted by Amazon's offer of access to Nielsen BookScan data. Together with Hachette Group and Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster formed the online site Bookish, which provides recommendations and reviews, sells print and digital formats, and stocks front and backlist titles.
Simon & Schuster UK and Simon & Schuster Australia experienced growth in markets that suffered from downturns. Simon & Schuster India opened in July and is exceeding expectations, according to Reidy.
Revenues from digital content of $133 million for 2011 more than doubled 2010 digital sales and represented 17% of total Publishing revenues in 2011.
Bestselling authors & titles:
Bestselling titles in 2011 include Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson; A Stolen Life, by Jaycee Dugard; and 11/22/63, by Stephen King. Bestselling children's titles from Simon & Schuster include City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare; Dork Diaries 3, by Rachel Renee Russell; and World Without Heroes, by Brandon Mull.
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.