Publishing revenue at Simon & Schuster rose 12% in the second quarter of 2014, with the publisher crediting the growth to such print bestsellers as Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices and Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes. Revenue jumped to $211 million from $189 million in the same period in 2013, with OIBDA rising 14% to $24 million, from $21 million.
S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy said revenue growth was driven by “very strong” print book sales in the period; shoe emphasized that “all divisions are up for the quarter.”
While digital sales accounted for 25% of total publishing revenue during the second quarter, Reidy acknowledged that e-book revenues were down 6% in the second quarter, and down “double digits” for the year to date. Reidy said the decline was due, in part, to a particularly strong performance in 2013. S&S had two big major e-book e-book tie-ins in the same period last year, one being The Great Gatsby, and this, Reidy said, skewed e-book sales upwards that year.
“E-book sales are down a bit from last year, but this is in line with what we’re seeing in general, that e-book sales are slowing and we’re seeing it here,” Reidy explained. S&S results are broken out from its parent company CBS’s results, which took note of S&S initiatives with e-book subscription services Oyster and Scribd and the expanded availability of S&S e-books to more than 200 library systems around the country. Reidy said that while both initiatives are very small, they were highlighted because they offer “a strategic move to be in the forefront of new ways to sell our titles.”
Revenue growth for S&S in the period was driven by sales from such titles as Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices, Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, Brad Thor’s Act of War and Jennifer Weiner’s All Fall Down, among other bestsellers. Looking ahead to this fall, Reidy pointed out big books to come from such authors as Stephen King (Revival); Walter Isaacson (The Innovators); Glen Beck (Dreamers and Deceivers); and retiring New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who will be releasing his own book, Jeter Unfiltered, through Jeter Publishing, his newly launched S&S imprint.