In her annual letter to employees, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy’s emphasis was on how the publisher has re-tooled to reach both its traditional audience and the growing number of digital readers. In addition to restructuring the adult publishing division and sales and marketing operations, Reidy pointed to the new ways S&S is acquiring and creating content. As examples she cited the children’s division’s effort to develop original series in which S&S owns all intellectual property rights, and to the success the company has had with The Cupcake Dairies, which has more than 750,000 copies in print. Pocket Star, Reidy noted, was reborn in the year as an exclusively digital imprint—“a cost-effective platform to showcase both new and established authors.” S&S has also been aggressive in acquiring and relaunching self-published authors for a worldwide audience, “including Jamie McGuire, Jennifer Probst, Colleen Hoover and Abbi Glines, all of whom are leading lights in the fast-growing New Adult category,” Reidy said.
The relaunch of Pimsleur.com site to enable direct-to-consumer downloads led to rapid growth, increasing sales by nearly 300%, Reidy wrote.
While the sales growth rate of e-books has slowed, Reidy estimated that digital content sales will account for more than 20% of S&S’s worldwide revenue in 2012, helped by the fact that digital delivery of content allowed S&S to sell e-books in more than 200 countries and territories.
Reidy closed by noting the continued importance of S&S doing everything it can to meet the needs of its authors. “Traditional publishing—albeit for the digital era—is the core of what we do and at the forefront of our thought process. Last year I emphasized the importance of doing everything within our power to make the publishing experience for Simon & Schuster authors the best that it can be. That call to action is no less urgent today.”