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Posts Tagged ‘Carolyn Reidy’

Simon & Schuster CEO Bashes “Cheap” Digital Marketplace

CarolineReidy23.jpg.jpgIn her annual end-of-the-year letter, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy praised her company for surviving in a “lackluster” bookselling environment, but urged them to fight the pricing shift that comes with the eBook revolution.

Here’s an excerpt: “We must do everything in our power to uphold the value of our content against the downward pressures exerted by the marketplace and the perception that ‘digital’ means ‘cheap.’ We must work to defend the livelihoods of our authors at a time when instantaneous file transfer makes piracy easier than ever, and in a world in which many consider copyright irrelevant. Because we have feet in two worlds, we must establish the right balance of attention and investment between traditional publishing, which still represents the vast majority of our revenues, and the digital publishing marketplace, which is clearly poised to take off and is essential for our future.”

Get eBookNewser’s take on the letter at this link. These thoughts about cheap content surfaced repeatedly at the eBook Summit, as participants railed against Amazon.com (AMZN)’s common $9.99 eBook price and the devaluing of digital content. Read the CEO’s entire letter after the jump.

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eBook Delays at Simon & Schuster and Hachette

SnS.gifYesterday Simon & Schuster and Hachette made headlines as they revealed they will delay the eBook release of many frontlist titles. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, told the Wall Street Journal: “The right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback.”

Over at eBookNewser, our digitally obsessed sibling, you can read more about the new publishing schedule at Simon & Schuster–where eBook versions of 35 of its early 2010 titles will be held for four months. The site also has a link to the delayed eBook publishing schedule, which includes books by Don DeLillo, Karl Rove, and Jodi Picoult.

The post also includes a statement from a S&S spokesperson about the delays: “We believe this publishing sequence will benefit the performance of all the different formats in which these titles are published, and in the long term will contribute to a healthier retail environment for the greater book buying public.”

Simon & Schuster Combines Simon Spotlight Entertainment and Pocket Books

s&slogo23.jpgToday Simon & Schuster announced that they will unite two imprints–Pocket Books hardcover and trade paperbacks, and Simon Spotlight Entertainment–into a single imprint called Gallery Books.

In a memo, CEO Carolyn Reidy explained the changes: “Gallery will be an immediate leader in those areas where Pocket Books and SSE have already forged well-earned reputations, such as women’s fiction, pop culture and entertainment. As with our other imprints, Gallery will also operate with a mandate to acquire top authors and hot prospects in a broad range of publishing categories, both fiction and nonfiction.”

With the changes, Pocket Books’ Louise Burke will now serve as publisher at Gallery. Anthony Ziccardi will be the imprint’s VP and deputy publisher, while Jen Bergstrom will serve as editor-in-chief. They intend to launch the new imprint in Spring 2010. Click here to read a PDF copy of a staff memo from Burke about the changes.

Three Editorial Cuts at Simon & Schuster

simon23.jpgThe NY Observer reports that Simon & Schuster cut three employees last week: two Pocket Books editors and a Simon Spotlight Entertainment editorial assistant.

The Pocket Books layoffs included editorial director Maggie Crawford and editor Margaret Clark. Clark had worked specifically with Star Trek books, growing a fanbase in the obsessive, dedicated Star Trek universe. One fan worried about the publisher’s loss on a message board: “She’s done a good job for a long time … what happens when you hire a rookie who doesn’t even know what Star Trek is?”

Last December, Simon & Schuster cut 35 positions. As GalleyCat reported, the publisher’s CEO Carolyn Reidy called the restructuring “an unavoidable acknowledgment of the current bookselling marketplace and what may very well be a prolonged period of economic instability.”

Tina Brown Bashes $9.99 Digital Books

tina2.jpgDaily Beast founder Tina Brown and her husband Sir Harold Evans held a stuffy, packed BEA amphitheater in rapt attention yesterday–quizzing four CEOs about these difficult days for publishing. When Brown lost her voice halfway through the presentation, her husband stepped up to finish the panel. Before leaving, Brown railed against Amazon.com, Inc.’s pricing for the average Kindle book: “$9.99 is a paltry pitiful sum,” she said.

Her husband kept pace, urging the CEOs to “sue the hell” out of Google over the search engine’s controversial book-scanning initiative. Perseus Books CEO David Steinberger plugged his initiative to crash-publish “Book: The Sequel” in 48-hours during BEA. “This is the way you have to behave in the future,” he declared. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy disagreed with this timetable for print books. “But you have to convince retailers to buy the [print] book–that takes six months.”

Macmillan CEO John Sargent worried about new media campaigns: “The majority of viral marketing doesn’t sell a ton of books,” he complained, referencing a hit viral video his company produced that only resulted in, by his estimate, sales of 210 books. He still thought the best bookselling strategy was a combination of word-of-mouth and front of store placement at bookstores around the country.

Revenue Dips Nearly 20 Percent at Simon & Schuster

SS_corp_logo_wout_tag.jpgYesterday Simon & Schuster reported that revenue had fallen nearly 20 percent for the quarter ending March 31st, 2009, mirroring the near 20 percent dip in revenue that HarperCollins reported earlier this week.

At the same time, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy told Publishers Weekly that a number of new writers were selling briskly, building a new stable of bestsellers for the company. She mentioned “City of Glass” by Cassandra Clare, “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova, and “Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark Levin.

Here’s more from the article: “Reidy said results were ‘somewhat worse than our original expectations.’ She blamed slower frontlist sales compared to a year ago when ‘The Secret’ and Stephen King‘s ‘Duma Key’ were selling well, lower backlist sales and little sales carryover from titles released during the 2008 holiday season for the down quarter.”

Romanos Retires as S&S CEO

Simon & Schuster announced this morning that Jack Romanos, President and Chief Executive Officer, will retire at the end of the year. Carolyn Reidy, currently President of Simon & Schuster’s Adult Publishing Division, will assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer upon Romanos’ retirement. Romanos, who joined the company in 1985 as president of Pocket Books and became President and CEO in 2002, will continue to serve in an advisory capacity to CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves through 2009.

“The past 22 years have been especially gratifying to me,” Romanos said in a statement. “Simon & Schuster has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth as it has evolved from its foundation imprints of S&S and Pocket Books into a multi-faceted, truly world class international publishing company with a well-deserved reputation for publishing excellence, and a roster of top bestselling and award winning authors.” Added Reidy: “As I step into this new role at Simon & Schuster, I am grateful to Jack Romanos, who has done such a remarkable job leading us to many years of record breaking sales and profits, and positioning us for the future. He leaves a company that will continue to excel in every aspect of publishing.”

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