Simon & Schuster

Last updated
Simon & Schuster
Simon and Schuster.svg
Parent company ViacomCBS
StatusActive
FoundedJanuary 2, 1924;96 years ago (1924-01-02)
Founders
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location Simon & Schuster Building
New York City
DistributionWorldwide
Key people
  • Carolyn Reidy (President, CEO)
  • Dennis Eulau (CFO, Executive Vice President of Operations)
  • Ian Chapman (Chief Executive, UK)
  • Kevin Hanson (President, Canada) [1]
Publication types Books
Imprints Many
Revenue US$821.52 million (2017)
Official website www.simonandschuster.com

Simon & Schuster, Inc. ( /ˈʃstər/ ), a subsidiary of ViacomCBS, is an American publishing company founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints. [2] [3]

Contents

History

Middle 20th century HQ, Broadway US Rubber 1790 Bwy west jeh.jpg
Middle 20th century HQ, Broadway

Early years

In 1924, Richard Simon's aunt, a crossword puzzle enthusiast, asked whether there was a book of New York World crossword puzzles, which were very popular at the time. After discovering that none had been published, Simon and Max Schuster decided to launch a company to exploit the opportunity. [4] At the time, Simon was a piano salesman and Schuster was editor of an automotive trade magazine. [5] They pooled US$8,000, equivalent to $119 thousand today, [6] to start a company that published crossword puzzles. [7] [4]

The new publishing house used "fad" publishing to publish books that exploited current fads and trends. Simon called this "planned publishing". [5] Instead of signing authors with a planned manuscript, they came up with their own ideas, and then hired writers to carry them out. [5]

In the 1930s, the publisher moved to what has been referred to as "Publisher's Row" on Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York. [5]

Expansion

In 1939, Simon & Schuster financially backed Robert Fair de Graff to found Pocket Books, America's first paperback publisher. [8] In 1942, Simon & Schuster and Western Printing launched the Little Golden Books series in cooperation with the Artists and Writers Guild. [9] [10]

In 1944, Marshall Field III, owner of the Chicago Sun, purchased Simon & Schuster and Pocket Books. [11] The company was sold back to Simon and Schuster following his death.[ citation needed ]

In the 1950s and 1960s, many publishers including Simon & Schuster turned toward educational publishing due to the baby boom market. [12] Pocket Books focused on paperbacks for the educational market instead of textbooks and started the Washington Square Press imprint in 1959. [12] By 1964 it had published over 200 titles and was expected to put out another 400 by the end of that year. [12] Books published under the imprint included classic reprints such as Lorna Doone , Ivanhoe , Tom Sawyer , Huckleberry Finn , and Robinson Crusoe . [13]

In 1960, Richard Simon died of a heart attack; six years later, Max Schuster retired and sold his half of Simon & Schuster to Leon Shimkin. [7] [14] Shimkin then merged Simon & Schuster with Pocket Books under the name of Simon & Schuster. [7] [14] In 1968, editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb, who worked at Simon & Schuster since 1955 and edited several bestsellers including Joseph Heller's Catch-22 , [15] left abruptly to work at competitor Knopf, taking other influential S&S employees, Nina Bourne, and Tony Schulte. [16] [7] In 1979, Richard Snyder was named CEO of the company. Over the next several years he would help grow the company substantially. [17]

Simon & Schuster headquarters at 1230 Avenue of the Americas, Rockefeller Center, New York City SimonSchusterBuilding.JPG
Simon & Schuster headquarters at 1230 Avenue of the Americas, Rockefeller Center, New York City

1980s

After the 1983 death of Charles Bluhdorn, head of Gulf+Western who acquired Simon in Schuster in 1976, [7] the company made the decision to diversify. Bluhdorn's successor Martin Davis told The New York Times , "Society was undergoing dramatic changes, so that there was a greater need for textbooks, maps and educational information. We saw the opportunity to diversify into those areas, which are more stable and more profitable than trade publishing." [18]

In 1984, Simon & Schuster with CEO Richard E. Snyder acquired educational publisher Esquire Corporation, owner of companies including Allyn & Bacon (and former owner of the magazine), for $180 million. [18] Prentice Hall was brought into the company fold in 1985 for over $700 million and was viewed by some executives to be a catalyst for change for the company as a whole. [7] [18] This acquisition was followed by Silver Burdett in 1986, [19] mapmaker Gousha in 1987 and Charles E. Simon in 1988. [19] Part of the acquisition included educational publisher Allyn & Bacon which, according to then editor and chief Michael Korda, became the "nucleus of S&S's educational and informational business." [7] Three California educational companies were also purchased between 1988 and 1990—Quercus, Fearon Education and Janus Book Publishers. [18] In all, Simon & Schuster spent more than $1 billion in acquisitions between 1983 and 1991. [19]

In the 1980s, Snyder also made an unsuccessful bid toward video publishing which was believed to have led to the company's success in the audio book business. Snyder was dismayed to realize that Simon & Schuster did not own the video rights to Jane Fonda's Workout Book , a huge bestseller at the time, and that the video company producing the VHS was making more money on the video. This prompted Snyder to ask editors to obtain video rights for every new book. Agents were often reluctant to give these up—which meant the S&S Video division never took off. According to Korda, the audio rights expanded into the audio division which by the 1990s would be a major business for Simon & Schuster. [7]

In 1989, Gulf and Western Inc., owner of Simon & Schuster, changed its name to Paramount Communications Inc. [20]

1990s

In 1990, The New York Times described Simon & Schuster as the largest book publisher in the United States with sales of $1.3 billion the previous year. [18] That same year, Simon & Schuster acquired the children's publisher Green Tiger Press. [21]

In 1994, Paramount was sold to Viacom. [22] Later that year, Snyder, was suddenly fired from S&S and was replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer Jonathan Newcomb. [23] Also in 1994, Simon & Schuster acquired Macmillan Inc. [24] Simon & Schuster then sold several peripheral assets, such as selling Charles E. Simon Co. to CDB Infotek. [25] Gousha was sold to Rand McNally in 1996. [26]

In 1998, Viacom sold Simon & Schuster's educational operations, including Prentice Hall and Macmillan, to Pearson PLC, the global publisher and then owner of Penguin and the Financial Times ; Pearson then merged the operations with Addison-Wesley Longman to form Pearson Education. The professional and reference operations were sold to Hicks Muse Tate & Furst. [27]

2000s

In 2002, Simon & Schuster acquired its Canadian distributor Distican. [28] Simon & Schuster began publishing in Canada in 2013. [29]

At the end of 2005, Viacom split into two companies: CBS Corporation (which inherited S&S), and the other retaining the Viacom name. [30] Also in 2005, Simon & Schuster acquired Strebor Books International, which was founded in 1999 by author Kristina Laferne Roberts, who has written under the pseudonym "Zane." [31] [32] A year later, in 2006, Simon & Schuster launched the conservative imprint Threshold Editions. [33]

In 2009, Simon & Schuster signed a multi-book and co-publishing deal with Glenn Beck which fell over many of their imprints and included adult non-fiction, fiction, children and YA literature as well as e-book and audiobook originals. [34] As part of CBS, Simon & Schuster has been the primary publisher for books related to various media franchises owned by and/or aired on CBS such as CSI. [35] The company has also held a license to publish books in the Star Trek franchise under Pocket Books. [36]

2010s

In 2011, Simon & Schuster signed a number of co-publishing deals. Glenn Beck signed a new co-publishing deal with Simon & Schuster for his own imprint, Mercury Ink. [37] Under Atria, Simon & Schuster also launched a publishing venture with Cash Money Records called Cash Money Content. [38]

In April 2012, the United States Department of Justice filed United States v. Apple Inc. , naming Apple, Simon & Schuster, and four other major publishers as defendants. The suit alleged that they conspired to fix prices for e-books, and weaken Amazon.com's position in the market, in violation of antitrust law. [39]

Simon & Schuster reorganized all of their imprints under four main groups in 2012. [40] The four groups included the Atria Publishing Group, the Scribner Publishing Group, the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group and the Gallery Publishing Group. [40] According to CEO Reidy, the divisions were created to align imprints that complement one another and that the structure would "lead to a sharper editorial focus for our imprints even as it takes consideration of the natural affinities among them." [40]

In 2012, Simon & Schuster launched a self-publishing arm of the company, Archway Publishing. [41]

Simon & Schuster signed a co-publishing agreement with former New York Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter, to launch Jeter Publishing. Any adult titles would be published in the Gallery Books imprint, and any children's titles would be published at Little Simon, Paula Wiseman Books and Simon Spotlight.

In December 2013, a federal judge approved a settlement of the antitrust claims, in which Simon & Schuster and the other publishers paid into a fund that provided credits to customers who had overpaid for books due to the price-fixing. [42]

In 2014, Simon & Schuster signed a partnership deal with Amazon over ebooks and also launched a new speculative fiction imprint. In October 2014, Simon & Schuster signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amazon.com in negotiations concerning the price of e-books. [43] Simon & Schuster also launched a new science fiction imprint called Simon451 that would publish titles across science fiction and fantasy with an emphasis on ebooks and online communities. [44] The name of the imprint was inspired by Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which books burn). [44] Bradbury's classic is also published by Simon & Schuster. [44]

Simon & Schuster expanded beyond book publishing in 2015 by offering a new business model and additional services for authors. In 2015, Simon & Schuster announced the creation of a new publishing unit and imprint called North Star Way. [45] The imprint would publish non-fiction titles such as self-improvement, inspirational and mind-body-spirit titles. In addition, the group would also serve as a platform and set of services for authors that go beyond what a traditional book publisher offers to find their audience. [45] The services include helping authors expand their reach through online courses, seminars, workshops, mobile applications, video and audiobooks, sponsorships and business partnerships and podcasts. North Star Way sits within the Gallery Publishing Group division. [45] According to Michele Martin, publisher and founder, the name North Star reflects their mission, "to publish books that will help readers find the path to a better life, and to be a guide for our authors, not only through publication of their books but also in the many other activities that can help their message find the widest possible audience." [46] In an interview with Kirkus Reviews , Michele Martin expanded that North Star Way, "aims to meet consumers where they are, in whatever form of media they consume. We expand the ideas in the books into a variety of platforms." [47] The name prompted Marvel Comics to attempt to register the name of their superhero Northstar in February 2015. The application was denied as Simon & Schuster had already made a trademark application for North Star Way in January. [48]

Simon & Schuster launched SimonSays.com a portal for online video courses in 2016, along with Scout Press, a new literary fiction imprint under Gallery Books Group. They also launched North Star Way, a platform-based program to provide authors with services beyond publishing including brand management, online courses, sponsorship and business partnerships. [49] Also as of 2016, Simon & Schuster had more than 18k e-books available for sale and signed a deal to distribute Start Publishing LLC, a catalog of 7,000 e-book titles. [49]

In 2019, CBS and Viacom reunited to form ViacomCBS. As a result, Simon & Schuster became part of the newly formed ViacomCBS.

Notable people

Notable editors and publishers

Notable authors

Simon & Schuster has published thousands of books from thousands of authors. This list represents some of the more notable authors (those who are culturally significant or have had several bestsellers). For a more extensive list see List of Simon & Schuster authors.

"The Sower", Simon & Schuster logo, c. 1961 Simonschuster.png
"The Sower", Simon & Schuster logo, c. 1961

According to one source, The Sower, the logo of Simon & Schuster, was inspired by the 1850 Jean-François Millet painting of the same name. [50] According to Michael Korda, the colophon is a small reproduction of The Sower by Sir John Everett Millais. [51]

Imprints

Adult publishing

Children's publishing

Audio

Former imprints

See also

Related Research Articles

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Random House General-interest trade book publisher

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. is one of the world's largest publishing companies and is one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies, alongside Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. The company is headquartered in New York City and is a subsidiary of News Corp. The name is a combination of several publishing firm names: Harper & Row, an American publishing company acquired in 1987, together with UK publishing company William Collins, Sons, acquired in 1990.

Charles Scribners Sons American publisher

Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner's or Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon Holmes, Don DeLillo, and Edith Wharton.

Michael Korda is an English-born writer and novelist who was editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster in New York City.

Hachette Book Group (HBG) is a publishing company owned by Hachette Livre, the largest publishing company in France, and the third largest trade and educational publisher in the world. Hachette Livre is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lagardère Group. HBG was formed when Hachette Livre purchased the Time Warner Book Group from Time Warner on March 31, 2006. Its headquarters are located at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Hachette is considered one of the big-six publishing companies, along with Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster. In one year, HBG publishes approximately 1400+ adult books, 300 books for young readers, and 450 audio book titles. In 2016, the company had 214 books on the New York Times bestseller list, 44 of which reached No. 1.

Prentice Hall educational publisher

Prentice Hall is a major educational publisher owned by Pearson plc. Prentice Hall publishes print and digital content for the 6–12 and higher-education market. Prentice Hall distributes its technical titles through the Safari Books Online e-reference service.

The Crown Publishing Group is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House that publishes across several categories including fiction, non-fiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, cooking, health, business, and lifestyle. Its imprints include Crown, Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum, Hogarth, Three Rivers Press, Clarkson Potter, Potter Craft, Potter Style, Broadway Books, Broadway Paperbacks, Image, WaterBrook/Multnomah, Harmony Books, Rodale Books, Watson-Guptill, Amphoto Books, and Ten Speed Press. Formerly, the company also used the Bell Tower Press, Orion Books, and related imprints and subsidiaries, such as Gramercy Publishing Company. However, these have now either been discontinued or transferred to other Random House units.

Atheneum Books was a New York City publishing house established in 1959 by Alfred A. Knopf, Jr., Simon Michael Bessie and Hiram Haydn. Simon & Schuster has owned Atheneum properties since its acquisition of Macmillan in 1994 and it created Atheneum Books for Young Readers as an imprint for children's books in the 2000s.

Skyhorse Publishing

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. is an American independent book publishing company founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, with a satellite office in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Joni Evans American publisher

Joni Evans is an American book publisher of over 100 bestsellers, writer, editor, and literary agent. Evans's background and career in publishing includes posts as Senior Vice President of the William Morris Agency (1994-2006), President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster (1977-1989), and Publisher at Random House (1989-1994).

Threshold Editions is an imprint of Simon & Schuster—the publishing division of ViacomCBS—specializing in conservative non-fiction. Louise Burke is the publisher, and Mitchell Ivers is the VP & editorial director. Mary Matalin was its founding editor-in-chief.

Pronoun was a New York-based company that provides free book publishing, marketing, and analytics services to authors. Pronoun was launched in 2015.

Julia Cheiffetz is the Publisher of One Signal Publishers, an imprint of Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. She has published Harold Bloom, Stanley Fish, Greg Graffin, Erica Jong, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Stephen Marche, Cass Sunstein, Jessica Valenti, and Sam Wasson, whose breakout bestseller Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. was widely acclaimed.

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Atria Publishing Group is a general interest publisher and a division of Simon & Schuster. The publishing group launched as Atria Books in 2002. The Atria Publishing Group was later created internally at Simon & Schuster to house a number of imprints including Atria Books, Atria Trade Paperbacks, Atrai Books Espanol, Atria Unbound, Washington Square Press, Emily Bestler Books, Atria/Beyond Words, Cash Money Content, Howard Books, Marble Arch Press, Strebor Books, 37 Ink, Keywords Press and Enliven Books. Atria is also known for creating innovative imprints and co-publishing deals with African-American writers as well as known for experimenting with digital or non-traditional print formats and authors.

37 INK is an American publisher launched in 2013 focusing on a diverse list including African-American authors and is part of the Atria Book Publishing Group, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Gallery Publishing Group is a general interest publisher and a division of Simon & Schuster which houses the imprints Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Scout Press, Gallery 13, and Saga Press.

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Further reading