Simon & Schuster, Inc. (/ˈʃuːstər/), a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, is an American publishing company founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard Simon and Max Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster publishes 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints.
|Simon & Schuster|
|Parent company||CBS Corporation|
|Country of origin||United States|
Simon & Schuster Building|
New York City
|Revenue||US$ 821.52 million (2017)|
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. At the time, Simon was a piano salesman and Schuster was editor of an automotive trade magazine. They pooled US$8,000, equivalent to $114 thousand today, to start a company to publish crossword puzzles, which turned out to be a craze that year.
"Fad" publishing became the business model for the new publishing house, which set out to exploit current fads and trends to publish books with commercial appeal. Simon called this "planned publishing". Instead of signing authors with a planned manuscript, they came up with their own ideas, and then hired writers to carry them out.
In the 1930s, the publisher moved to what was known as "Publisher's Row" on Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York.
In 1939, with Robert Fair de Graff, Simon & Schuster founded Pocket Books, America's first paperback publisher.
In 1942, Simon & Schuster, or "Essandess" as it is called in the initial announcement, launched the Little Golden Books series in cooperation with the Artists and Writers Guild. Simon & Schuster's partner in the venture was the Western Printing and Lithographing Company, which handled the actual printing. Western Printing bought out Simon & Schuster's interest in 1958.
In 1944, Marshall Field III, owner of the Chicago Sun, purchased Simon & Schuster and Pocket Books. Following Field's death in 1957, his heirs sold the company back to Richard Simon and Max Schuster, while Leon Shimkin and James Jacobson acquired Pocket Books.
In the 1950s and 1960s, many publishers including Simon & Schuster turned toward educational publishing due to the baby boom market. Pocket Books focused on paperbacks for the educational market instead of textbooks and started the Washington Square Press imprint in 1959. By 1964 it had published over 200 titles and was expected to put out another 400 by the end of that year. Books published under the imprint included classic reprints such as Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Robinson Crusoe. From 1955 - 1975, Simon & Schuster were also the exclusive distributor of American Firms Operating in Foreign Counties and Foreign Firms Operating in the United States, both published by World Trade Academy Press. In 1975, Leon Shimkin's son Michael Shimkin purchased World Trade Academy Press and Uniworld Business Publications, Inc. was established.
In 1968, editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb, who had worked at Simon & Schuster since the early 1950s, left abruptly to work at competitor Knopf, taking other influential S&S employees, Nina Bourne, and Tony Schulte. Among his many bestsellers was Joseph Heller's Catch-22.
After the death of Bluhdorn in 1983, Simon & Schuster 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."
In 1984, CEO Richard E. Snyder acquired Esquire Corporation, buying everything but the magazine for $180 million. Prentice Hall was brought into the company fold in 1985 for over $700 million and Martin Davis said that Prentice Hall became the road map for remodeling the company and a catalyst for change. This acquisition was followed by Silver Burdett in 1986, mapmaker Gousha in 1987 and Charles E. Simon in 1988. Part of the acquisition included educational publisher Allyn & Bacon which according to Michael Korda became the "nucleus of S&S's educational and informational business." Three California educational companies were also purchased between 1988 and 1990—Quercus, Fearon Education and Janus Book Publishers. In 1990 Simon & Schuster purchased Computer Curriculum Corporation (C.C.C.) which specialized in computer-based learning systems for schools. In all, Simon & Schuster spent more than $1 billion in acquisitions between 1983 and 1991. G+W would change its name to Paramount Communications in 1989.
In the 1980s, Snyder also made an unsuccessful bid toward video publishing which consequently led to their 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.
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. In 1990, Simon & Schuster acquired the children's publisher Green Tiger Press.
In 1994, Paramount was sold to the original Viacom, allowing S&S to launch several new imprints in conjunction with channels owned by Viacom's MTV Networks. Simon & Schuster's first move under Viacom was the acquisition of Macmillan USA.
From 1995 to 2003, Simon & Schuster ran a video game and software publisher named Simon & Schuster Interactive. It was distributed by Vivendi Universal Games from 2001 to 2003, when Simon & Schuster Interactive shut down due to lack of interest.
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. The professional and reference operations were sold to Hicks Muse Tate & Furst.
Viacom would split into two companies at the end of 2005: one called CBS Corporation (which inherited S&S), and the other retaining the Viacom name. Despite the split, National Amusements retains controlling interest of both firms.
In 2009, Simon & Schuster signed a multi-book and co-publishing deal with Glenn Beck which fell over many of their imprints and included not only adult non-fiction, but also fiction, children and YA literature as long as e-book and audiobook originals.
As part of CBS, Simon & Schuster is the primary publisher for books related to various media franchises owned by and/or aired on CBS, such as How I Met Your Mother, and CSI. The company has held a license to publish books in the Star Trek franchise, now also owned by CBS, under Pocket Books since 1979.
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. Under Atria, Simon & Schuster also launched a publishing venture with Cash Money Records called Cash Money Content.
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.
Simon & Schuster reorganized all of their imprints under four main groups in 2012. The four groups included the Atria Publishing Group, the Scribner Publishing Group, the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group and the Gallery Publishing Group. 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."
In 2012, Simon & Schuster launched a self-publishing arm of the company, Archway Publishing.
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.
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. 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. The name of the imprint was inspired by Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which books burn). Bradbury's classic is also published by Simon & Schuster.
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. 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. 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. 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." 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." 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.
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. 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.
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.
According to one source, The Sower, the logo of Simon & Schuster, was inspired by the 1850 Jean-François Millet painting of the same name. According to Michael Korda, the colophon is a small reproduction of The Sower by Sir John Everett Millais.
There is no doubt that expansion is coming. Publishers talk of census projections that indicate there will be almost 70 million persons in the 5-to-24 year old age bracket by the end of the year. Battle maps will have to replace bookshelves in the executive offices, one publisher comments.
Some searching, though disclosed that in Washington Square Press Books, for instance, there's an astounding assortment, many of them books I'd recently paid several times the price for in hardcover: "Lorna Doone," "Huckleberry Finn," "Robinson Crusoe," etc. etc.