Simon & Schuster

Last updated on 11 September 2017

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.[2][3]

Simon and Schuster.svg
Simon and Schuster.svg

History

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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 to start a company to publish crossword puzzles, which turned out to be a craze that year.[6][4]

"Fad" publishing became the business model for the new publishing house, which set out to exploit current fads and trends and publish books with commercial appeal. 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 was known as "Publisher's Row" on Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York.[5]

Expansion

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.[7] 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.[8]

In the 1950s and 1960s, many publishers including Simon & Schuster turned toward educational publishing due to the baby boom market.[9] Pocket Books focused on paperbacks for the educational market instead of textbooks and started the Washington Square Press imprint in 1959.[9] By 1964 it had published over 200 titles and was expected to put out another 400 by the end of that year.[9] Books published under the imprint included classic reprints such as Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Robinson Crusoe.[10]

In 1966, Max Schuster retired and sold his half of Simon & Schuster to Leon Shimkin.[6][11] Shimkin then merged Simon & Schuster with Pocket Books under the name of Simon & Schuster.[6][11]

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.[12][6] Among his many bestsellers was Joseph Heller's Catch-22.[6]

Corporate ownership

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

In 1976, Gulf+Western headed by Charles Bluhdorn acquired S&S, which was grossing about US$50 million a year for $11 million, most of it in Gulf+Western stock.[6]

1980s

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."[13]

In 1984, CEO Richard E. Snyder acquired Esquire Corporation, buying everything but the magazine for $180 million.[13] 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.[6][13] This acquisition was followed by Silver Burdett in 1986,[14] mapmaker Gousha in 1987 and Charles E. Simon in 1988.[14] 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."[6] Three California educational companies were also purchased between 1988 and 1990—Quercus, Fearon Education and Janus Book Publishers.[13] 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.[14] G+W would change its name to Paramount Communications in 1989.

In the 1980s, Richard E. 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 Michael Korda, the audio rights expanded into the audio division which by the 1990s would be a major business for Simon & Schuster.[6]

1990s

In 1990, The New York Times described Simon & Schuster the largest book publishing in the United States with sales of $1.3 Billion the previous year.[13]

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.[15]

2000s

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 majority control of both firms.

In 2005, Simon & Schuster acquired Strebor Books International, which was founded in 1999 by Kristina Laferne Roberts.[16] Roberts, known by her pseudonym, Zane, published Black Erotica.[16]

In 2006, Simon & Schuster launched the conservative imprint Threshold Editions.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20] Under Atria, Simon & Schuster also launched a publishing venture with Cash Money Records called Cash Money Content.[21]

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.[22]

Simon & Schuster reorganized all of their imprints under four main groups in 2012.[23] The four groups included the Atria Publishing Group, the Scribner Publishing Group, the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group and the Gallery Publishing Group.[23] 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."[23]

In 2012, Simon & Schuster launched a self-publishing arm of the company, Archway Publishing.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27] The name of the imprint was inspired by Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which books burn).[27] Bradbury's classic is also published by Simon & Schuster.[27]

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.[28] 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.[28] 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.[28] 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." [29] In an interview with Kirkus, 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."[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] Also as of 2016, Simon & Schuster had over 18k e-books available for sale and signed a deal to distribute Start Publishing LLC, a catalog of 7,000 e-book titles.[32]

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.

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"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.[33] According to Michael Korda, the colophon is a small reproduction of The Sower by Sir John Everett Millais.[8]

Imprints

Adult publishing

Children's publishing

  • Aladdin, publisher of picture and chapter books for middle grade readers
  • Atheneum, publisher of literary middle grade, teen and picture books
  • Beach Lane Books,[2] publisher of picture books
  • Little Simon,[2] publisher of children's books
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books,[2] boutiqueimprint publisher of literary fiction and nonfiction for children and teens
  • Paula Wiseman Books,[2] publisher of picture books, novelty books and novels for children
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,[2] flagship imprint of Simon & Schuster's Children's Division
  • Simon Pulse, publisher of teen books
  • Simon Spotlight,[2] publisher focused on licensed properties for children

Audio

Former imprints

  • Bookthrift (Inexpensive reprints, discontinued)
  • Earthlight (UK science fiction imprint, discontinued)
  • Downtown Press (women's fiction, discontinued)
  • Fireside Books
  • Free Press[2]
  • Green Tiger Press
  • Half Moon Books
  • Inner Sanctum Mysteries
  • Linden Press
  • Long Shadow Books
  • Minstrel Books (children's imprint)
  • Poseidon Press (operated 1982–1993)
  • Richard Gallen Books
  • Sonnet Books
  • Summit Books
  • Wallaby Books

See also

References

  1. ^ "Company Overview of Simon & Schuster, Inc.". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Global Publishing Leaders 2016: Simon & Schuster". Publishers Weekly. United States: PWxyz LLC. August 26, 2016. ISSN 0000-0019. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Carolyn K. Reidy Named President, Chief Executive Officer of Simon &... - re> NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  4. ^ a b Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s, p. 165. ISBN 0-06-095665-8.
  5. ^ a b c d Miller, Donald L. (2014). Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America. Simon & Scuster. ISBN 9781416550198.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Korda, Michael (1999). Another life : a memoir of other people (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0679456597.
  7. ^ "Announcing Little Golden Books". Publishers Weekly. September 19, 1942, pp. 991–94.
  8. ^ a b Business Timeline Archived September 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b c Gilroy, Harry (1964-01-06). "Publishers Hope Wider Market Will Mean Better Profit Margins". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-14. 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.
  10. ^ "Searching Out the Paperbacks; Searching Out the Paperbacks". Retrieved 2017-01-14. 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.
  11. ^ a b Freeman, William M. (December 21, 1970). "Max Lincoln Schuster, Editor and Publisher, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (2001-08-13). "The Man Who Will Edit Clinton; Legendary Figure Will Try to Elicit Meaningful Memoir". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  13. ^ a b c d e Mcdowell, Edwin (October 29, 1990). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Is Simon & Schuster Mellowing?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c Cohen, Roger (1991-06-30). "Profits - Dick Snyder's Ugly Word". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  15. ^ Myerson, Geraldine Fabrikant With Allen R. (1998-05-18). "SIMON & SCHUSTER IN SALE TO BRITISH". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  16. ^ a b "Strebor Books International LLC: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  17. ^ "Threshold Editions | Home". simonandschusterpublishing.com. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  18. ^ "Glenn Beck Signs Multi-Book Deal with Simon & Schuster". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  19. ^ "For Star Trek Books, the Voyage Shows No Sign of Stopping". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  20. ^ "Glenn Beck Re-Ups with S&S; Launches New Imprint". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  21. ^ "Baby And Slim Celebrate Their New Publishing Venture, Cash Money Content [Photos]". Hip-Hop Wired. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  22. ^ Mui, Ylan Q. and Hayley Tsukayama (April 11, 2012). "Justice Department sues Apple, publishers over e-book prices". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
  23. ^ a b c "S&S Reorganizes Adult Group; Levin to Leave Free Press". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  24. ^ "Archway Publishing, Self Publishing Company from Simon & Schuster". Archway Publishing. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  25. ^ Molina, Brett (March 25, 2014). "E-book price fixing settlements rolling out". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
  26. ^ Amazon signs multi-year deal with Simon & Schuster. Reuters, 21 October 2014
  27. ^ a b c "S&S Launching New SF Imprint, Simon451". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  28. ^ a b c "Introducing North Star Way: A New Platform-Based, Client-Centric Approach to Publishing from Simon & Schuster". Book Business. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  29. ^ "S&S launches audience-building unit for authors in US | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  30. ^ "Q&A: MICHELE MARTIN OF NORTH STAR WAY/SIMON & SCHUSTER | Kirkus Reviews". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  31. ^ "Trademark Office Suspends Marvel's Registration Of 'Northstar'". Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  32. ^ a b "Global Publishing Leaders 2016: Simon & Schuster". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  33. ^ Larson, Kay (April 16, 1984). "Poet of Peasants". New York Magazine.
  34. ^ Maher, John (November 15, 2016). "S&S to Acquire Adams Media". Publishers Weekly. United States: PWxyz LLC. ISSN 0000-0019. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  35. ^ "Adams Media". Manta. Columbus, Ohio: Manta Media, Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  36. ^ "New Davis Imprint Named 37 Ink". Publishers Weekly. United States: PWxyz LLC. June 29, 2013. ISSN 0000-0019. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  37. ^ Barnes, Brooks (May 21, 2014). "Media Companies Join to Extend the Brands of YouTube Stars". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  38. ^ "Our Imprints | Atria Books". atria-books.com. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  39. ^ "Who Are 'The Big Six'?". Fiction Matters. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 2014-01-16.

Further reading

  • Korda, Michael (1999). Another Life: A Memoir of Other People. United States: Random House. ISBN 0-679-45659-7.
  • "Simon & Schuster Inc." International Directory of Company Histories. 4:671–672.
  • "Simon & Schuster Inc." International Directory of Company Histories. 19:403–405.

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