Reidy: 'We must uphold the value of our content'

<p>Describing the US book market in 2009 as &quot;truly lacklustre&quot; Carolyn Reidy, chief executive of Simon &amp; Schuster, nevertheless delivered a defiant end of year message to staff. Reidy was equally robust on digital, indicating that publishers should do everything &quot;in our power&quot; to prevent the perception that &quot;&#39;digital&#39; means &#39;cheap&#39;&quot;.</p><p>In her end of year letter to staff, Reidy said: &quot;As in years past, we capitalised on our industry-leading ability to publish quickly, adding titles to our lists and seizing publishing opportunities based on current events and trends. But ultimately, despite great growth in our conservative and teen publishing, and strong performances from our UK and Canadian divisions, the lower sales volume attributable to the soft marketplace was impossible for us to overcome.&quot; <br /><br />She said the company was &quot;learning how to extend our proven ability to find and attract readers in the digital world&quot;&mdash;highlighting the launch of its new website, the Vook, the PulseIt site for teens, as well as iPhone apps&mdash;but added that the &quot;opportunities afforded us by digital publishing are not without risk&quot;. <br /><br />She stated: &quot;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 &#39;digital&#39; means &#39;cheap&#39;. 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.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We have every reason to expect that this coming year will bring its own set of difficulties for us to face,&quot; she warned, but added, &quot;our future is limited only by the resolve we bring to the task, the imagination we apply to the art, and the skill that we bring to the science of publishing&quot;. </p>