Simon & Schuster president and c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy has hailed the publisher's "expanded opportunities" following the recent CBS Viacom merger.
In her end-of-year letter to staff, Reidy described how the merger of S&S' parent company, CBS, with US mass-media conglomerate Viacom earlier this month, led to expanded opportunities for the publisher.
"It gives me great pleasure to note that as we close out another successful year at Simon & Schuster, we are also marking an exciting beginning in which we have been reunited with world-class brands and content from such stellar media properties as MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures as part of the new, larger and more powerful global media company, ViacomCBS," she said.
Reidy also reaffirmed the publisher’s "focus on publishing books for diverse audiences" and revealed continued audio growth.
In a nod to the importance of diversity and inclusion, she said: “At a Town Hall meeting in September I mentioned our focus on publishing books for diverse audiences, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work being done by all of our publishers to assure that we are serving a readership that reflects the diversity of our world.”
Publication highlights across non-fiction included “the magnificent relaunch of The Joy of Cooking, the "relaunch" as an author of Howard Stern with Howard Stern Comes Again, David McCullough’s The Pioneers and Mark Levin’s Unfreedom of the Press. In fiction, Reidy picked out Stephen King’s The Institute as “his best performing title of recent years” with Jennifer Weiner’s Mrs Everything; and Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills’ Lethal Agent, English author Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key and Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille’s The Deserter “delivered the thrills that their readers have come to expect”.
She also discussed the continued boom in audiobooks. “It was another year of substantial growth in our audio division, which continued its exceptional work creating world-class productions, made all the more impressive this year as we were operating without the benefit of our in-house studio.”
In regards to new ventures, she described how 2019 "was also a year in which many of the projects and initiatives previously undertaken came to fruition, with an especial tip of the hat to home-grown publishing imprints". She said: "New imprint Avid Reader Press launched in July with the much-buzzed-about publication of Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, an immediate number one bestseller [and also a bestseller in the UK where it was published by Bloomsbury]. Tiller Press also published its first books in July, bringing its data-driven methodology to an eclectic list of timely titles, and will expand its title count dramatically in 2020. One Signal Publishers, in our Atria Publishing Group, released its first group of socially important, topical works, and in children’s the acclaimed author and publisher Denene Millner is bringing her eponymous imprint to Simon & Schuster, with the first titles to be published in spring 2020."
The c.e.o. picked out some of the bestsellers across S&S’ publishing across the globe, citing Chris Carter’s thriller Hunting Evil as a hit, alongside historical novelist Philippa Gregory’s Tidelands, "a new series and also a top bestseller, proved once again that she is a master of historical fiction". Reidy also revealed that other bestsellers included S&S UK’s first publication with Nicci French as well as Jonathan Van Ness’ Over the Top.