Audio helps S&S to 1% rise in third quarter

Audio helps S&S to 1% rise in third quarter

Simon & Schuster's worldwide sales grew 1% in the third quarter, up from $226m to $228m (£175m). The increase was attributed by its parent, CBS, to growth in print book sales and digital audio sales.

Reflecting the revenue boost, publishing operating income for the third quarter of 2017 also increased, up by 5% from $44m for the same period to $46m (£35m). The results were not broken down by region. 

Top sellers for the third quarter included What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sleeping Beauties by father and son team Stephen King and Owen King. However they were up against international bestsellers from Bruce Springsteen and Amy Schumer that published in the third quarter of 2016. 

According to Publishers Lunch, c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy said activity "the big upswing was audio, and international" sales, and "not just in online sales; it's pretty much across the board". She also reported S&S is feeling "positive" and "bullish" going into the Christmas period.

"We’re feeling very positive after what felt like a very lackluster first half of the year industrywide. Now it’s really feeling as if you put some books out there that people want, they’re going back into the stores," she said. 

With respect to the prospective sale of Waterstones, she commented further: "We’re pretty confident [the situation] will solve itself. James Daunt has done a fabulous job in repositioning that store; it’s doing very well, and our sales are up with it. I’m hoping that if it goes for sale, there will be someone who will want it because it’s in such a positive state at the moment, and it looks positive doing forward…. I don’t see it as a distress sale."

At the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, Reidy made waves for suggesting exclusivity in Europe would not be a given for UK publishers any longer following Brexit. On this point, she reitterated: "There’s nothing wrong with competition in that market; it serves the authors well."