Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy predicts a good year for the publisher in 2016. Her end of year message puts faith in new imprints, celebrity books, a rise in the popularity of audio books and rapid growth in direct sales.
2015 has seen the creation of several new imprints. Gallery Scout Press saw success with novels from Ruth Ware and Bill Clegg. Saga Press has already picked up favourable reviews for high-quality work in the field of science fiction and fantasy. 2016 will see the launch of North Star Way and Enliven.
YouTube personality books seem set to rule the popular market, according to Reedy. This year titles from authors such as Shane Dawson, Connor Franta, Felicia Day, Tyler Oakley and Miranda Sings became bestsellers.
Direct to consumer sales feature in plans for the coming year, despite this being an area where other publishers have admitted failure, feeling that readers tend to follow authors and genres rather than publishing imprints. Reedy insists that overall website traffic and unique visitors, email subscribers and revenues generated by these efforts have grown by double-digit percentages.
Elsewhere there remains faith in the printed page with warehouse expansion and a commitment to grow the distribution business in the years ahead.
Outside the US, Simon & Schuster Canada once again outperformed other Canadian publishers and launched a domestic publishing program, at one point claiming five of the top ten spots on the Globe and Mail’s Canadian bestseller list.
In Australia, the company has gained market share, strengthened its local publishing program, added new distribution clients and made bestsellers from both US and UK titles.