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Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster makes Buy It Now optional
November 24, 2014 | 12:25 pm

simon & schusterSimon & Schuster has been a conspicuous early mover in ebook lending programs through U.S. library networks. However, it also has tried to lever the initiative by insisting on a “Buy It Now” button for borrowed ebooks, to drive borrowers to actually buy the books they have virtually taken out. Apparently, that has deterred some libraries from coming on board with S&S, and the publisher has now taken the decision to make Buy It Now opt-in rather than mandatory. According to the S&S press release, "effective immediately, ebooks from its catalog would be made available to libraries nationwide irrespective of whether or not the...

Simon & Schuster reportedly reaches agency deal with Amazon
October 20, 2014 | 6:50 pm

The interesting times we live in might just have gotten a little more interesting. Right as Hachette is in the middle of a protracted contact negotiation dispute with Hachette comes a rumor, via Publishers Weekly, that its fellow Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster has just finalized a contract deal with Amazon. The deal would supposedly move the pricing model “back toward the original agency plan,” with S&S able to set prices on its e-books, but Amazon retaining some ability to discount. Of course, this is just a rumor based on an anonymous leak. PW pointed out that...

Simon & Schuster results show good performance as Amazon talks
August 12, 2014 | 4:25 pm

simon & schusterCBS Corporation, parent company of Simon & Schuster, has just released its second quarter 2014 financial results, with performance numbers for the publishing group that is reportedly in talks with Amazon. "Publishing revenues for the second quarter of 2014 increased to $211 million from $189 million for the same prior-year period, driven by higher print book sales,"said the earnings release. (Doncha love these little old mom'n'pop operations in the quaint and folksy world of publishing?) "Digital books continue to represent a significant portion of sales, with 25% of total Publishing revenues coming from digital sales during the second quarter of 2014." In addition,...

Publishing houses — at least Simon & Schuster — not avoiding fan fiction
June 6, 2014 | 6:17 pm

afterFan fiction has been around forever. It’s a fun way to write where you get to build on a world that is already alive. Whether you agree with it is another topic, but some writers have found success publishing fan fiction. A recent big one was obviously 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, which was fan fiction based on Twilight. Now, One Direction fan fiction has gotten attention. Simon & Schuster has signed a deal with Anna Todd for her After series, it was reported last week by Publishers Weekly. The books will start to appear in bookstores in November. Todd began writing...

Department of Justice asks settling publishers, ‘Done any more colluding lately?’
June 3, 2014 | 7:45 pm

The Wall Street Journal reports hearing from “people familiar with the situation” that the first three publishers to settle—Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and News Corp’s own HarperCollins—have received letters of inquiry from the Department of Justice, seeking information about “any recent pricing discussions they may have had with others in the industry.” The rest of the article is basically background reminding folks of the price-fixing lawsuit the publishers settled, and the trouble Amazon is having with Hachette. There’s really not a lot on which to speculate. It does seem clear, though, that given that the publishers are approaching the...

Department of Justice files brief in Apple antitrust appeal, argues for upholding Judge Cote’s verdict
May 29, 2014 | 4:37 am

Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese has a rundown of the latest developments in the Apple anti-trust affair. The Department of Justice has filed its brief in favor of the appeals court upholding Judge Cote’s guilty verdict. (GigaOm has some additional commentary and a Scribd link to the filing itself.) The filing says about what you would expect it to say: the DoJ summarized Cote’s findings and rebutted all of Apple’s attorneys’ arguments. In their brief, the DoJ basically recapped their case, and argued that the prosecution did not need to meet a higher legal standard, as Apple...

Amazon vs. Hachette: Theories and opinions
May 14, 2014 | 5:30 pm

So, Amazon vs. Hachette. There’s a thing. One multibillion dollar company versus another in a contract negotiation, Amazon delaying availability of Hachette books, authors getting caught in the middle, and we’re supposed to root for the publisher because Amazon is, of course, evil. Right. Publishers Weekly has a pretty informative and more or less neutral article looking at the matter and putting it in perspective of the publishers’ antitrust settlement and subsequent renegotiation windows. Hachette will be the first of the publishers to get to renegotiate its contract with Apple, in October 2015, and undoubtedly Amazon wants to...

Derek Jeter’s New “At Bat” Project: Book Publishing
November 18, 2013 | 2:58 pm

derek jeterLast week, my two favorite things came together – baseball and books. Even more specifically, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced he was partnering with Simon & Schuster to create a literary imprint Jeter Publishing. Those that know me know I have a large baseball card collection with most of it dedicated to Jeter, who will be 40 next June. There are about 2,000 unique cards of his in my collection. So I was intrigued when I saw the New York Times story about Jeter’s preparation for retirement from baseball, which will be sooner than I would like. “I understand how important...

E-Books pit libraries against publishers, free against sales
August 7, 2013 | 8:28 pm

A few pieces on the sometimes adversarial relationship between libraries and publishers when it comes to e-books have come to my attention. First, there’s this piece covering Cory Doctorow’s appearance at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, complete with a four-minute YouTube video. Doctorow notes that the most powerful interests in the book industry today do not have writers’ best interests at heart. Amazon wants to sell more books, but only because that makes them money. “Not because they’re evil, but because they’re a for-profit corporation and that’s their thing.” Publishers, on the other hand, want to sell...

Looking for a Simon & Schuster title? Barnes & Noble might not be your best bet.
March 26, 2013 | 9:49 pm

Simon & Schuster Book retailer Barnes & Noble has reportedly reduced the amount of titles it stocks by Simon & Schuster authors and lowered the number of S&S books on display as it continues to be embroiled in a debate with the publisher. Neither the chain nor Simon & Schuster would specify exactly what is being negotiated, but sources cited  by The New York Times told the newspaper that Barnes & Noble wanted more funds for displaying S&S titles in coveted spots in the store and to pay lower costs for the books themselves. The bookstore chain also wants more money for events promoting Simon...

Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books to offer physical e-book vouchers
February 27, 2013 | 3:27 pm

Atria Books e-book vouchersWe've reported a number of times over the years about small start-ups that are attempting to solve the quandary of the author autograph in the digital age. A reader attending an in-person author appearance and hoping to walk away with a signed book, for instance, is clearly out of luck if she happens to only own the electronic version of the writer's book. And so companies like Autography and Kindlegraph have devised some pretty unique solutions. But autograph collecting is an obscure hobby. Aside from the novelty aspect, it's not likely to interest many of us. A company known as Impact Mobile, however, recently teamed up...

Simon & Schuster to publish more reworked Twilight fanfic
November 8, 2012 | 8:04 pm

Ever since reworked Twilight fanfic Fifty Shades of Grey hit bookstore shelves and immediately burned a path up the charts, many publishers have been giving more serious consideration to fanfic. Might it make a decent source of publishable stories, a sort of Internet slushpile they could mine for nuggets at their leisure? But it seems that history shows yet again that you can always count on someone to learn the wrong lesson: If one Twilight fanfic is able to strike it big, why not try again with another one? A Simon & Schuster imprint has just made a “substantial” book deal...