There’s no denying that a good book can change the world.
The power of the written word is something that’s been exhibited time and time again by publishing giant Simon & Schuster. With a number of classics to their name, Simon & Schuster only continues to get bigger.
Anyone who considers books a dying art must not have their finger on the pulse of companies like this one, whose performance indicates that simply isn’t true.
Thinking Outside The Box
Today there are plenty of small publishing houses willing to break all of the rules, but that wasn’t exactly the case when Simon & Schuster was founded. Still, this company was willing to try new things that their prim peers weren’t, and that reputation for rebellion still stands today.
Though they are a major publishing house, it’s important to understand that Simon & Schuster has a number of divisions, like adult, children, and audio publishing. Another important modern aspect of their business is self publishing, where authors can use the publishing house to print their own work.
Crosswords to Classics
In 1924, Richard Simon and Lincoln Schuster brought their money together to print their very first work. It was a book of crossword puzzles that was packaged along with a pencil, and although the idea might seem simple now, it was revolutionary at the time.
The surprising success of their first book led Simon & Schuster to commit themselves to their new publishing house. In those early days, Simon & Schuster quickly moved from crossword puzzles into the realm of more substantive books.
Along with their imprints, Simon & Schuster published something called “fad” literature, which played upon current trends of the day to inspire sales. They also published some classic reprints, like Tom Sawyer.
Today, Simon & Schuster continues to take a serious slice of the world’s publishing industry, and is regarded as one of the most influential publishers.
Fighting The Big Five
Anyone who’s familiar with the publishing world knows that “The Big Five” are the most major publishing houses in the world. Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House are the publishers that make up this group. In turn, the other four members of The Big Five are Simon & Schuster’s main competitors.
There’s no question that Penguin Random House wins the competition with an estimated market share of 37%, but Simon & Schuster is doing quite well itself with a market share of nearly 12%.
Politics and Popularity
Like any publishing house, Simon & Schuster throws their weight behind marketing individual works rather than marketing themselves as a brand. Plus, their reputation as a major publisher makes it much easier for their new books to get buzz.
This was actually a problem in 2016, though, when one of Simon & Schuster’s imprints planned to publish a book written by an extremely conservative member of the public sphere. In the wake of the controversy, Simon & Schuster backed off their plan and withdrew publishing.
All the same, because Simon & Schuster is owned by the massive media company CBS, they technically rank at 217 on the Fortune 500.
It’s been about 95 years since Simon & Schuster published their first hit, and the company only continues to churn out more and more successes today.