In keeping with tradition, publishing ceos are thanking employees and celebrating the year’s accomplishments through year-end letters. The first publicly released letter is from Simon & Schuster chief executive Carolyn Reidy, noting “a tumultuous year in both the United States and around the world” while still observing that “it feels as if we are in a period of relative stability in the publishing marketplace.” Reidy confirms that their deal to acquire Adams Media closed “shortly before Thanksgiving” as scheduled and notes the new division will be integrated into company infrastructure and systems by January 31.
In a review of the house’s top titles she leads with the success of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, benefiting from a “precisely coordinated publication by all the Simon & Schuster companies worldwide [that] was the very model of a high-profile, global publishing campaign.” Reidy also celebrates Fredrik Backman as “a new franchise author for Atria,” noting “it has been gratifying to watch our company seize on encouraging early word-of-mouth and bookseller enthusiasm and then mobilize to build sales to their current extraordinary levels.” In other franchises, following up on last year’s company success with digital entrepreneurs and YouTube stars, Reidy said: “This phenomenon continues to bear fruit for us in the form of ongoing strong sales—as these titles convert to backlist, as we release bestselling follow-up books and as we publish new works from first-time authors.”
Looking ahead to 2017, she writes “we can expect that our civic and cultural life will remain turbulent. In these times it is especially important to remember that as publishers we will always endeavor to give voice to a wide range of opinions and divergent viewpoints. We publish for many different and frequently conflicting audiences, and must be fully cognizant of our responsibility to resist censorship and stand unequivocally for freedom of speech, no matter how difficult that might be at times.”