No Happy Ending to 2009 for Book Publisher Simon & Schuster
In a statement to industry newsletter Publishers Lunch, CEO Carolyn Reidy further elaborated that "lower sales, lower distribution client fees, lower sub-rights income (due in particular to the earlier success of The Secret) and royalty write-offs are what bedeviled us all year." The publishing company's hoped-for "big holiday rebound" didn't come to fruition. Some titles like Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry, which didn't come close to earning out the reported $5 million imprint Scribner paid for it, also underperformed.
As always, there are higher hopes for 2010. Reidy expects S&S "to have a significantly healthier year in terms of operating income" even with reduced bookstore traffic and sales. E-books accounted for 4% of S&S's total book sales and Reidy believes that number will more than double even before taking into account "new players in the market."
Update: This post corrects an earlier version, which misstated the percent profit decline in 2009. S&S reported a 43% drop in profits for the year, not 57%.