Simon & Schuster, Inc. is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, providing consumers worldwide with a diverse range of quality books across a wide variety of genres and formats. It is the publishing operation of CBS Corporation, one of the world’s premier media companies.
Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 by Richard L. (Dick) Simon and M. Lincoln (Max) Schuster. Their initial project was a crossword puzzle book, the first ever produced, which was a runaway bestseller. From that, the company has grown to become a multifaceted publishing house that publishes 1800 titles annually, and whose seven divisions — Adult Publishing, Children’s Publishing, Audio, Digital, and international companies in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia — are home to some of the most distinguished imprints and recognizable brand names in the world of publishing. Simon & Schuster and its imprints have won 54 Pulitzer Prizes, and been the recipient of numerous National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle Awards, Grammy Awards, and Newbery and Caldecott Medals.
From the beginning, the two founding entrepreneurs approached the business in a much different manner than their more buttoned down colleagues along Publishers Row. The history of S&S is marked by numerous significant industry “firsts.” Dick Simon and Max Schuster were aggressive marketers, often spending five to ten times more for advertising and promotion than their competitors: they were the first publisher to offer booksellers the privilege of returning unsold copies for credit; they were the first to apply mass market production and distribution techniques to books, and in 1939, with Robert Fair de Graff, launched the paperback revolution with the founding of Pocket Books, America’s first paperback publisher. In 1945, they published the first “instant book.” And in 2000, Simon & Schuster became the first publisher to offer an original work by a major author exclusively in electronic form with the publication of Stephen King’s eBook Riding the Bullet, a worldwide publishing and media phenomenon. As digital publishing has grown, Simon & Schuster has continued to pioneer new formats that reflect both new technological capabilities and the changing tastes of today’s reading audience.
In 1944, Simon & Schuster and Pocket Books were sold to department store magnate Marshall Field. Upon Field’s death in 1957, the company was repurchased by Simon, Schuster, Leon Shimkin and James M. Jacobson, who among them held it in various combinations of ownership until 1975, when Shimkin sold it to international conglomerate Gulf + Western.
In 1984, the company began a period of intense expansion through acquisition, acquiring more than 60 companies, including Prentice Hall and Silver, Burdett, and culminating with the 1994 acquisition of Macmillan Publishing Company. By adding these educational, professional, and reference imprints, the company saw revenue grow from $200 million in 1983 to more than $2 billion in 1997. Along the way, in 1989 Gulf + Western restructured to become Paramount Communications, and in 1994, shortly after the Macmillan acquisition, Viacom Inc. acquired Paramount.
In 1998, Viacom sold the S&S educational, professional, and reference units to Pearson PLC. In 2002, Simon & Schuster was integrated with the Paramount motion picture and television studios as part of the Viacom Entertainment Group, and in 2004 direct oversight of the company returned to Viacom corporate headquarters.
In 2006, with the separation of Viacom and CBS into unique publicly traded companies, Simon & Schuster became a part of the CBS Corporation.
As a major international publishing company, many Simon & Schuster titles are published globally, and its products — hardcovers, trade and mass market paperbacks, children’s books for all age and reading levels, novelty formats, audiobooks (both compact disk and digital downloads) and ebooks of bestselling and critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages and every conceivable taste — are distributed in more than 100 countries around the world.