Simon & Schuster experienced its greatest growth in the international marketplace last year, particularly in digital titles in English language countries abroad, according to Carolyn Reidy, President & CEO, who spoke on a panel at the Digital Book World conference in New York today.
The publisher’s international eBook business is growing at a faster rate than US eBook sales, because these countries are catching up, she said. Last year, the publisher sold eBooks in 200 different countries including a copy of The Sun Also Rises in Antarctica. Reidy said that the publisher is seeing an opportunity in these digital sales and that it is not affecting physical sales. She said that there is a great opportunity for foreign book retailers to sell English-language titles in non-English speaking countries, but they have yet to capitalize on this yet.
David Nussbaum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, F+W Media, Inc., was also on the panel and he revealed that his company’s largest revenue growth was among digital content and commerce business. In fact, since 2009 the company’s business has grown double digits every year. They currently reach about 20 million consumers yearly. “We have fashioned ourselves as the Amazon of vertical communities,” said Nussbaum.
Sourcebooks saw growth in physical book sales last year. Dominique Raccah, CEO & Publisher, Sourcebooks said that this was a big surprise. “All of that came out of our kids business, which almost doubled last year,” she said. “We expect that to double again this year. ” The company is also seeing growth in reference products that they have turned into digital products.
Tim O’Reilly, Founder & CEO, O’Reilly Media, was also on the panel. He said that his company is taking a lead from Amazon by taking their infrastructure and providing it as a service for other people. The company has a tool that helps publishers build DRM-free eBooks in any format. “We are expanding the idea of what a book is,” he said, adding that there is a lot of opportunity for video.
On the stage, the executives spoke about the opportunity to create channels for book discovery as shelf space gets more limited. O’Reilly said that authors have done a great job exploring this and publishers should embrace this discovery. He said that publishers can take a successful author’s experience and transfer it to another author.