Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy: International and Digital Growth Next Frontier

The biggest growth opportunity in the coming years for trade publisher Simon & Schuster is in selling ebooks internationally, said CEO Carolyn Reidy.

“The greatest growth we’re expecting is in international, and digital in particular,” said Reidy, speaking at the Digital Book World 2014 conference in New York. “Australia and India are growing at a faster rate than the U.S.”

The ebook market in the U.S., the largest in the world, is showing very low growth rates through the third quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from the Association of American Publishers. Meanwhile, growth in regions like Europe, Asia and South America is much higher, according to new data from ebook distributor ePubDirect.

As more readers around the world have access to digital devices, there will be more opportunities to sell them ebooks, said Reidy. International sales are already picking up.

“Last year we sold an ebook in over 200 countries,” said Reidy. “We even sold a copy of the sun also rises in Antarctica.”

 

English Language Ebooks in Foreign Countries

One of the biggest opportunities, said Reidy, is selling English-language ebooks in foreign countries. The challenge for publishers like Simon & Schuster is that ebook retailers tend to focus on local-language titles.

“We’re eager for the day when we can get them [local ebook retailers] to pay as much attention to their English-language titles as they do to their local language titles,” she said, adding, “we believe there’s a big English-language opportunity in those countries for ebooks.”

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