Simon & Schuster has launched a new website, 250 Words, dedicated to covering the world of business books.
The site will feature reviews, essays and commentary about business books from all publishers, not just Simon & Schuster. The site’s centerpiece will be a daily original essay that users can read on the site or consume as an email they subscribe to.
“We hope 250 Words will become a valuable and influential source of commentary about business books,” said Simon & Schuster Publishing Group president Jonathan Karp in a statement (below).
By creating the site to focus on more than just Simon & Schuster titles, the company’s leadership hopes it will become a destination that both fans and publishers of business books support.
“In establishing 250 Words as a publisher-agnostic site, we believe we can foster a community that will better serve authors and readers by bringing attention to the books that are of the most interest to them, regardless of the source,” said Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy in a statement.
The company is investing in 250 Words at a time when publishers in general are working harder to find ways to have more direct interactions with readers. The consensus thinking is that online media with a verticalized focus could lead to success. For instance, in 2013, HarperCollins launched Narnia.com, a website focused on the world of C.S. Lewis’s popular Narnia fantasy series. Other publishers have made similar investments.
250 Words—A Site Dedicated to Finding, Sharing, and Extolling the Best Business Books—Launches Today
Simon & Schuster is pleased to announce the launch of 250 Words (http://250words.com), a publisher-agnostic website that will cover the large and diverse world of business books.
250 Words will feature original essays by authors of all kinds and from all publishing houses; reviews and commentary about business books from all publishers; interviews with well-known business executives, entrepreneurs, and thinkers; and book recommendations from business leaders.
The centerpiece of 250 Words will be a daily, original essay also available as a daily email subscription. The essay will be no longer than 250 words on ideas distilled from books. These pieces are not summaries or reviews but intended to excavate useful anecdotes and interesting ideas from books that cover all aspects of the business world, including leadership, management, careers, finance, marketing, investing, innovation, economics, technology and psychology. The site will feature thinking and writing about business in a wide and evocative way, and readers of the site will find everything from suggestions about what books to read next to how to think about the world and their work in it.
Select articles from 250 Words will be featured on Fortune.com, the website of Fortune magazine. Fortune is a global leader in business journalism with a combined audience of more than 13 million readers in print and online.
Among the regular features that visitors to the site will find are
• Book Lists: Recommended reading from business professors and executives, as well as bestseller lists and recommendations from booksellers.
• Interviews: Regular conversations with thinkers and writers.
• Novel Advice: A series of essays from writers of fiction and creative non-fiction that reflect on the world of business.
• 250 Seconds: A curated collection of videos of authors discussing business books and topics
• What to Read Next: A set of visual and scenario-specific guides to help readers find the perfect book.
• Guest Essay: A place for writers of all kinds to win converts, tell stories, or present ideas.
• Bookshelf: A visual presentation of the books featured on the site, sortable by topic.
• Coffee Break: A set of daily links to book reviews, commentary, and other smart content.
The Simon & Schuster Publishing Group in conjunction with Simon & Schuster Digital will operate 250 Words on behalf of the larger business book community that the site will serve.
“Business books have long had a strong and devoted readership, and we think that 250 Words can fill the need for a smart, highly-curated site dedicated to the best in this thriving category,” said Carolyn K. Reidy, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster. “In establishing 250 Words as a publisher-agnostic site, we believe we can foster a community that will better serve authors and readers by bringing attention to the books that are of the most interest to them, regardless of the source.”
Jonathan Karp, President of the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group added, “Just as The New York Review of Books was initially backed by publishers, we hope 250 Words will become a valuable and influential source of commentary about business books. We want it to be a lively forum, with an independent editorial voice and sensibility, for people to write and discuss and argue about business books and the ideas and concepts in them.”
Sam McNerney, an independent writer, will be the editor of the site. He can be reached at Sam @250words.com.