Simon & Schuster has launched another website dedicated to the promotion of reading and books: Off the Shelf, which will publish reviews of books published at least a year ago. The website will review books from all publishers and will feature one original review or essay a day as well as a daily email.
Earlier this year, Simon & Schuster launched 250 Words, a website dedicated toward business books published by any publisher.
“While it is very easy to learn about the latest, hot new must-have books, we know from experience that many readers are more interested in what’s relevant to them regardless of its moment in the publishing cycle,” said Simon & Schuster president and CEO Carolyn Reidy in a statement (below). “With Off the Shelf, we aim to bring attention to books that were bestsellers you might have read or wanted to, books that you may have missed.”
The site’s reviews will be written by Simon & Schuster employees who have a passion for a particular back-list book and by occasional guest contributors.
Suzanne Donahue, associate publisher of the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, will oversee day-to-day operation of the site.
The company is investing in sites like Off the Shelf and 250 Words at a time when publishers are finding new ways to have more direct interactions with readers. 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.
Off the Shelf – a New Daily eMail and Website Dedicated to the Discovery of Favorite Books — Launches Today from Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster is pleased to announce the launch today of Off the Shelf (http://offtheshelf.com), a publisher-agnostic website and daily email dedicated entirely to previously published books.
Every day, Off the Shelf will feature an original review or essay about a book that was published at least one year earlier, and which must be currently available for purchase in some format (hardcover, paperback, ebook or audio). By focusing on books that were published anywhere from one to one thousand years ago, and for which the reviewer has a deep passion to share, the site aims to help readers unearth books that they may have always meant to read or missed out on at the time of the original publication.
Also available as a daily email subscription, Off the Shelf will feature titles from all publishers, and will review fiction and nonfiction titles for adults and young readers.
“While it is very easy to learn about the latest, hot new must-have books, we know from experience that many readers are more interested in what’s relevant to them regardless of its moment in the publishing cycle,” said Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster. “With Off the Shelf, we aim to bring attention to books that were bestsellers you might have read or wanted to, books that you may have missed in the often overwhelming number of titles that get published every year, or simply books that have touched us as readers, left an indelible mark on us, and become friends that we revisit often. These are books that are often spine out in stores, buried on a home bookshelf, or deep within library stacks. We hope that shining a new light on them will help others discover a passion for them as well.”
Reviews for Off the Shelf will be written by Simon & Schuster employees who wish to share their enthusiasm and help other readers discover or re-discover books that through the years have mattered to them as readers, and that they believe deserve renewed attention.
Off the Shelf will also feature occasional guest reviews, interviews, articles and reading lists from authors and editors on books of import to them as readers and as writers. These unique pieces will allow the reader to go behind the scenes of publishing and find out more about how a book may have influenced the author’s writing, career, or other books.
The newsletter and the site will also include curated reading lists, videos from Simon & Schuster’s “What I am reading now” series and author videos from other publishers. Suzanne Donahue, Associate Publisher of the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Off the Shelf, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster Digital.