Radius News

Radius Welcomes S&S Back to Independent Publishing


Welcome back to the independent publishing world, Simon & Schuster. After an attempt by Penguin Random House to acquire S&S was squashed by government regulators, on October 30, the purchase of Simon & Schuster by private equity firm KKR was finalized. S&S CEO Jonathan Karp reportedly cheered crossing this threshold by framing the moment, in part, as a return to its independent roots, “There is no question that this is an exciting moment for us—both a return to our roots as an independent, standalone company and an opportunity for all of us to forge a new path together.” I say “welcome back,” because publishers that have been forging their path as independents for quite some time have established a blueprint for ingenuity, creativity, and success that S&S can follow.

Each independent publisher can function according to its own definition of “independent.” Radius Book Group’s definition begins with being author-centric, making authors and their needs our top priority. We intentionally operate as a hybrid publisher, not a traditional publisher, because we believe authors should decide and control what happens with their own books. Given the right partner, authors can achieve their publishing goals more effectively when they are in the driver’s seat than when they cede the rights and control of their book to a traditional publisher, even an independent one. Of course, that depends on the partner. Is it a publisher an author can trust? Will the publisher live up to its commitments and be there for the author from day one and long beyond the publication date? Will the publisher provide comprehensive, accurate information and offer sage advice, steering the author away from bad decisions with disastrous consequences? Does the publisher have the capabilities, resources, relationships, and infrastructure to accomplish everything the author envisions for her or his book? Trust is something publishers must earn and Radius is proud to have done so again and again throughout its history.

Whatever new path S&S forges will be done in the wake of Radius and other independent publishers. It is great that S&S joins us on the cutting edge of the publishing industry. We know the liberating feeling to not be shackled by corporate constraints. Such freedom stokes the entrepreneurial spirit and engenders a willingness to create and devise new ways of publishing. It develops a can-do inclination of “why not?” instead of an attitude of “I’m not sure the company will approve.” Unexpected new challenges open the door to novel solutions and new inventions that alter the course of publishing itself. As Radius Book Group continues to invent its future and shatter expectations, we offer best wishes to Simon and Schuster.