April 23 – April 30, 2009 Edition

Gompertz to Head New
S&S Digital Publishing Unit

NEW YORK, NY (Authorlink News, April 22, 2009)—Mark Gompertz, publishers of the Touchstone/Fireside imprint at Simon & Schuster, has been named to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Digital Publishing. The announcement was made by Carolyn K. Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster.

“Simon & Schuster has always been a leader in digital publishing.  But to become a truly 21st century publishing company, we must incorporate a digital sensibility into our daily and long-range thought processes, and throughout our entire organization, “ said Reidy. “Our digital efforts cannot be viewed as taking place separately from the rest of our business. As a step toward accomplishing this, I have recently charged each of our publishing units with creating non-traditional projects on a regular basis, and our supply chain team with integrating digital book production into our production and distribution workflow.”

In his new job, Mark will lead and facilitate S&S’s digital publishing efforts, bringing an editorial perspective to work with the company’s imprints, authors, agents, sales and marketing as it develops new business models and new forms in which its content, both original and previously existing, can be exploited digitally.

 “As we explore these new digital formats, complications will inevitably ensue, and Mark will help all of us at Simon & Schuster, as well as our authors and our accounts, to find solutions to these complex issues,” added Reidy. “His job will also entail originating and acquiring digital content, developing policies, working out processes, and educating and informing us so we can all learn as we seek new revenue streams.”  

Mark brings to the position a lifetime’s worth of editorial and publishing experience. He has since 1993 been the publisher of Touchstone Fireside, and last year added responsibility for Howard Books to his purview. Under Mark, Touchstone Fireside more than doubled in size before it was reconfigured and expanded into hardcover publishing.  It has impressively taken Philippa Gregory from book club favorite in paperback original to the status of major hardcover bestselling author. And it has achieved success with titles ranging from the acclaimed works of Ursula Hegi to recent New York Times bestselling pop culture titles such as THE BRO CODE and NATURALLY THIN by Bethenny Frankel.

As well, Mark is a classic early adapter. Whether it is a DVR, a PDA, or the most recent cell phone or iPod, you can count on Mark to be the first person you know to have the latest in personal technology. I’m sure that this eagerness to embrace the new will serve Mark and Simon & Schuster well in this new position.   

Mark will work side by side with Ellie Hirschhorn and the Simon & Schuster Digital staff, whom we rely on for business development; to identify and develop new digital products; to keep us abreast of the latest in cutting-edge technology and online behavior and trends; to build the distribution infrastructure and new that has made us leaders in the field; to create the overarching digital marketing and syndication programs with external partners that bring our content to the widest possible universe of digital platforms; and to help us to navigate the complex issues raised by new and unfamiliar technologies. They will also work with Mark to flesh out and execute our digital publishing plans.  Ellie’s team does a superb job leading our efforts in this arena, and they will continue to use their expertise in the fast-changing digital world, beyond the borders of the publishing industry, to make possible the innovation that will keep us in the forefront of today’s publishing.

Mark’s replacement at Touchstone Fireside will be announced shortly. Please join me in congratulating Mark on his new position.