WWE and Simon & Schuster Announce New Publishing Partnership
Under the agreement, which is for global rights, WWE Books will publish autobiographies of and fiction based on WWE personalities, behind-the-scenes guides to the WWE, illustrated books, calendars, young adult books, and other general nonfiction books. WWE Books will be published in hardcover and large print editions, trade and mass market paperback, in audio on cassette and compact disc, and in eBook editions. Simon & Schuster UK and Simon & Schuster Australia will be the publishers of WWE books in the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively.
The first book published under the agreement will be the autobiography of a to-be-determined WWE personality. Previous autobiographies such as Mankind: Have a Nice Day and Foley Is Good by Mick Foley, and The Rock Says... by The Rock®, have been #1 New York Times bestsellers.
"WWE is one of the instantly recognizable brand names in today's entertainment universe," said Jack Romanos, President and Chief Operating Officer of Simon & Schuster. "Its global reach in broadcast, cable, live shows, new media, and consumer products makes it an ideal content partner. Working together, we will fully exploit its programming creativity and marketing savvy to produce a rich and diverse WWE publishing program."
"Our success with our previous books has demonstrated that we are able to deliver the content. With Simon & Schuster's outstanding track record in entertainment-based publishing, as well its world-class sales and distribution team, we believe we have the winning formula for a successful partnership," said Linda McMahon, CEO of WWE Entertainment (WWE).
The majority of WWE Books will be published by Pocket Books, part of the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, under the direction of Executive Vice President and Publisher Louise Burke and Vice President, Associate Publisher Scott Shannon. Donna Goldsmith, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products, will oversee the venture for WWE.
"We believe that Simon & Schuster has the ability to create and market an entire world of books around the WWE brand. It has articulated a wide-ranging vision for WWE Books, and we're thrilled to be partners with them," said Goldsmith.
Louise Burke added: "WWE has already established itself as a formidable source of bestselling books, with an incredibly loyal and well-informed fan base. We will draw on Pocket Books' extensive experience in media-based franchises and properties in building on the WWE's proven success to expand its publishing brand."
Since 1999, WWE has branched out from periodicals to books with the publication of autobiographies of WWE Superstars: Mick Foley's Mankind: Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks spent 26 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and sold 754,000 units in 18 printings, and The Rock Says... by the Rock® spent 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, selling 700,000 units in 9 printings. Mick Foley's much-anticipated follow-up to Mankind:Have a Nice Day!, Foley is Good released in May 2001 and immediately landed on the New York Times bestseller list, reaching No. 1 on the May 27, 2001 list. Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos and Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx, two of Mick Foley's holiday offerings, each made the New York Times children's bestseller list. WWE has also published specialty books such as Can You Take the Heat?, the official cookbook of the Superstars of the WWE, and The History of WrestleMania®.
Simon & Schuster is the publishing home to some of the strongest and most recognizable brands in the world. It has been the publisher of Star Trek®, the most successful series in publishing history, for more than 25 years. With six Star Trek books sold every minute, and more than 1 billion books in print, the series has grown from its simple beginnings in novels and movie tie-ins to encompass technical manuals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, cookbooks, travel guides, calendars, and novelty books. It has also published a number of successful original series not based in Star Trek television programming.
Other media properties published at Simon & Schuster include Nickelodeon (including Rugrats and Blue's Clues), MTV Books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, VH-1, and Wall Street Journal Books.
Simon & Schuster, the publishing operation of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic and multimedia formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster New Media, Simon & Schuster Online, Simon & Schuster U.K., and Simon & Schuster Australia. For more information, visit our website at simonsays.com
WWE Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with sales offices in New York City and Chicago, and Toronto. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and wweecorpbiz.com.
Jayson Bernstein, WWE Entertainment, Inc.
Director, Marketing Communications