Industry Notes: Simon & Schuster Holds Out Relief Assistance to Irma-Damaged Regions

In News by Porter Anderson

Keeping pace with the National Hurricane Center, Simon & Schuster extends its aid to storm-swept libraries and bookstores to help restore damaged collections and inventories.

Hurricane Irma’s approach at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Image: Darwin Brandis

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Aid for Irma-Stricken Mainland and Caribbean Accounts

Exactly two weeks ago, on August 29, we reported that Simon & Schuster was making a gesture of support to damaged libraries and bookstores in the Texan storm zone created by Hurricane Harvey.

Now, the company is extending its relief assistance to victims of the next letter in the National Hurricane Center’s dire alphabet, the regions of the Southeastern United States stricken by the assault of Hurricane Irma.

At this writing, some 2.5 million utility customers were still without power in Florida alone. Motorists were reported to be waiting up to three hours for gas in Sebring, Florida. All told, the Southeastern states affected by Irma, including Georgia, comprised more than 224,000 homes and businesses without power, according to CNN’s reporting put together by Faith Karimi, Jason Hanna and Steve Almasy.

Authorities continued to bar residents from returning to the lower Florida Keys, out of safety concerns. At least 34 storm-related deaths had been attributed to Irma by Thursday afternoon (September 14) and that didn’t include eight nursing home deaths in Hollywood, Florida, a case under criminal investigation. In the Caribbean, at least 44 deaths are attributed to Irma, a storm that spanned 650 miles from east to west.

Public and school libraries and bookselling retailers damaged in the storm are being helped by Simon & Schuster’s assistance to replenish their libraries and inventories in the affected states and the US Caribbean territories.

The company’s information for the media describes the assistance this way:

  • “Through the Simon & Schuster education and library marketing department, the company is offering to any public or school library damaged by Hurricane Irma a donation of 250 “best of” titles to help in the restoration of their collections.  Schools and libraries that wish to request assistance can email Simon & Schuster at education.library@simonandschuster.com
  • “For retail accounts that have been damaged by the hurricane, Simon & Schuster will provide free of charge multiple copies of 20 new releases and bestsellers to help them attract customers as they restore their businesses to normal operating conditions. Booksellers in need of more immediate support are encouraged to contact the Book Industry Charitable (BINC) Foundation at help@bincfoundation.org
  • “The company is already working with national and local nonprofits such as First Book to provide books for children and adults displaced by Hurricane Harvey, and will expand its donations to include those affected by Irma.”

At Publishing Perspectives, we’ll be glad to report other such assistance that publishers and other players in the industry are offering to assist storm victims in this torturous hurricane season.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.