Mr. Karp said that while Ms. Canedy doesn’t have experience at a publishing house, not every publisher does. He was at Random House when Harold Evans, a former editor at The Sunday Times of London, came on as publisher in the 1990s. Ms. Canedy, he added, knows what a prizewinning book looks like from her time at the Pulitzers. She also understands the needs of authors, he said, because she is one.
“I think the first thing you have to be able to do is to attract authors, to cultivate authors and to champion authors,” Mr. Karp said. “I wanted somebody who was going to be a magnet for the best talent.”
Simon & Schuster has been active in publishing headline-making books about the Trump administration. In just the past few weeks, it has published “The Art of Her Deal,” a biography of Melania Trump by the Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan, and “The Room Where It Happened,” John Bolton’s memoir about his time in President Trump’s administration. This month, it plans to publish “Too Much and Never Enough,” by Mary L. Trump, a niece of the president. Like Bolton’s book, which was published over objections from the White House, “Too Much and Never Enough” is facing a legal battle before it can hit shelves.
“I think they’re leading on the publishing of political books in this moment, and that’s important,” Ms. Canedy said of her new company. “I’m particularly proud to be joining them at a time when they’re doing that, and I will continue to help in that effort.”
Ms. Canedy will take over the imprint, the company’s largest and its biggest revenue generator, at a challenging moment, while the publishing house is up for sale during a pandemic. In March, ViacomCBS, which owns Simon & Schuster, said it would sell the publishing house to focus on other components of its business like sports content. But Ms. Canedy declared herself undaunted.
“Look, life is going to happen while the world moves, so you can either move with it or get left behind,” Ms. Canedy said. “You might as well do it.”