May 28, 2022

Interview: Dana Canedy on the Responsibilities of Book Publishers

From The New Yorker by 

Monday, Simon & Schuster announced that Dana Canedy, the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes and a former reporter for the New York Times, will become its senior vice-president and the publisher of its flagship imprint. Canedy won a Pulitzer two decades ago, at the Times, for her work on the series “How Race is Lived in America.” Canedy also published a book, “A Journal For Jordan,” in 2008, about the death of her fiancé while he was serving in Iraq. She will become the first Black person to take over a major publishing imprint. Simon & Schuster, which is owned by ViacomCBS, is one of the largest publishers in the country, but it is also up for sale as changes and mergers continue to roil the book world.


Publishing is always talked about as being endangered, at least in the past couple of decades. Books have always been talked about as being in danger. Are we going to be done with books—are there going to be e-books, are there going to be no books? Is that something you worry about?

I don’t buy it at all. I think there are lots of word nerds out there like me. I used to say this in journalism. When folks talk about newspapers no longer being around, it may not be in paper form in the future, but this country will always have a need for information. Whether that’s newspapers, magazines, or books, one of the beauties of this country is we have a very literate population, a very engaged population, a very curious population, and that’s not going to change. And books aren’t going anywhere. How you read them, whether you read them on a phone or in the dead-tree version, doesn’t really matter, but they’re not going anywhere. There are too many important voices and important stories to tell.

Read the Complete Interview (approx. 2600 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.