Book Publishers

Information from Wikipedia. Links included to main articles.

Ace Books is the oldest active specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books. The American company was founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn and began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns. It soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction (sf) title in 1953. This was a successful innovation, and science fiction titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns within a few years. Other genres also made an appearance, including nonfiction, gothic novels, media tie-in novelizations, and romances.

Parent Company: Berkley Books

Avon Books was founded in 1941 by the American News Corporation (ANC) to create a rival to Pocket Books. They hired brother and sister Joseph Meyersand Edna Meyers Williams to establish the company. ANC bought out J.S. Ogilvie Publications, a pulp magazine publisher partly owned by both the Meyers, and renamed it "Avon Publications". They also got into comic books. "The early Avons were somewhat similar in appearance to the existing paperbacks of Pocket Books, resulting in an immediate and largely ineffective lawsuit by that company. Despite this superficial similarity, though, from early on Meyers differentiated Avon by placing an emphasis on popular appeal rather than loftier concepts of literary merit." The first 40 titles were not numbered. First editions of the first dozen or so have front and rear endpapers with an illustration of a globe. The emphasis on "popular appeal" led Avon to publish ghost stories, sexually-suggestive love stories, fantasy novels and science fiction in its early years, which were far removed in audience appeal from the somewhat more literary Pocket competition.

First 100 books from Avon

Parent Company: HarperCollins

Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann AG in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back. The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffman and Bernard Shir-Cliff.

Following Fawcett Publications' controversial 1950 introduction of Gold Medal paperback originals rather than reprints, Lion Books, Avon and Ace also decided to publish originals. In 1952, Ian Ballantine announced that he would "offer trade publishers a plan for simultaneous publishing of original titles in two editions, a hardcover 'regular' edition for bookstore sale, and a paper-cover, 'newsstand' size, low-priced edition for mass market sale."

Parent Company: Random House

Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, the German media corporation subsidiary of Bertelsmann; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it and merged it with Bantam Doubleday Dell.[1] It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.

Parent Company: Random House

First 100 Paperback Books from Bantam

Beacon Books – Beacon began publishing in 1954. They were the largest publisher of sleaze during the 50’s and 60’s.

Berkley Books is an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), specializing in publishing erotica romance novels that began as an independent company in 1955. It was established by Charles Byrne and Frederic Klein, who were working for Avon and formed "Chic News Company". They renamed it Berkley Publishing Co. in 1955. They soon found a niche in science fiction works. They were bought out in 1965 by G. P. Putnam's Sons and became their paperback publisher.

Parent Company: Penguin Group

Black Lizard was a publisher imprint during the 1980s. A division of the Creative Arts Book Company of Berkeley, California, Black Lizard specialized in presenting rediscovered forgotten classic crime fiction writers and novels from the decades between the 1930s and the 1960s. Creative Arts Book Company was founded by Don Ellis in 1966. Creative Arts filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003.

DAW Books is an American science fiction and fantasy publisher, founded by Donald A. Wollheim following his departure from Ace Books in 1971. The company therefore claims to be "the first publishing company ever devoted exclusively to science fiction and fantasy." The first DAW Book published was the 1972 short story collection Spell of the Witch World by Andre Norton.

In its early years under the leadership of Wollheim and his wife Elsie, DAW gained a reputation of publishing popular though not always critically acclaimed works of science fiction and fantasy. Nevertheless, the company published numerous books by well-respected authors in the 1970s, including such luminaries as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Fritz Leiber, Edward Llewellyn, Jerry Pournelle, Roger Zelazny and many others. In 1982, C. J. Cherryh's Downbelow Station was the first DAW book to win the Hugo Award for best novel, which gained the publishing house increased respect within the industry.

Dell Books – Dell Publishing Company already had its own pulp magazine and comic book empire when it started publishing paperbacks in 1942. Dell specialized in mysteries. The back cover of each book had a scene-of-the-crime map. Dell map-backs are some of the most-collected books among vintage paperback enthusiasts. Most of the early covers were done by famed artist Gerald Gregg.

Parent Company:Random House

First 100 Paperback Books from Dell

Fawcett Publications was an American publishing company founded in 1919 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota by Wilford Hamilton "Captain Billy" Fawcett (1885–1940). At the age of 16, Fawcett ran away from home to join the Army, and the Spanish-American War took him to the Philippines. Back in Minnesota, he became a police reporter for the Minneapolis Journal. While a World War I Army captain, Fawcett's experience with the Army publication Stars and Stripes gave him the notion to get into publishing, and his bawdy cartoon and joke magazine, Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, became the launch pad for a vast publishing empire embracing magazines, comic books and paperback books.

Company defunct

Gold Medal Books – Gold Medal was started in 1950 by the news stand distributor Fawcett. They had a contract to distribute Signet paperbacks that prohibited them from producing their own paperback “reprints”. The loophole they used to get in the game was to only publish paperback originals (PBO’s). This opened a door for many authors who would later go on to great fame. They produced some wonderful covers.

Books published by Gold Metal

Graphic Books -Graphic specialized in hard-boiled detective fiction from 1949 to 1957. They used low-rent authors but some of their covers are great.

Greenleaf Books. William Lawrence Hamling (born 1921) was a Chicago-based publisher active from the 1950s into the 1970s.

Hamling began as an author. His Shadow of the Sphinx is a horror novel about an ancient Egyptian sorceress. First published during the 1940s in Fantastic Adventures, it was described by Lin Carter as "the best story of its kind I read in many a moon. The character of Zaleikka was done to perfection. This is the type of yarn we have all too few of nowadays."

After work as an editor at Ziff-Davis, Hamling started his company, Greenleaf Publishing (which was at different times known as Greenleaf Classics, Reed Enterprises, Corinth Publications, Regency Publications, Blake Pharmaceuticals, Phenix Publishing and Freedom Publishing) in the early 1950s with Imagination. His wife, science fiction author Frances Deegan Yerxa Hamling, worked closely with him in the early years of his publishing company.

According to L. Sprague de Camp's 1953 Science-Fiction Handbook, Hamling was at that time a "slim, dark man who looks too young to be not only an independent publisher but also the father of five."

In the late 1950s, he began Rogue, and in 1959, he launched Nightstand Books, an imprint for paperback original sex novels by authors working under house names. (Later imprints included Leisure Books, Ember Library, Midnight Readers, and others). From 1961 on his primary editor was Earl Kemp. Pseudonymous writers for Kemp/Hamling included Lawrence Block, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Harlan Ellison, Evan Hunter, Robert Silverberg, and Donald E. Westlake.

Grove Press is an American publishing imprint that was founded in 1951. Imprints include: Black Cat, Evergreen, Venus Library, and Zebra. Barney Rosset purchased the company in 1951 and turned it into an alternative book press in the United States. He partnered with Richard Seaver to bring French literature to the United States. The Atlantic Monthly Press, under the aegis of its publisher, Morgan Entrekin, merged with Grove Press in 1991. Grove is now an imprint of the publisher Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a Toronto-based company that publishes series romance and women's fiction. Harlequin was owned by the Torstar Corporation, the largest newspaper publisher in Canada, from 1981 until purchased in 2014 by News Corp in a deal closed On Aug 1 2014 under which Harlequin will be run as a division of Harper Collins.  Harlequin publishes approximately 120 new titles each month in 29 different languages in 107 international markets on six continents.

Parent Company: HarperCollins

Jove Books, formerly known as Pyramid Books, is a paperback publishing company, founded in 1949 by Almat Magazine Publishers (Alfred R. Plaine and Matthew Huttner). The company was sold to the Walter Reade Organization in the late 1960s. It was acquired in 1974 by Harcourt Brace (which became Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) which renamed it to Jove in 1977 and continued the line as an imprint. In 1979, they sold it to The Putnam Berkley Group, which is now part of the Penguin Group.

Parent Company: Berkley Books/Penguin Group

Lancer Books was a publisher of paperback books operated from 1961 through 1973 by Irwin Stein and Walter Zacharius. While it published stories of a number of genres, it was noted most for its science fiction and fantasy, particularly its series of Robert E. Howard'sConan the Barbarian tales, the first publication of many in paperback format. It published the controversial novel Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg and the ribald series The Man From O.R.G.Y. Lancer paperbacks had a distinctive appearance, many bearing mauve or green page edging.

Company defunct

Lion published from 1949 to 1957. Its most productive period was when Arnold Hano was in charge. They are considered a high quality house that dabbled in early sleaze.

Midwood. In 1957 two guys from New York decided to mimic the sleaze publishing model by purchasing manuscripts and art from the same agencies Beacon used. Their experiment worked and Midwood became the home of cover artist, Paul Rader.

Monarch started in 1958 by ex-employees of Popular Library and was a professional operation from the start. Their sleaze and movie tie-in books are highly sought after.

The New American Library (NAL) is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its focus is affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works, as well as popular and pulp fiction. Non-fiction, original and hardcopy issues are also produced. Book labels include NAL Accent, Obsidian, Plume, Roc, Signet, Signet Eclipse, and Signet Select.

Parent Company: Penguin Group

Newsstand Books. Although only in existence from 1959 to 1962,  Newsstand stands out for its crude and rude covers mostly done by Robert Bonfils.

Pan specialized in publishing paperback fiction and, along with Penguin Books, was one of the first popular publishers of this format in the UK. A large number of popular authors saw their works given paperback publication through Pan, including Ian Fleming, whose James Bond series first appeared in paperback in the UK as Pan titles. So too did Leslie Charteris's books about The Saint, Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise, and novels by Georgette Heyer, Neville Shute, John Steinbeck, Josephine Tey and Arthur Upfield. Pan also published paperback editions of works by classic authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Another notable title was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Visit - celebrating 25+ years of PAN Books.

Panther Books Ltd was a British publishing house especially active in the 1950s and 1960s, specializing in paperback fiction. It was established in May 1952 by Hamilton's Ltd and titles carried the line "A Panther Book" or "Panther Science Fiction" on the cover. Science fiction was one of the major genres published by Panther Books and titles included Ray Bradbury's The Golden Apples of the Sun and Asimov's Foundation Trilogy. In 1954 Gordon Landsborough was employed as editor and started improving the quality of the imprint. Instead of publishing original genre novels in paperback and hardback, Panther Books became a reprint publisher, doing paperback reprints of best-selling hardcover novels from other publishers. The quality of the cover art was improved and the list expanded to include non-fiction titles and fiction titles by internationally known, best-selling writers.

Company defunct

Paperback Library. Warner Communications had acquired the Paperback Library in 1970 to form Warner Books.  In 1982, CBS Publications sold off Popular Library to Warner.  In April 1985, Warner Books relaunched Popular Library starting out with five other books plus the reprint of Question of Upbringing continuing each month with the follow volumes from A Dance to the Music of Time series by Anthony Powell. Additional, two books would be issued per month from Popular's new imprint, Questar, for science fiction.  Time merged with Warner Communications to form Time Warner in 1989.  Publisher Macdonald & Co. was bought in 1992 to become part of the Time Warner Book Group UK, and in 1996 the various branches merged to become Time Warner Trade Publishing, later renamed to Time Warner Book Group. In 2003, Time Warner attempted to sell the Book Group but failed to get high enough bids. In March 2006, Time Warner completed the sale of Book Group to Lagardère and placed it under its Hachette Livre book publishing arm and its Warner Books subsidiary renamed itself Grand Central Publishing in March 2006. Grand Central also launched a more literary imprint, Twelve, under former Random House editor in chief Jonathan Karp.  On February 5, 2010, Hachette announced that it would adopt an agency pricing model for its e-books.

Penguin Books is a British publisher. It was founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V. K. Krishna Menon, as a line of publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year. Penguin revolutionized publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large audiences existed for serious books. Penguin also had a significant impact on public debate in Britain, through its books on politics, the arts, and science.

Parent Company:Penguin Random House

Pocket Books produced the first mass-market, pocket-sized paperback books in America in early 1939 and revolutionized the publishing industry. The German Albatross Books had pioneered the idea of a line of color-coded paperback editions in 1931 under Kurt Enoch; Penguin Books in Britain had refined the idea in 1935 and had 1 million books in print by the following year.

In 1944, the founding owners sold the company to Marshall Field III, owner of the Chicago Sun newspaper. Following his death, in 1957, Leon Shimkin, a Simon & Schuster partner, and James M. Jacobson bought Pocket Books. Simon & Schuster acquired Pocket in 1966.

The first ten numbered Pocket Book titles:

  1. Lost Horizon by James Hilton

  2. Wake Up and Liveby Dorothea Brande

  3. Five Great Tragediesby William Shakespeare

  4. Topperby Thorne Smith

  5. The Murder of Roger Ackroydby Agatha Christie

  6. Enough Ropeby Dorothy Parker

  7. Wuthering Heightsby Emily Brontë

  8. The Way of All Fleshby Samuel Butler

  9. The Bridge of San Luis Reyby Thornton Wilder

  10. Bambiby Felix Salten

Parent Company:Simon and Schuster

First 100 books from Pocket Books

Popular Library was a New York paperback book company established in 1942 by Leo Margulies and Ned Pines, who at the time was a major pulp magazine, newspapers and magazine publishers. The company's logo of a pine tree was a tribute to Pines, and another Popular Library signature visual was a reduced black-and-white copy of the front cover on the title page.

First 300 Paperback Books from Popular Library

Jove Books, formerly known as Pyramid Books, is a paperback publishing company, founded in 1949 by Almat Magazine Publishers (Alfred R. Plaineand Matthew Huttner). The company was sold to the Walter Reade Organization in the late 1960s. It was acquired in 1974 by Harcourt Brace (which became Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) which renamed it to Jove in 1977 and continued the line as an imprint. In 1979, they sold it to The Putnam Berkley Group, which is now part of the Penguin Group.

Phil Hirsch was vice president of Pyramid Books from 1955-1975 and had his name as author or editor on many of Pyramid's books.

In the 1960s Pyramid published a few novelizations of Irwin Allen television shows, including one for Lost in Space and two others for The Time Tunnel, as well as Theodore Sturgeon's movie novelization for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Parent Company: Berkley Books/Penguin Group

Random House is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and global education and publishing company Pearson PLC. Random House also has an entertainment production arm for film and television, Random House Studio, of which the most recent release was One Day. The company also creates story content for media including video games, social networks on the web, and mobile platforms.

In the 40’s Penguin had an American distribution arm but refused to put racy covers on its books. In 1948 its New York office rebelled and started Signet. Numbering began at 660. Signet quickly became the largest paperback publisher in the U.S.

Victor Weybright and Kurt Enoch (formerly head of Albatross Books) founded the New American Library of World Literature, Inc. (NAL), in 1948. NAL was established as an autonomous American publishing house after branching off from its British-based parent company, Penguin Books. Victor Weybright led the company as Chairman and Editor-in-Chief (1945—1947) while Kurt Enoch acted as President and Chief Executive Officer (1945—1947).

NAL imprints included:

  • Signet fiction

  • Mentor (mostly) non-fiction (with the slogan, "Good reading for the millions")

  • Signet science

  • Signet Classics

  • Signet Key (for young readers ages 10 to 14)

  • Mentor-Omega (featuring Catholic philosophers)

  • Mentor Executive Library (for businesspeople).

Parent Company:Penguin Group

First 100 Paperback Books from Signet

Founded in 1961, Sphere Books began work on its first publication, the 1962 paperback edition of Gottfried Benn's The Trainee Man. Originally part of The Thomson Corporation, Sphere was sold to Pearson PLC in 1985 and became part of Penguin. The name was retired in 1990.

The current Sphere is an imprint of Little, Brown. It ran a competition in 2007, in association with Cosmopolitan and Waterstones, to find a new 'chick lit' writer.

Viking Press is an American publishing company owned by the Penguin Group, which acquired the company in 1975.

It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim.

The firm's name and logo—a Viking ship drawn by Rockwell Kent—were meant to evoke the ideas of adventure, exploration and enterprise implied by the word "Viking".

The house has been home to many prominent authors of fiction, non-fiction, and play scripts. Five Viking authors have been awarded Nobel Prizes for Literature and one received the Nobel Peace Prize; Viking books have also won numerous Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and other important literary prizes.

Parent Company: Penguin Group

Vintage Books is a publishing imprint established in 1954 by Alfred A. Knopf.

The company was purchased by Random House publishing in April 1960, and is currently a subdivision of Random House. In 1990, Vintage UK was set up in the United Kingdom.

Parent Company: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Warner Books had acquired the Paperback Library in 1970 to form Warner Books. In 1982, CBS Publications sold off Popular Library to Warner. In April 1985, Warner Books relaunched Popular Library starting out with five other books plus the reprint of Question of Upbringing continuing each month with the follow volumes from A Dance to the Music of Time series by Anthony Powell. Additional, two books would be issued per month from Popular's new imprint, Questar, for science fiction. Time merged with Warner Communications to form Time Warner in 1989. Publisher Macdonald & Co. was bought in 1992 to become part of the Time Warner Book Group UK, and in 1996 the various branches merged to become Time Warner Trade Publishing, later renamed to Time Warner Book Group.