|Parent company||Penguin Group (Penguin Random House)|
|Founder||Charles Byrne and Frederic Klein|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Imprints||Ace, Jove, New American Library|
Berkley Books began as an independent company in 1955. It was established by Charles Byrne and Frederick 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.
In 1982, Putnam bought Grosset & Dunlap and Playboy Press, and the Ace and Playboy paperback lists were added to Berkley. The Playboy list was eventually absorbed into Berkley, while the Jove and Ace lists have continued as distinct imprints.
Following its publication of Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, Berkley Books became increasingly interested in publishing military fiction and technothrillers. The publicity campaigns at military bases were part of the success of Dale Brown's Flight of the Old Dog.
The Penguin Group purchased Putnam in 1996. Penguin merged with Random House in 2013 to form Penguin Random House. Today, Berkley is part of PRH's Penguin Adult group and prints in mass-market paperback, trade paperback, and hardcover formats.
In December 2008, Berkley cancelled the publication of the Herman Rosenblat Holocaust memoir titled Angel at the Fence when it was discovered that the book's central events were untrue. In 2011, Berkley Books launched its ebook imprint InterMix. In September 2012, Berkley Books announced that a trilogy of erotic romance novels by Maya Banks had been acquired for publishing. Her trilogy was described as similar to the Fifty Shades trilogy, featuring three billionaires.
In 2015, the sister paperback group New American Library was merged into Berkley. In April 2015, Berkley Books signed the self-published author Jasinda Wilder. In January 2016, Berkley was merged into Penhuin's Putnam/Dutton. Ivan Held replaced Leslie Gelbman as president of Berkley Books. In 2020, Berkley Books announced two new horror books by Grady Hendrix.
Its major authors have included:
- 1976-1977: Bionic Woman PB (Berkley Novel)
- 1977: From the Land Beyond Beyond SC: The Films of Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen
- 1988: New Comics SC
- 1998: X-Men Empire's End PB (Berkley Novel)
- Robert D. McFadden, Walter J. Minton, Publisher Who Defied Censors, Dies at 96, Nytimes.com, 20 November 2019
- McDowell, Edwin (May 13, 1988). "Book notes". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- "History of Berkley Books on the Penguin Group (USA) website". Archived from the original on March 15, 2006. Retrieved March 17, 2006.
- "Publication of disputed Holocaust memoir canceled". Associated Press. December 27, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
- Motoko Rich, Brian Stelter, As Another Memoir Is Faked, Trust Suffers, Nytimes.com, 30 December 2008
- Berkley/NAL to Launch E-book Imprint, InterMix, Publishersweekly.com, 19 October 2011
- Tara Fowler, 'Fifty Shades' Watch: Erotic book trilogy sells for seven figures, Ew.com, 17 September 2012
- Mike Fleming Jr, Cliterature Cash! Maya Banks Gets 7-Figures For 'Fifty Shades'-Like Erotic Book Trilogy, Deadline.com, 17 September 2012 |accessdate=August 16, 2015}}
- "Penguin Merges Berkley, NAL". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- Berkley and New American Library Combined, Locusmag.com, 26 June 2015
- Alison Flood, Self-published star Jasinda Wilder lands seven-figure deal with traditional imprint, Theguardian.com, 7 April 2015
- Carolyn Kellogg, Two self-published successes sign with major publishers, Latimes.com, 7 April 2015
- Calvin Reid, Penguin Merges Berkley Into Putnam/Dutton, Publishersweekly.com, 12 January 2016
- Berkley Announces Two New Horror Novels by Grady Hendrix, Tor.com, 24 June 2020
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