Kensington Publishing Corp. is an American, New York–based publishing house founded in 1974 by Walter Zacharius (1923–2011) and Roberta Bender Grossman (1946–1992). Kensington is known as “America’s Independent Publisher.” It remains a multi-generational family business, with Steven Zacharius succeeding his father as president and CEO, and Adam Zacharius as general manager.
|Founder||Walter Zacharius, Roberta Bender Grossman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Distribution||Penguin Random House Publisher Services|
|Key people||Steven Zacharius, Adam Zacharius|
|Fiction genres||romance, women’s fiction, African American, young adult, nonfiction, true-crime, western, mystery|
|No. of employees||85|
It is the house of many New York Times bestselling authors, including Fern Michaels, Lisa Jackson, Joanne Fluke and William W. Johnstone. In addition to the over 500 new titles that the company publishes each year, it has a vast and diverse backlist that includes classics such as The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick, Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max and Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre.
Kensington's imprints include Zebra Books, Pinnacle Books, Dafina, Citadel Press, and Lyrical Press, which provide readers with a range of popular genres such as romance, military thrillers and espionage, women's fiction, African American, young adult and nonfiction, as well as true-crime, western, and mystery titles.
Kensington Books was founded by Walter Zacharius and Roberta Bender Grossman in 1974 as the successor to the paperback publisher Lancer Books, specializing in paperback romance novels. The Zebra Books and Pinnacle Books imprints debuted in 1975. Rather than bookstores, the company's books were generally sold in railroad stations, airports, bus terminals, and drug stores.
In 2008, Kensington acquired the publishing assets of Holloway House (publishers of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines).
Co-founder Walter Zacharius died in 2011. In addition to having run Lancer Books from 1961 to 1973, Zacharius authored the World War II novel Songbird, published by Simon & Schuster in 2004 and republished by Kensington Books in 2007 as The Memories We Keep.
In 2022, Kensington acquired speculative fiction publisher Erewhon Books.
Steven Zacharius, son of founder Walter Zacharius, has been with the company since 1993 and has been president and CEO since 2005. He is also chairman of Kensington. The company's senior vice president, Michael Rosamilia, has been the CFO since 1989. Adam Zacharius, Steven's son, is the Vice President - General Manager and originally started working with Kensington seven years ago. Kensington is believed to be the only publishing company with three generations of family management.
The staff totals over 85 employees and, in addition to its internal sales team, Kensington has a distribution agreement with Penguin Random House Publisher Services’ global sales force.
- Kensington Books — commercial fiction, romance
- Citadel — general non-fiction
- Dafina — African-American literature
- Lyrical Press — digital-first
- Pinnacle Books — thrillers, true crime, westerns
- Rebel Base — digital-first sci-fi and fantasy
- Urban Soul — African-American literature
- Zebra Books — Science fiction, fantasy, romance
- Simona Ahrnstedt
- Shobhan Bantwal
- Janet Dailey
- Gerina Dunwich
- Joanne Fluke
- Trice Hickman
- Hannah Howell
- Lisa Jackson
- William W. Johnstone
- Jeffe Kennedy
- William J. Mann
- Fern Michaels
- Mary Monroe
- Mary B. Morrison
- Jacy Nova
- Cal Orey
- J.T. Patten (See Scott Swanson (military))
- Robin Reardon
- Caitlin Rother
- Naomi Stone
- Tamara Thorne
- Carl Weber
- Ellen Marie Wiseman
- Bart Yates
- ^ Current Clients Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- ^ a b c d e Grimes, William. "Walter Zacharius, Romance Publisher, Dies at 87," New York Times (MARCH 7, 2011).
- ^ "Roberta Grossman, 46, Head of Zebra Books". New York Times. March 23, 1992. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- ^ "Kensington Acquires Holloway House Backlist". PublishersWeekly.com. 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- ^ "Kensington Buys Erewhon Books".
- ^ "Press Release" (PDF). 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- ^ "Kensington Publishing Has Acquired eBook Publisher Lyrical Press". Adweek.com. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- ^ "Spotlight on Kensington's Rebel Base Books". www.PublishersWeekly.com. 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2022-01-10.