About Kensington Publishing

Established in 1974, Kensington, America's independent publisher, located in New York City, is the foremost independent publishing house in the United States publishing in hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market. We publish over 500 books annually in both fiction and non-fiction. Kensington has sweeping and diverse imprints, including Kensington, Citadel Press, Dafina Books, Zebra Books, Pinnacle Books, Brava, Aphrodisia, K-Teen and eKensington. These imprints are well-known for popular women's fiction, African-American titles, multicultural young adult fiction, nonfiction, as well as true crime, Western, and mystery titles. Kensington continues to be the foremost American publisher of romance novels.

Our History

Kensington Publishing Corp. is the last remaining independent U.S. publisher of hardcover, trade and mass market paperback books. 2009 marks our 35th year in business. From the time our very first book (Appointment in Dallas by Hugh McDonald), became a bestseller, Kensington has been known as an astute and determined David-vs.-Goliath publisher of titles in the full spectrum of categories, from fiction and romance to health and nonfiction. Kensington now accounts for about 7% of all mass market paperback sales in the U.S. Through the Kensington, Zebra, Pinnacle and Citadel press imprints, the company releases close to 600 new books per year and has a backlist of more than 3,000 titles. We are considered a leader and innovator in such areas of publishing as African-American (Dafina), Gay and Lesbian, and of course romance. In 2006 we launched our new erotica line in tradepaper and in an eBook format as well. Also visit www.rebelbasebooks.com where you can find the latest books about popular culture that's taking place on the web. Competitive marketing strategies are Kensington's hallmark. We pioneered the use of 3-D and holographic covers, foiling, embossing and multi-colored covers for the same title—distinctive techniques subsequently adopted by other publishers. The Kensington staff now totals close to 90 employees who take their inspiration from from founder Walter Zacharius. During his distinguished 50 year publishing career he introduced dozens of bestselling writers, and developed countless marketing innovations. Steven Zacharius, became President and Chief Executive Officer of Kensington in 2005. Kensington boasts a dedicated sales force—men and women both in the home office in New York and in the field around the country, with their fingers on the pulse of the market. The company is able to respond quickly to trends, to put books into the hands of readers faster than larger publishers can, and to support them with targeted promotional and marketing programs to generate reader excitement. Kensington continues to be a full-range publisher large enough to command respect in the market, yet small enough to maintain author, reader and retailer loyalty.

 

Letter from President

The year 2014 will mark Kensington Publishing's 40th year as an independent publisher. Like the entire publishing industry, Kensington has gone through many changes since its founding by my father, Walter Zacharius, who unfortunately passed away in March, 2011. As I write, the industry is being turned upside down— not only by the shift to reading books digitally on an e-reader but also by the possibility that four of the "big six" publishing companies will merge into two mega-publishing houses, both of which will be foreign owned businesses. Whether this will be good for publishing or for consumers remains to be seen. Who knows? It might even lead to a rebirth of the independent publishing house.  Kensington Publishing was started as a historical romance publisher in 1974 with an investment of $67,000; it has now grown into a company with about 85 employees and publishes over 400 books annually in many genres, including women's fiction, mysteries, thrillers, westerns, true-crime, young adult, and commercial nonfiction. We are the only large independently owned mass-market paperback publisher remaining in business today. We also are the largest publisher of fiction for the African-American market. Many people ask why an author would choose to be published at Kensington instead of one of the larger companies. The answer is that although this is becoming a much more technologically based industry, we are still a "people" company. There isn't another company where even midlist authors get to meet and deal with everyone in the firm, including the top management team. Our employees and our authors are very loyal and rarely leave: many employees have been with us for close to 25 years, and we have published some of our authors since the company was founded. My plan is to continue to grow our business to become THE largest independent publisher in the country. My son, Adam Zacharius, who has worked for us on the West Coast for the past five years, has now moved into the New York office and sits behind the desk my father used for his 35-plus years in the office. There's something special and unique about being a family-owned business. It's hard to put into words, but if you were to ask any of our authors or employees, they could probably explain it. I enjoy answering all of my e-mail from readers and writers, and I thank you for supporting our company. I hope you enjoy our newly redesigned website. Many people have contributed to making it a friendlier and more informative place to visit frequently.

Steven Zacharius
Chairman, President & CEO
SZacharius@kensingtonbooks.com