As Kensington Publishing continues into our fifth decade as an independent publisher, we, like the entire industry, have gone through tremendous changes since our founding by my father, Walter Zacharius, who unfortunately passed away in March 2011. For the first time in over 20 years, we changed distributors in 2015, moving to Penguin Random House Publisher’s Services (PRHPS).
This partnership with Penguin Random House Publisher Services expanded our sales force and affords our books and authors increased penetration into numerous markets. It also provides us with valuable point-of-sales information, warehousing, shipping, and systems that have long been known to be the best in the business. We maintain our talented Kensington sales team who sell the wholesalers, mass merchandisers and book jobbers as they have in years past, while PRHPS serves as our full service distributor and handles accounts including independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, the Canadian market and all of our international business. They also handle much of the activity of the eBook business, although Kensington is still heavily involved in selling and marketing to these accounts.
Kensington remains the largest independent firm to publish in the paperback field. We started as a historical romance publisher in 1974 with an investment of $67,000. Since then we have grown in the number of people we employ, the number of books we publish, and the range of genres that our titles represent. Even as we continue to grow and evolve, we remain a family business. My son, Adam Zacharius, who had worked for us on the West Coast, moved to the New York office shortly after my father passed away and sits behind the desk my father used for his 35-plus years in the office. He’s now heading up Lyrical Press, our digital first imprint.
Some 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 every author has the opportunity to meet and deal with everyone in the firm, including the top management team. We treat every writer as a part of our family.
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 authors or employees, they could probably explain it better than I could. I’m confident that we’re the only large publisher to have had three generations in the business and I have three grandchildren (so far), in the wings, to hopefully continue this tradition. I thank you for supporting our company, and I want you to know that I enjoy answering all of my email from readers and writers. I truly answer every email that I receive whether it be praise, criticism, or just general correspondence.
A lot of work goes into our website to make it user friendly, informative and enjoyable to readers. We hope you enjoy it.
Chairman, President & CEO
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