Doubleday (publisher)

Doubleday is an American publishing company founded as Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 that by 1947 was the largest in the United States. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House.

Doubleday Publishing
Parent companyKnopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Penguin Random House)
FounderFrank Nelson Doubleday and Samuel McClure
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City
Publication typesBooks


The firm was founded as Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 by Frank Nelson Doubleday,[1] who had formed a partnership with magazine publisher Samuel McClure. One of their first bestsellers was The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling. Other authors published by the company in its early years include W. Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. later served as a vice-president of the company.

In 1900, the company became Doubleday, Page & Company when Walter Hines Page joined as a new partner. In 1922, the founder's son, Nelson Doubleday, joined the firm.

In 1910, Doubleday, Page, and Co. moved its operations, which included a train station, to Garden City.[2] The Doubleday company purchased much of the land on the east side of Franklin Avenue, and estate homes were built for many of its executives on Fourth Street. In 1916, company co-founder and Garden City resident Walter Hines Page was named Ambassador to Great Britain. In 1922, Doubleday founded their juvenile department, the second in the nation, with May Massee as head.[3]

In 1927, Doubleday merged with the George H. Doran Company, creating Doubleday, Doran, then the largest publishing business in the English-speaking world. In 1946, the company became Doubleday and Company. Nelson Doubleday resigned as president, but continued as chairman of the board until his death on January 11, 1949. Douglas Black took over as president from 1946 to 1963. Black's tenure, attracted numerous public figures to the publishing company, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Douglas MacArthur, Robert Taft, and Audre Malroux; and was a strong opponent to censorship feeling that it was his responsibility to the American public to publish controversial titles. Black also expanded Doubleday's publishing program by opening two new printing plants; creating a new line of quality paperbacks, under the imprint Anchor Books; attracting new book clubs to its book club division; opening 30 new retail stores in 25 cities; and opening new editorial offices in San Francisco, London, and Paris.[4][5]

By 1947, Doubleday was the largest publisher in the US, with annual sales of over 30 million books.

Doubleday's son-in-law John Sargent was president and CEO from 1963 to 1978.

In 1967 the company purchased the Dallas-based Trigg-Vaughn group of radio and TV stations to create Doubleday Broadcasting.[6] After expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, Doubleday sold the broadcasting division in 1986.[7]

Nelson Doubleday, Jr. succeeded John Sargent as President and CEO from 1978 to 1985. In 1980, the company bought the New York Mets baseball team.[6] The Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series in 1986 in a 7-game contest. By 1985, Doubleday & Company was seeing a decline in sales from 1980 and hired James R. McLaughlin, the head of Dell Publishing, a Doubleday subsidiary, to streamline and downsize. McLaughlin went on to succeed Doubleday in as President and CEO, with Doubleday becoming Chairman of the Board.[8][9]

By 1986 the firm was a fully integrated international communications company, doing trade publishing, mass-market paperback publishing, book clubs, and book manufacturing, together with ventures in broadcasting and advertising. The company had offices in London and Paris and wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with joint ventures in the UK and the Netherlands. Nelson Doubleday, Jr. sold the publishing company to Bertelsmann in 1986 for a reported $475 million.[10][11] The deal did not include the Mets which Nelson Doubleday and minority owner Fred Wilpon had purchased from Doubleday & Company for $85 million. In 2002, Doubleday sold his stake in the Mets to Wilpon for $135 million after a feud of the monetary value of the team.[12][13]

In 1988, portions of the firm became part of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, which in turn became a division of Random House in 1998.[8][9]

In late 2008 and early 2009, the Doubleday imprint merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.[14] In October 2008, Doubleday laid off about 10% of its staff (16 people) across all departments.[15]


Notable editors

Notable authors

Notable employees


The following are imprints that exist or have existed under Doubleday:

  • Anchor Books, produced quality paperbacks for bookstores; named for the anchor that (along with a dolphin) forms Doubleday's colophon; now part of the Knopf Publishing Group's Vintage Anchor unit
  • Blakiston Co., medical and scientific books. Sold in 1947 to McGraw-Hill
  • Blue Ribbon Books, purchased in 1939 from Reynal & Hitchcock
  • Book League of America, contemporary and world classic literature, purchased in 1936
  • The Crime Club, active through much of the 20th century, publishing mystery and detective novels, most notably the Fu Manchu series by Sax Rohmer and the Saint series by Leslie Charteris
  • Garden City Publishing Co., originally established as a separate firm by Nelson Doubleday, Garden City's books were primarily reprints of books first offered by Doubleday, printed from the original plates but on less expensive paper. It was named for the village on New York's Long Island in which Doubleday was long headquartered (until 1986), and which still houses Bookspan, the direct marketer of general interest and specialty book clubs run by Doubleday Direct and Book of the Month Club holdings.
  • Image Books, Catholic Books—still a Doubleday unit as part of Doubleday Religious Publishing
  • Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, a literary imprint established in 1990. Talese, the imprint's publisher and editorial director, is a senior vice president of Doubleday.
  • Permabooks, paperback division established in 1948
  • Rimington & Hooper, high-quality limited editions
  • Triangle Books, purchased in 1939 from Reynal & Hitchcock; sold inexpensive books through chain stores
  • Zenith Books, aimed at African-American youths



  1. ^ "History".
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  3. ^ Hodowanec, George V., ed. (1979). "THE MAY MASSEE COLLECTION" (PDF). Emporia State University. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Daphne Du Maurier Letters to Douglas Black (C0858) -- Daphne Du Maurier Letters to Douglas Black". Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  5. ^ "DOUGLAS M. BLACK, 81; EX-DOUBLEDAY CHIEF; A Founder of Publishers Group Was Strong Foe of Censorship Life Trustee of Columbia". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  6. ^ a b New York Media, LLC (7 February 1983). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 55–. ISSN 0028-7369.
  7. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1 March 1986). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 10–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  8. ^ a b Associated Press (1986-09-28). "West German-based firm buys Doubleday and Co". Tri City Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  9. ^ a b Grimes, William (June 17, 2015). "Nelson Doubleday Jr., Publisher and Mets Buyer, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  10. ^ a b McDowell, Edwin (December 18, 1986). "German Firm Completes Acquisition of Doubleday". New York Times.
  11. ^ Mcdowell, Edwin (1986-10-01). "PENGUIN AGREES TO BUY NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  12. ^ Sandomir, Richard (2002-08-14). "Baseball; Owners Of Mets Make A Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  13. ^ "Nelson Doubleday Jr., Publisher Who Owned the Mets, Dies at 81". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  14. ^ "Shakeups hit Random House, other publishers | Crain's New York Business". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  15. ^ Rich, Motoko (2008-10-28). "Doubleday Publishing Lays Off 10% of Its Employees". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  16. ^ "The Stoic". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ "The Evening News". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Fargnoli, A. Nicholas; Golay, Michael (2009). Critical Companion to William Faulkner. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438108599.
  19. ^ "Doubleday Bookstores merged into B. Dalton". Retrieved 2016-12-15.

External links

A Gun for Dinosaur and Other Imaginative Tales

A Gun for Dinosaur and Other Imaginative Tales is a short story collection by science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardback by Doubleday in 1963, and in paperback by Curtis Books in 1969. The first British edition was issued by Remploy in 1974. It has also been translated into German.

Ancient Ruins and Archaeology

Ancient Ruins and Archaeology is a 1964 science book by L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp, one of their most popular works. It was first published by Doubleday and has been reprinted numerous times by other publishers. Paperback editions since 1972 have generally reverted to the title Citadels of Mystery, which was the de Camps' original working title. Translations into French, German and Portuguese have also appeared. Portions of the work had previously appeared as articles in the magazines Astounding Science Fiction, Fate, Frontiers, Natural History Magazine, Other Worlds Science Stories, Science Fiction Quarterly, and Travel.

Barmy in Wonderland

Barmy in Wonderland is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United Kingdom on 21 April 1952 by Herbert Jenkins, London, and in the United States on May 8, 1952 by Doubleday & Company, New York, under the title Angel Cake. The novel may be considered part of the expanded Drones Club canon, since the main character Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps is a member of the club.

Wodehouse adapted the novel from a play, The Butter and Egg Man, by George S. Kaufman and, echoing Shakespeare's dedication of his Sonnets, dedicated the US edition to "the onlie begetter of these insuing sonnets, Mr G S K".

The central character is Cyril "Barmy" Fotheringay-Phipps (pronounced "Fungy Fips"), an amiable if not particularly brilliant young man who courts Eileen "Dinty" Moore.

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is a 2009 supernatural fiction and black comedy novel written by Jonathan L. Howard. It is the first book of an ongoing series chronicling the ventures of Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy.

Night of the Ripper

Night of the Ripper is a 1984 novel written by American writer Robert Bloch.

Nothing Serious (short story collection)

Nothing Serious is a collection of ten short stories by P. G. Wodehouse. It was first published in the United Kingdom on 21 July 1950 by Herbert Jenkins, London, and in the United States on 24 May 1951 by Doubleday & Co., New York. It was published again in 2008 by The Overlook Press.

Spring Fever (novel)

Spring Fever is a novel by P.G. Wodehouse, first published on 20 May 1948, in the United Kingdom by Herbert Jenkins, London and in the United States by Doubleday and Co, New York. Although not featuring any of Wodehouse's regular characters, the cast contains a typical Wodehousean selection of English aristocrats, wealthy Americans, household staff and imposters.

The Ancient Engineers

The Ancient Engineers is a 1963 science book by L. Sprague de Camp, one of his most popular works. It was first published by Doubleday and has been reprinted numerous times by other publishers. Translations into German and Polish have also appeared. Portions of the work had previously appeared as articles in the magazines Fate, Isis and Science Digest.

The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate

The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate is a historical novel by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Doubleday in 1961, and in paperback by Lancer Books in 1968. The first trade paperback edition was issued by The Donning Company in 1982. The book was reissued with a new introduction by Harry Turtledove as a trade paperback and ebook by Phoenix Pick in September 2013. It is the third of de Camp's historical novels in order of writing, and earliest chronologically. It is set in 466-465 BCE, the last years of the reign of King Xerxes I of Persia.

The Fifth Elephant

The Fifth Elephant is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the 24th book in the Discworld series. It introduces the clacks, a long-distance semaphore system. The novel was nominated for the Locus Award in 2000.

The Golden Wind

The Golden Wind is a historical novel by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Doubleday in 1969, and in paperback by Curtis in 1972. The book was reissued with a new introduction by Harry Turtledove as a trade paperback and ebook by Phoenix Pick in July 2014. It is the fifth and last of de Camp's historical novels, both in order of writing and chronologically. The novel has also been translated into German.The same title was used for a story of adventure in China by Takashi Ohta and Margaret Sperry, first published in 1929.

The Heroic Age of American Invention

The Heroic Age of American Invention is a 1961 science book for children by L. Sprague de Camp, published by Doubleday. It was reprinted in 1993 by Barnes & Noble under the title Heroes of American Invention.

The Long Mars

The Long Mars is a science fiction novel by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

It is the third in a five-book series of the parallel-Earth sequence The Long Earth. Originally entitled The Long Childhood, it was changed to The Long Mars, and published on 19 June 2014. The paperback edition was published by Harper on 7 August 2014.In the novel, Sally Linsay, her father, and a burned-out astronaut friend travel to Mars and find that it too has co-existing alternate worlds accessible to their technology. While many are lifeless and possess atmospheres as thin as those of Mars within our universe, others possess oceans, life forms and intelligent life.

The Positronic Man

The Positronic Man is a 1992 novel by American writers Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, based on Asimov's novelette "The Bicentennial Man".

It tells of a robot that begins to display characteristics, such as creativity, traditionally the province of humans; the robot is ultimately declared an official human being.

The film Bicentennial Man, starring Robin Williams, was based both on the original story and the novel.

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel written by Robert Lewis Taylor, which was later made into a short-running television series on ABC from September 1963 through March 1964, featuring Kurt Russell as Jaimie, Dan O'Herlihy as his father, "Doc" Sardius McPheeters, and Michael Witney and Charles Bronson as the wagon masters, Buck Coulter and Linc Murdock, respectively.

The World of Poo

The World of Poo is an illustrated children's book written by Terry Pratchett and illustrated by Peter Dennis. It is based on the book featured in Pratchett's Discworld novel Snuff, in which Sam Vimes reads it to his now older son, replacing his previous favourite book, Where's My Cow?. The book is presented as a replica of Young Sam's own copy of the book, including a dedication from the fictional author, Miss Felicity Beedle.

The book chronicles the adventures of Geoffrey, a young boy sent to stay with his grandmother in Ankh-Morpork. After a bird defecates on his head and he is told it is lucky, he becomes obsessed with collecting samples of poo from various creatures in order to create a museum.

Thief of Time

Thief of Time is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the 26th book in his Discworld series. It was the last Discworld novel with a cover by Josh Kirby.

Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows is a 1961 children's novel by Wilson Rawls about a boy who buys and trains two Redbone Coonhound hunting dogs.

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