Doubleday is an American publishing company. It was founded as the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 and was the largest in the United States by 1947. 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. In 2019 the official website presents Doubleday as an imprint, not a publisher.
|Parent company||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Penguin Random House)|
|Founder||Frank Nelson Doubleday and S. S. McClure|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
The firm was founded as Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 by Frank Nelson Doubleday in partnership with Samuel Sidney McClure. McClure had founded the first U.S. newspaper syndicate in 1884 (McClure Syndicate) and the monthly McClure's Magazine in 1893. One of their first bestsellers was The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling, a short story collection that Macmillan published in Britain late in 1898. Other authors published by the company in its early years include W. Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad.[when?] Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. later served as a vice-president of the company.[when?]
The partnership ended in 1900. McClure and John Sanborn Phillips, the co-founder of his magazine, formed McClure, Phillips and Company. Doubleday and Walter Hines Page formed Doubleday, Page & Company.
The racist but best-selling novels of Thomas Dixon Jr. (The Leopard's Spots, 1902; The Clansman, 1905) "changed a struggling publishing venture into the empire that Doubleday was to become". At the same time, Doubleday helped Dixon launch his writing career. Page and Dixon were both from North Carolina and had known each other in Raleigh.
In 1910, Doubleday, Page & Co. moved its operations, which included a train station, to Garden City. The 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. Co-founder and Garden City resident Walter Hines Page was named Ambassador to Great Britain in 1916. In 1922 the company founded its juvenile department, the second in the nation, with May Massee as head. The founder's son Nelson Doubleday joined the firm in the same year.
In 1927, Doubleday, Page merged with the George H. Doran Company, creating Doubleday, Doran, then the largest publishing business in the English-speaking world. In 1944, Doubleday, Doran acquired the Philadelphia medical publisher Blakiston. 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. His tenure attracted numerous public figures to the publishing company, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Douglas MacArthur, Robert Taft, and André Malraux. He was a strong opponent of censorship and felt 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.
In 1967 the company purchased the Dallas-based Trigg-Vaughn group of radio and TV stations to create Doubleday Broadcasting. After expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, Doubleday sold the broadcasting division in 1986.
Nelson Doubleday, Jr. succeeded John Sargent as President and CEO from 1978 to 1985. In 1976, Doubleday bought paperback publisher Dell Publishing. In 1980, the company bought the New York Mets baseball team. 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.
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. 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 over the monetary value of the team. After the purchase, Bertelsmann sold Laidlaw to Macmillan Inc..
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. Doubleday was combined in a group with Broadway Books, Anchor Books was combined with Vintage Books as a division of Knopf, while Bantam and Dell became a separate group.
In late 2008 and early 2009, the Doubleday imprint merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. In October 2008, Doubleday laid off about 10% of its staff (16 people) across all departments. The Broadway, Doubleday Business, Doubleday Religion, and WaterBrook Multnomah divisions were moved to Crown Publishing Group.
- Andre Agassi
- Felipe Alfau
- Isaac Asimov
- Margaret Atwood
- John Barth
- Evelyn Berckman
- Ray Bradbury
- Dan Brown
- Bill Bryson
- Pat Conroy
- Philip K. Dick
- Theodore Dreiser
- Daphne du Maurier
- Raymond E. Feist
- Graeme Gibson
- Erving Goffman
- John Grisham
- Mark Haddon
- Arthur Hailey
- Alex Haley
- Noah Hawley
- Dolores Hitchens
- Laura Z. Hobson
- Michael Jackson
- Carl Jung
- Michio Kaku
- Stephen King
- Rudyard Kipling
- Jon Krakauer
- Jonathan Lethem
- Alistair MacLean
- Peter Mayle
- Andy McNab
- Herman Melville
- Michael A. O'Donnell
- Kirby Page
- Chuck Palahniuk
- Vera Pavlova
- Terry Pratchett
- Christopher Reich
- Judith Rossner
- Bill Strickland
- Paul Shaffer
- Una Lucy Silberrad
- Wallace Stegner
- Immanuel Velikovsky
- Jose Antonio Villarreal
- Colson Whitehead
- Jacqueline Wilson
- P. G. Wodehouse
- William H. Whyte
- Hanya Yanagihara
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
- Best in Children's Books, a mail-order collection of original children's short story anthologies
- 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, moved to Crown Publishing Group
- Junior Deluxe Editions, classic children's books sold through mail-order
- 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
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- Associated Press (1986-09-28). "West German-based firm buys Doubleday and Co". Tri City Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
- Grimes, William (June 17, 2015). "Nelson Doubleday Jr., Publisher and Mets Buyer, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
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- Storch, Charles. "47% OF STAFF AT LAIDLAW GET THE AX". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
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- Rich, Motoko (2008-10-28). "Doubleday Publishing Lays Off 10% of Its Employees". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
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