What Is An Imprint?

I only heard about Imprints in the last few months.  While it’s a new area for me,  I believe Imprints have been around since the early twentieth century.

Imprint of a Hand

I was going to do extensive research for this post, but then I came across this blog post that explains it quite well. It describes Imprints as Departments within a large Publishing House. They each deal with specific genres that have shared consumer bases.  For example, while some Imprints have many genres, others specifically deal with only Romance or Mystery/Thrillers.

Imprint can also refer to a finer distinction of an edition, that is the same book but different printers/publishers, or it can refer to varying print runs of the same edition.  For the purpose of this blog post, I’m looking at the first definition, that is Imprint as a Department or trade name.

Larger publishing houses — like Random House, the Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, etc. — are divided into departments called imprints.  Sometimes, several imprints are affiliated in an official ”group” like The Crown Publishing Group which includes the imprints Broadway Books, Clarkson Potter, Crown and many others.  Sometimes imprints work together — like The Penguin Group’s mass market division that includes imprints like Ace, Berkley, Jove, Roc and many others — although the department doesn’t have an “official” name.

What is an imprint? « The Book Publicity Blog.

So what major publishing houses use Imprints? Note: these are only examples. Some publishing houses like Simon and Schuster have 35 Imprints. I would recommend that you check their websites for more details.

Harper Collins

Avon Books – Romance Novels

Ecco – Mysteries, Thrillers, Historical and everything else from Cooking to Non Fiction

Authonomy – This isn’t an Imprint, but a website owned and operated by Harper Collins, to discover new talent. I thought it was worth mentioning

Penguin Books

Penguin Classics – Classic Books that are translated and sold in numerous countries

Puffin Books – A children’s imprint in the UK

Viking Press – Home to successful commercial fiction and acclaimed literary fiction and non-fiction


47 North – Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

Amazon Crossing – Translates foreign language books

Montlake Romance – Romance books

Thomas and Mercer – Mystery and Thrillers

Simon and Schuster

Atheneum – Children’s Fiction

Beyond Words Publishing – Specialises in New Age, Self Help and Inspiration Stories with a spiritual focus

Scribner – Adult Fiction

As always, I love to hear from you.  Also if you’ve used an Imprint to publish, let me know.