date of foundation: 1957
founded by: Harry Shorten
Leisure Books was a mass market paperback publisher specializing in horror and thrillers that operated from 1957 to 2010. In the company's early years, it also published fantasy, science fiction, Westerns, and the Wildlife Treasury card series.
Leisure Books offered a book sales club service. Typically two free books were provided as an initial inducement. After that two books were sent on a monthly basis. Readers would have ten days to keep or return. If kept there would be a discount on the purchase price.
From around 1982 onward, Leisure Books was an imprint of Dorchester Publishing, shifting the company's focus away from fantasy and science fiction and more towards horror. As such, Leisure published novels and collections by a number of horror's notable authors, including Douglas Clegg, Stacy Dittrich, Ray Garton, J. F. Gonzalez, Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Deborah LeBlanc, Edward Lee, Ronald Malfi, Graham Masterton, T. V. Olsen, and Sarah Pinborough.
Leisure horror titles won numerous awards, including the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award. In addition, a Leisure title was given the 2002 World Fantasy Award.
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