Kensington Publishing has acquired most of the publishing assets of Holloway House Publishing in Los Angeles, the original publisher of such classic black crime writers as Donald Goines, adding an historic trove of gritty African American popular literature to its publishing program. The acquisition includes about 400 backlist titles which will become part of a new imprint at Kensington called Holloway House Classics. Holloway House also publishes a range of popular fiction and nonfiction titles including biographies of famous African Americans.

Kensington’s Holloway House Classics will begin releasing titles in mass market and trade formats, in addition to releasing original urban fiction that complements the line. Holloway House Classics will join Kensington’s growing list of African American oriented imprints like Dafina, Urban Soul and Vibe Street Lit.

The acquisition does not include seven titles by Robert Beck, better known as Iceberg Slim, a former pimp turned bestselling author, whose books sold millions of copies. He is the author of such titles as Trick Baby and My Life as a Pimp and his works are credited with providing the inspiration for the Blaxploitation film era of the 1970s and are often cited as influences by both hip-hop artists and Urban Fiction writers. Holloway House and the Beck estate will retain the rights to his books and Kensington will act as a distributor of Iceberg Slim titles.

Kensington CEO Steven Zacharius credited the deal to a strong market for classic black crime fiction and cited Kensington’s expertise and distribution muscle in the market for African American commercial reading. Zacharius said that the market for the kind of urban fiction Halloway offers, “is stronger today than when these books were first released.” And he said that Kensington’s sales and distribution channels will allow it “to bring Holloway House’s classic works of fiction to a much wider audience.”