Quality paperback books, at a price the ordinary man could afford, hit the streets of London in 1935. This was the vision and gamble of Allen Lane, a gamble that more than paid off - by the following year the newly formed Penguin Books had sold 3 million paperbacks.
Over the years the familiar orange spine and the famous bird of the logo ensured that Penguin books would become the trusted and treasured companions of generations of readers.
In 1970 Penguin became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson Longman Ltd, now Pearson plc, and it was in the '70s that a distribution office selling UK published books was set up in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Almost 80 years after its inception Penguin remains a brand accorded strong recognition around the world, and today the Penguin Group has companies in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, China and South Africa, and distribution networks for its titles around the globe. And each of those companies has its own vibrant indigenous publishing division.
Penguin publishes in all formats and in a number of imprints, and its publishing covers a very broad range of subjects for both adults and children. Its imprints are recognisable each in its own right - Alastair Sawday, Allen Lane, Alpha, Avery, BBC Children's, Brady Games, Dorling Kindersley, Fig Tree, Hamish Hamilton, Michael Joseph, Particular Books, Portfolio, Puffin, Quadrille, Razorbill, Rough Guides, Sunbird, Viking, Warne.
Today Penguin Books South Africa is a leader in the book publishing industry in South Africa. Besides our own South African list, we sell, market and distribute books from the rest of the Penguin Group, as well as a number of prestigious publishing houses.
In July 2012, Penguin acquired the world's leading self-publishing company Author Solutions Inc.
Penguin Books South Africa has a head office in Johannesburg, but is also strongly represented in Cape Town and Durban.