|Founder||Dennis Loy Johnson and Valerie Merians|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Brooklyn, New York|
|Distribution||Penguin Random House Publisher Services (US)|
Turnaround Publisher Services (UK)
Melville House Publishing is an independent publisher of literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The company was founded in 2001 by the husband and wife team of Dennis Loy Johnson and Valerie Merians in Hoboken, New Jersey The company is named after the author Herman Melville It has a reputation as an "activist press" and publisher of left-leaning books.
The company was founded by husband and wife team of Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians. Dennis wrote a blog MobyLives and after the 9/11 attacks collected poetry related to the event and published it as a book to great success, which launched the company. In an early interview, Merians told The New York Times that the company was formed as an impromptu reaction to the political climate of the moment that she thought the company would amount to no more than "an out-of-the-back-of-the-car kind of thing." The company has a reputation as a "activist press" and became known for works of "political reportage with a leftist streak". Johnson once said they formed the company with the notion of "getting Bush out of office" in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
In 2007, they were named by the Association of American Publishers as the winner of the 2007 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing. Melville House has won several AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) awards for its cover and interior designs.
In 2008 Melville House moved to Dumbo, Brooklyn, to a location that combines a glass-wall bookstore with their offices, which are behind revolving bookshelves. The opening was on January 19, 2008. In 2013, Melville House started a sister company in the United Kingdom, Melville House UK.
Melville House publishes books in several series. These include the Art of the Novella Series which The Atlantic called an "ongoing celebration of the form", and includes classics by Miguel de Cervantes, Anton Chekhov, Virginia Woolf. The Neversink Library, "a collection of lost, forgotten, and 'foolishly ignored' books from around the world". The Last Interview series, which collects interviews with prominent writers, including the last interviews given before their deaths, has included Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick and Nora Ephron.
In 2014, it published the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in just 19 days; and later that year, an edition of the Pope Francis' Laudato si', an encyclical on climate change, soon after the Pope released it. The speed of publications has been called "extraordinary" for the industry. In 2016, Melville House published The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston. Melville used a process they call "crashing the book" to work around the clock and bring the book out in 27 days. It beat other Trump books to press that summer and went on to spend four weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
- "Our publishers". Turnaround Publisher Services. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
- Lewis Beale (July 28, 2002). "NEW JERSEY & CO.; When Publish or Perish Is More Than Just Words". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
- John Fassler (April 24, 2012). "The Return of the Novella, the Original #Longread". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
- Tyler Woods (April 4, 2017). "This Indie Publisher Is Throwing the Books at Trump". TheBridge. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
- Shavin, Naomi (2015-08-04). "Why an Indie Press in Brooklyn Is Publishing the Pope". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
Publishing the Torture Report cemented their reputation as a self-described “activist publishing company.”
- Alexandra Schwartz (December 19, 2014). "Turning the Torture Report Into a Book". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
works of political reportage with a leftist streak
- John Maher (September 2, 2016). "The Making of 'The Making of Donald Trump'". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
- "MELVILLE HOUSE CO-PUBLISHERS DENNIS LOY JOHNSON AND VALERIE MERIANS ARE NAMED 2007 MIRIAM BASS AWARD WINNERS" Archived 2007-10-12 at the Wayback Machine, Association of American Publishers press release dated February 6, 2007. Accessed October 24, 2007.
- "RATTLING THE CAGE AT THE AAP ANNUAL CONFERENCE FOR THE LARGE AND LESS THAN LARGE", ForeWord (magazine), March 14, 2007. Accessed October 24, 2007. "One of the most moving moments of the week came when Dennis Loy Johnson and Valerie Merians, co-publishers of Hoboken, NJ based Melville House received the Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing at the opening of the conference."
- AIGA 2006 winners list
- "Melville House moved to Dumbo, Brooklyn". Archived from the original on 2008-02-01.
- Philip Jones. "Some people never learn: Johnson & Merians start a new company ... Melville House UK » MobyLives". Melville House Books. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
- Melville House Publishing (26 September 2016). "Neversink Library Page". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- Maureen Corrigan (January 11, 2016). "Revisiting The 'Last Interview' Of Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick And Nora Ephron". NPR. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
- Melville House Publishing (26 September 2016). "Last Interview Series Page". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- New York Times (12 August 2016). "New York Times Best Sellers List, September 11, 2016". New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2016.