Peter M. Mayer (born 1936) is an American independent publisher who is president of The Overlook Press/Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc., a Woodstock, New York - based publishing company he founded with his father in 1971. At the time of Overlook’s founding, Mayer was head of Avon Books, a large New York - based paperback publisher. From 1978 to 1996, Mayer was CEO of Penguin Books, where he introduced a flexible style in editorial, marketing, and production . Previously, while at Avon Books, Mayer successfully launched the trade paperback as a viable alternative to mass market and hardcover formats. Recently, Mayer financially revived both Ardis, a publisher of Russian literature in English, and Duckworth an independent publishing house in the U.K.