Stratemeyer Syndicate was created by Edward Stratemeyer around 1905. The idea came when Stratemeyer realized that it is not necessarily the author of a book that makes money, just the person who holds the copyright. He created a number of childrens book series, including Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and The Bobbsey Twins, all published under pseudonyms. Ghostwriters were hired to write the books, often from Stratemeyer's outlines or suggestions. The authors were paid a one-time flat rate for the books and received no royalties. Over 1200 books in 150 series were eventually written.

Stratemeyer's daughter ran Stratemeyer Syndicate after her father's death in 1930. The hired writers continued producing books until 1979, when the company was sold to the publisher Simon & Schuster. Most of the series have since then been discontinued.