An A-Z of (UK) Independent Publishers – D

I’m focusing on UK based publishers of adult fiction, short stories and poetry. I’ll update my master list as I go along (or I’ll try too) but this fortnightly list will give a more personalised shout out.

During the current pandemic, we’re all aware that times are tough for indie bookshops and publishers so obviously if you can buy direct from them that benefits them more. During lockdown that isn’t always an option for hard copy books so instead, you might want to consider using or Hive – both of which offer a percentage of the sale to a bricks-and-mortar bookshop.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice a slight change in format from previous posts. As you’ll appreciate these posts are time consuming and one of the things that slows me down is sourcing/formatting example book covers into a standard sized image for each publisher. In addition this is eating into my storage limit as WordPress keeps adding these to my image files. So to speed things up (and slow down my need to upgrade) I’ve decided to lose the logo (another thing that needs time to source and format) and will use a sample book cover as the image, this will also be the link through to the publishers website – which also loses the need for a button.

If you know of publishers I’ve missed or want to help update my master list then please add details in the comments.

So here we go with D.

D’Ascoyne Press

Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal (Annotated Edition): Kind Hearts and Coronets (D'Ascoyne Vintage Book 2) Kindle Edition

We are a publisher that specialises in funny books, ones that make people laugh when they read them, not just smile grimly at one badly placed joke forty pages into the manuscript.  We want to laugh when we read your book, but not in a bad way.

Dahlia Books

The Almost Mothers

Dahlia Publishing is a small independent publishing press based in Leicester. We publish contemporary, original fiction and champion regional and diverse voices. Dahlia Publishing was established by writer and editor, Farhana Shaikh in 2010.

As a small press, we undertake most of our publishing jobs in house and are often under-resourced to do the things we love. For this reason, we can only publish what we really, really love. We publish 2-4 books each year and continue to build new audiences through our projects, The Asian Writer and Leicester Writes.

Our diversity policy is at the heart of everything we do and we’re passionate about bringing about much-needed change in the UK publishing scene. We would love for publishing to be more reflective of the multicultural society we live in. 

Darf Publishers

Darf Publishers is a London-based independent publisher with diversity and inclusion at the heart of its work.

Darf was established in 1981 as an English imprint for the long-standing Arab publisher Dar Fergiani which was established by the late Mohamed Bashir Fergiani in 1952 in Libya.

For three decades Darf focused on publishing and reprinting classical history and travel books about the Middle East, Africa and Asia in English. Much of the back catalogue is facsimile editions of rare 18th and 19th-century books, mostly in the fields of history, travel, literature, languages, poetry, culture, theology and sport.

After a major restructuring, Darf embarked since 2014 on establishing itself as a leading publisher in translating new emerging writers from around the world into English. Recent publications included works of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books from Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Faroe Islands, Indonesia and Japan.

(The) Dark Horse Magazine


The Dark Horse was founded in 1995 by the Scottish poet Gerry Cambridge. It is an international literary magazine committed to British, Irish and American poetry, and is published from Scotland.

​We like to think that the journal is characterised by a clear-sighted scepticism and an eye for the genuine. We understand that hype, in its presumption of consensus, is irrelevant to readers of any individuality. Not that we equate poetry with solemnity. We are, by turns, or sometimes simultaneously, serious, wry, humorous, iconoclastic.​

While we are glad to print poetry in metre and rhyme, we remember Randall Jarrell’s “Where poems have hearts, a metronome is beating here.” We believe that we can recognise poems of sound heart. Not being evangelical or overly partisan, we also print compelling free verse.

The contemporary poetry scene, for all its colour, has a short memory which has less to do with quality than with fashion. We attempt to honour literary quality, not literary fashion.

Daunt Books Publishing

A Touch of Mistletoe | Barbara Comyns

Daunt Books Publishing is an independent publisher based in London. Founded in 2010, we grew out of Daunt Books, an independent chain of bookshops in London and the South-East. We publish the finest and most exciting new writing in English and in translation, whether that’s literary fiction – novels and short stories – or narrative non-fiction including essays and memoir. We also publish modern classics, reviving authors who have been overlooked and publishing them in bold editions with introductions from the best contemporary writers. We are responsible for bringing the work of Sybille Bedford, Dorothy Baker, M.F.K. Fisher, Natalia Ginzburg and Vivian Gornick back into print. In 2020 we launched Daunt Books Originals, an imprint for bold and inventive new writing in English and in translation. The first authors on this list include Elisa Shua Duspain (translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins), Kathryn Scanlan, Amina Cain, Brenda Navarro (translated by Sophie Hughes) and Brandon Taylor.

Daunt Books Publishing is part of the Independent Alliance and our books are distributed by Faber & Faber in the UK, or available to buy in our own shops and on our website.

Dead Ink

Exit Management

Dead Ink is a small, ambitious and experimental literary publisher based in Liverpool. Supported by Arts Council England, we’re focused on developing the careers of new and emerging authors.

We believe that there are brilliant authors out there who may not yet be known or commercially viable. We see it as Dead Ink’s job to bring the most challenging and experimental new writing out from the underground and present it to our audience in the most beautiful way possible.

Our readers form an integral part of our team. You don’t simply buy a Dead Ink book, you invest in the authors and the books you love.

Dean Street Press

Dean Street Press is a publisher devoted to producing, uncovering, and revitalizing good books.

Our list includes literary, general and crime fiction. Our non-fiction range includes music, entertainment, history, biography, memoir, art and sport.

Our first titles were published in February 2015. In October 2016 we proudly introduced Furrowed Middlebrow, an imprint dedicated to women writers of the early and mid-twentieth century, in collaboration with associate publisher Scott Thompson and the Furrowed Middlebrow blog.

death of workers whilst building skyscrapers

I started the small publishing press, death of workers whilst building skyscrapers as a platform to self-publish my first book, blues not worth bad skin in 2017. From there, more writers got in touch and I developed relationships with them, editing and publishing their work.

The premise of death of workers is built upon the disappointments of so-called “reality,” sharing work that is challenging, experimental and against convention, searching for human spirit and voice that is not controlled by the media.

Currently, we have a range of books, chapbooks and broadsides in stock—to name a few, we have our most recent book publication a collection of poems, Housing Haunted Housing by Oscar Mardell (2020). In his own words: The story of a utopian/ modernist project gradually falling into decline and ruin—or at least, obscurity and disregard. 

Dedalus Books

Chasing the Dream (Dedalus European Classics)

Dedalus is a publisher of literary fiction and began publishing on November 30th 1983. Our first list consisted of three first novels, one of which The Arabian Nightmare by Robert Irwin has been translated into twenty languages and is now considered a modern classic.

The Dedalus list includes contemporary English language fiction, translated European fiction in the Decadence from Dedalus, Dedalus European Classics, Dedalus Europe 1992 -2012, Dedalus Euro Shorts series and Dedalus Anthologies. Dedalus also publishes literary non-fiction in the Dark Master, City Noir and Concept Book series.

Dedalus has invented its own distinctive genre, which we term distorted reality, where the bizarre, the unusual, the grotesque and the surreal meld in a kind of intellectual fiction which is very European.

Dedalus has sold rights in the books it has originated into twenty-three languages and twenty-eight different territories, finding a worldwide audience for its authors.

Our mission is to be unique: an exciting, innovative and distinctive alternative to commercial publishing, to find new talent and put British publishing at the heart of Europe.

Dodo Ink

Garden Among Fires: A Lockdown Anthology

Dodo Ink is an independent publishing company based in the UK. Founded by author Sam Mills (The Quiddity of Will Self, Corsair, 2012), digital publishing and marketing specialist Alex Spears, and reviewer Thom Cuell, Dodo Ink will publish original fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on risk-taking, imaginative novels and innovative, thought-provoking non-fiction. We are looking for books which don’t fall into easy marketing categories and don’t compromise their intelligence or style to fit in with trends. We are passionate readers, and we believe that there are many more who share our appetite for bold, original and ‘difficult’ fiction. We want to provide a home for great writing which isn’t being picked up by the mainstream.

Doghorn Publishing

The Lunar Tickle

Dog Horn Publishing is a boutique publisher of challenging and exciting fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry.

Dog Horn has two subsidiary imprints: Fruit Bruise Press (literary and poetry titles) and Superbia Books (chapbooks and anthologies from Manchester-based LGBT writers, in association with Manchester Pride’s Superbia and Young Enigma).

Dome Press (authors now moved to Canelo)

Dostoyevsky Wannabe

Never Mind The Beasts

Dostoyevsky Wannabe is mostly managed and run by Victoria Brown these days and the pace is a lot slower than previous years so please bear with us.

So what is Dostoyevsky Wannabe and why all the imprints? We’re not sure or we can’t quite remember and we can’t really say they have any kind of coherence at the level of the writing. Still, we decided we liked making up imprints so we have a few and we’ll probably have more later.

Who doesn’t like a good imprint anyway? We might firm up these imprints eventually and make them mean something more. We might. Or we might not.


Stanley and Elsie

Founded in 1898, Duckworth is one of Britain’s oldest publishers still under independent ownership.

Duckworth encourages curiosity in our world through accessible and stimulating works of biography and memoir, popular science, psychology, and history. We also have a passion for compelling, impeccably researched historical fiction. Founded by the family of Virginia Woolf in 1898, we have published incredible authors including D.H. Lawrence, Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh, Beryl Bainbridge and Oliver Sacks. This great tradition continues with our award-winning authors Ray Kurzweil, Victoria Glendinning, Julia Child, Thomas E. Ricks and John Spurling, to name but a few.

Dunlin Press

Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher

Dunlin Press is an independent publishing house based in the artistic community of Wivenhoe, Essex. Its focus is emerging writers and visual artists whose work is intelligent, thought-provoking and beautiful, and which for various reasons might prove difficult to place with more established or commercial publishers. Dunlin Press publishes works of fiction and non-fiction, poetry, photo-essays, illustration and more.

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