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.
Each entry features a sample book cover which clicks through to the website. The accompanying ‘about’ information is taken from each publishers website at the time I put this post together.
If you know of publishers I’ve missed or want to help update my master list then please add details in the comments.
Due to the pandemic, we’re all aware that times have been tough for indie bookshops and publishers so obviously if you can buy direct from them that benefits them more. Though bookshops are now open, some of you might still not feel comfortable venturing out so you might want to consider using Bookshop.org or Hive Books.co.uk – both of which offer a percentage of the sale to a bricks-and-mortar bookshop.
So here we go with H
Handheld Press sells remarkable and wonderful stories from the past and the present. We publish the novels that you won’t want to put down, and the stories you’ll want to give as presents. Handheld Press books are beautiful objects, designed with care, a pleasure to read.
Handheld Classics present forgotten fiction and authors who need to be rediscovered, with introductions by experts and astonishingly useful notes.
Handheld Research tells stories from scholarly research, in plain English.
Handheld Modern brings you excellent modern fiction from living authors.
The idea of a book publishing house promoting new voices came about in April 2016. Our first book was published in 2017. Fast forward and Hashtag Press is an award winning indie publishing house and has published bestselling, award-winning books. Created by award-winning book PR Helen Lewis and award-winning children’s/ young adults author Abiola Bello (co-founders of The Author School) building on decades of combined experience in publishing, PR, writing, research, media and journalism.
We publish everything from commercial children’s, middle-grade, YA, adult fiction and inspiring non-fiction books. We are passionate about books with strong female characters, diversity and inclusion and when we read your book, we want to fall in love with the characters, laugh or cry (or both!). We have different tastes. Helen is a more non-fiction, psychological thriller kind of girl and Abiola is obsessed with YA/ middle-grade, children’s and chick lit, so we both need to love your book.
Hashtag Press was awarded Publisher of the Year from The People’s Book Prize on July 23rd 2020.
Haunt Publishing was founded in 2018 and is an independent publisher of Gothic fiction in all formats. Dedicated to exploring both traditional and contemporary Gothic literature, Haunt promotes global and underrepresented voices.
We publish Gothic, horror and dark fiction.
Haunt is led by Rebecca Wojturska, who loves all things Gothic. With three dissertations in Gothic literature and almost a decade’s experience in publishing, she has finally combined her two loves.
Head of Zeus (HoZ)
Head of Zeus is an award-winning independent publisher of genre fiction, narrative nonfiction and children’s books. We are based in Clerkenwell, London, but our reach is global. We have published 93 (and counting) #1 bestsellers around the world, won 21 literary prizes and two industry awards. All our writers, whether debut author or Sunday Times bestseller, are published in digital, print and audio formats with a zeal that merges talent with tradecraft and technology.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Head of Zeus sprung into existence on 3rd January 2012 in an attic just off Seven Dials in central London. We comprised five people, three desks and a chair. Over the next 100 days, we commissioned 100 books and published our first three titles in print and eBook in July.
We were at the forefront of the eBook revolution. In 2013, seven Head of Zeus authors spent a total of 216 days in the top three of the Amazon.co.uk bestseller chart. In 2015 we won Digital Business of the Year at the British Book Awards. The Bookseller commented: “Digitally led but with print very much in mind, Clerkenwell-based Head of Zeus might just be setting the template for trade publishers of the future to follow.”
In 2017 we won Independent Publisher of the Year. The judges said “From start-up to profitable multi-million pound business in just four years, Head of Zeus is one of the brightest stars of trade publishing – a textbook example of using e-books to get traction. But what most impressed the judges was how it has pivoted from a digital-focused list to a true hybrid… Head of Zeus is enjoying steep print growth through the TCM.”
Now eight years old, HoZ is an established independent with a clear sense of identity and purpose. We aspire to innovate and lead rather than imitate and follow.
Welcome to Hedgespoken Press. Born in 2015 as part of our endeavour to build a travelling storytelling theatre (see below), we are a very small enterprise and we rely on word of mouth to spread the news about our books and prints and everything we do. For all that it is a double-edged sword, social media is a place where many people find out about what Hedgespoken makes and does and who we are. We would be very grateful if you could help our efforts.
We believe in the power of art and the written word, just as we believe in the power of old stories told by starlight and fire. We believe that all these things are important.
Henningham Family Press
Henningham Family Press is the collaborative art and writing of David and Ping Henningham. We are both Artists and Authors, and we are curious about every aspect of writing, printing and publishing. We complete and represent our writing through fine art printmaking, bookbinding and performance.
Books and Prints are machines for communicating ideas, and the ideas that fascinate us tend to involve Money, History and Religion. We exploit the fact that reading makes the dead available for comment. We make live shows that bring our books and ideas to life.
Mr. Beethoven by Paul Griffiths and The Blackbird by Claire Allen are the first two titles in our Historiographic Fictions series, in which we publish novels that add new techniques to the writing of historical fiction.
Mr. Beethoven by Paul Griffiths
The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2021 Longlist
Republic of Consciousness Prize 2021 Longlist
The Goldsmiths Prize 2020 Shortlist
A The White Review Book of the Year 2020
Hera is a brand new, female-led, independent digital publisher, founded in 2018. We’re on a mission to publish the very best in commercial fiction. Let us tell you a story…
From gripping psychological suspense, police procedurals and serial killer thrillers, to romance, heartwarming sagas, quirky uplifting fiction and sexy, glamorous contemporary fiction – whatever your reading tastes, Hera has you covered!
Hercules Editions is an independent press combining poetry and prose with art and archival material, to create beautiful small books and prints. We’re based in Lambeth, the site of artist-poet William Blake’s last home and printing works in Hercules Road.
Hercules Editions was founded by poet Tamar Yoseloff and designer and art editor Vici MacDonald in 2012, with the aim of bringing together new poems with visual imagery. Their first publication, Formerly (featuring Tamar’s sonnets in response to Vici’s photographs of liminal London spaces) was hailed by Owen Hatherley as “a direct and quietly urgent dispatch from a familiar but disappearing London”. It was shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
Heroic is the next generation in Fantasy Fiction publishing – combining traditional publishing and authors’ services with exciting, leading-edge innovations and high-end quality. Heroic authors can share their work like never before.
We represent creatives too – from illustrators to narrators to graphic designers. Heroic has it all, all in one place.
We also play host to what will be the world’s largest fantasy book club which in turn will help promote literacy and build schools across the globe.
Heroic is different.
Whether you’re an author, creative or Fantasy fan, Heroic aims to put you ahead of the pack.
Herself Press aims to revive the work of women writers from the North of Ireland by reissuing, or publishing for the first time, their work. Its focus is on prose — novels, short stories, essays, journalism, memoir — by women writers whose work has fallen under the radar.
Herself Press is a twinkle in the eye of Averill Buchanan, a freelance fiction editor with a PhD in English Literature and a background in graphic design. She is author of Mary Blachford Tighe: The Irish Psyche (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011).
Hesperus Press is an independent publishing house founded in 2001 and based in London, United Kingdom. Our motto, “Et Remotissima Prope” is a Latin phrase which means “Bringing near what is far”.
Hesterglock Press is co-run by Sarer Scotthorne & Paul Hawkins. We started in 2013, publishing pamphlets & themed, pocket-sized poetry anthologies under the name of Boscombe Revolution. In 2016 we began to use print-on-demand services, which enabled us to start publishing books (without any start-up capital or other middle-class finance model(s)), publishing mainly experimental poetry that cuts across forms. We like to publish mostly the future-facing.
In 2018 we started up a new imprint, Prote(s)xt, initially to experiment with a different publishing model.
Hic Dragones is a creative writing and literature organization, based in Manchester UK and formed in 2010. Our ethos is intelligent, but a bit weird. We run training, education and development events in the UK, with a focus on monsters, horror, dark fiction and the strange. Hic Dragones also publishes dark fiction and markets a range of Murder Mystery Games.
Hic Dragones is the brainchild of Hannah Kate, a Manchester-based writer of poetry and urban fantasy. Hannah has worked as a tutor of English, Creative Writing and Popular Culture, and as a Creative Writing mentor and fiction editor. Like all true monsters, Hannah has more than one identity. She is also Dr. Hannah Priest, an academic writer and researcher based at the University of Manchester. As Hannah Priest, she has published articles on medieval romance, werewolves, fairies and contemporary fiction.
In 2012 Hannah was joined by Rob Shedwick; a musician (writing as Digital Front), artist, and self-confessed CSS meddler from Manchester. Rob is also Hannah’s partner outside Hic Dragones.
Hic Dragones is an arm of Juniper Manton Ltd, a health, social care and education consultancy.
Welcome to Hideaway Fall, a fresh, independent publisher in the north of England. We eat, breathe and sleep books, just like you…
We believe that the big players in the publishing world are overlooking so many talented authors out there because the manuscripts they submit do not fit into their rigid profiles. We exist to change that and make sure that some of the outstanding new talent is read by a wider audience.
We are a brand new and unique publishing house and we are delighted to have signed nationally-shortlisted author M Jonathan Lee as the first in the Hideaway Fall family. We hope to invite others to join us as we grow.
Hikari Press was created in 2016 by Isabel Brittain with funding from the Arts Council of England and its first book was published in 2017. Isabel, who commissions and curates Hikari’s list, has worked in the literary arts for over twenty years and in publishing for fourteen. She has an MA in Children’s Literature and, in addition to running Hikari Press, she is a Director at Enitharmon Editions.
Hikari is Japanese for light. Our focus is on simplicity and quality. In keeping with this focus our use of social media is kept to a minimum.
Welcome to Hobeck Books. We’re a new family-run independent publisher of adult fiction in the following genres: thrillers, mystery, crime and suspense.
Created by partners Rebecca Collins and Adrian Hobart, together they bring 50 years of combined experience in media and publishing.
Our ethos is simple: we aim to support and nurture our family of authors, giving their work the full editorial and marketing polish, allowing them to reach creative and commercial potential.
From hardback, paperback, ebook and audiobook, we have the expertise to bring authors and readers together.
Holland House Books
An independent publisher specialising in literary fiction and non-fiction, crime, and historical fiction.
Holland House began in 2012 and our first novel ‘The Absent Woman’ by Marlene Lee was published the following year.
Since then we have published over 30 books.
We are represented by Signature Book Representation (UK) Ltd and distributed by Central Books.
We work in partnership with the charity The Reading Agency.
Robert is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and regularly gives talks and teaches Masterclasses at Reading University.
He does freelance mentoring – when there is time.
Holland Park Press
Holland Park Press Ltd publishes literary fiction and poetry and places special emphasis on bringing the work of Dutch authors to the English language market.
We work in partnership with our authors. We use the latest technology and the internet to power our innovative publishing process and to encourage the interaction between authors and readers.
Geographical boundaries do not exist in the web world so we are taking full advantage and we market our books around the world.
Honest Publishing is a British independent book publisher of both fiction and non-fiction. Founded by three friends in 2010, the company strives to publish alternative, original voices, and to provide an audience for unique writers neglected by the mainstream.
At Honest Publishing, we are proud of our commitment to producing and promoting high quality literature, and take great care to ensure that honesty and integrity lie at the heart of our business practices.
Honno is an independent co-operative press run by women and committed to bringing you the best in Welsh women’s writing.
It was established in 1986 by a determined group of volunteers who wanted to increase the opportunities for Welsh women in publishing and bring Welsh women’s literature to a wider public. They asked the people of Wales to show their support for the new enterprise by becoming shareholders in the cooperative and in the first six months more than 400 people bought shares. Honno continues to be supported by hundreds of individual shareholders who believe in its work.
True to its roots the press still only publishes work by women of Wales. Most of Honno’s titles are novels, autobiographies and short story anthologies in English as well as Classics in both Welsh and English. We have in the past also published poetry, children’s and teenage titles and books in both Welsh and English.
Over the years the Press and its titles have been awarded many awards.
It is guided by the Honno Committee of volunteers who set the strategic direction of the Press, decide the publishing programme and manage the office and staff. The Honno office is located in the mid-Wales coastal town of Aberystwyth.
Honno receives financial support from the Books Council for Wales.
We accept manuscripts only from students and graduates of MA creative writing courses – new writers who have sacrificed time and money to improve their fiction.
“You don’t need an MA to be a good writer.”
This is absolutely true! However, publishing fiction is a tough business with so much financial risk – while a few novels make a profit, many do not.
So we’re opening a new track to fiction publishing – the difference is that the writer will share the financial risk with us and pay for some of the publication costs.
This is not a new idea. Many publishers are already asking solid writers to share costs.
It will not be an easy route to publication. We will only accept manuscripts that have merit – those with a strong plot, good characterisation and a writing style that engages the readers.
Hope Road was founded in 2010 by Rosemarie Hudson who has always wanted to encourage exciting new talent, publish those authors herself and bring them to our attention. Her emphasis has been to promote the best writing from and about Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, with themes of identity, cultural stereotyping, disability and injustices are of particular interest.
Rosemarie was joined in her venture by Pete Ayrton, founder of the hugely respected independent publisher Serpent’s Tail. Pete is Editor of HopeRoad’s imprint, Small Axes. He is looking to republish out of print post-colonial classics – those books which helped to shape cultural shifts at the time they were first in print, and which remain as relevant today.
Horrific Tales Publishing
Horrific Tales Publishing was founded in 2011 by Graeme Reynolds with the intention of creating a publishing house that he, as an author, would ideally want to work with.
That meant ensuring that every book published was produced to the highest quality possible, and that authors were given fair contracts, payment terms and that royalties were paid promptly, while keeping abreast of changes in the market to ensure that each title was marketed in the most effective manner possible.
With the money earned from the presses first two titles, High Moor and High Moor 2: Moonstruck, the company was expanded to produce a limited number of top quality novels each year from some of the genres most promising new authors. In 2016, the press will begin publishing premium novella titles from more established authors in addition to the core novel titles.
HVTN Press (aka Haverthorn)
Seeking writing that resists simple classification and easy escape, writing greater on the inside and than the sum of its parts.
Good new poetry in here, guaranteed.
The work included shows an editorial eye for quality and imagination, indicative of a careful approach to looking for the best of what’s out there. This is achieved without being flashy or showy, but with a quiet nerve and determination. There is a terrific range of styles and approaches from gritty and real, to experimental. If you haven’t heard of HVTN, you will very soon.
Gosh, H seems to be the letter of choice for great independent publishers. Head of Zeus and Handheld Press are two of my personal favourites.
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Wait until you see some of the others to come!
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