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 O
Obliterati Press came about when novelists Wayne Leeming and Nathan O’Hagan, stablemates with Leeds-based punk publishers Armley Press, realised they had a shared dream of starting their own indie press. A year on from that first casual chat over a huge garlic Naan bread, they decided to stop dreaming and make it happen. They each share a passion for the kind of edgy work that mainstream publishers may overlook and want to provide a place where good writers can be showcased.
Obliterati Press is a publisher for writers set up by writers keen to use the experience they have gained to unveil great new voices.
Offa’s Press is dedicated to publishing and promoting the best in contemporary West Midland poetry and poets. It will do this through a series of publications and performances where the watchword will be ‘good on the page and good on stage’.
Offa’s Press is eclectic in range. It receives some development funding from Arts Council England and is run as a co-operative by a number of regional writers and poets with Simon Fletcher the Editor / Manager.
Offord Road Books
Offord Road Books is a small independent press founded in London in 2017.
ORB publishes a focused list of bold, beautifully printed books & pamphlets, which have won or been shortlisted for accolades including the Ledbury Forte Award, PBS recommendations, the Forward Prize for best first collection,
& the T. S. Eliot Prize.
Old Street Publishing
Founded in 2006, Old Street is an independent British publisher of fiction and non-fiction. Recent highlights include Tom Drury’s acclaimed ‘Grouse County’ trilogy of novels, We have been harmonised by Kai Strittmatter, The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre, which won the 2020 ‘Crime Fiction in Translation’ Dagger, and James Hawes’s global bestsellers, The Shortest History of Germany and The Shortest History of England.
I’ve stopped taking on new authors for the time being due to the difficulties of gaining traction in a very changed publishing arena – from just a few years ago. I’ll now be concentrating on my own projects – both literary and otherwise.
Here at Olympia Publishers, we are proud to say that we publish talented authors from across the world. All of our books and authors are enormously special in their own way. We believe that a story can evoke a large range of emotions; they can make you cry, make you laugh and, most importantly, change a life. Unlike some independent publishing houses, we pride ourselves on our wide range of genres and giving ambitious new authors the chance that is so rarely available in the publishing industry today.
In the last ten years we have evolved with the industry, moulding our marketing and production departments to suit the ever growing and changing market. Not only have we grown an impressive following on our social media platforms, but we have considerably expanded our reach and marketing potential through various different mediums and techniques. This includes creating various book trailers and videos, expanding our distribution networks, writing engaging content and connecting to readers through our blog, setting up radio and news interviews, as well as book launches in various stores all over the world.
We are completely dedicated to each of our authors, and work hands on with authors and media contacts in order to give every book the best start in life. We’re always looking for ways to reach a larger audience, embracing more recent mediums such as eBooks and audiobooks. We strive to extend our reach into the new, modern age of publishing.
One World Publishing
Oneworld was founded in 1986 by husband and wife team Juliet Mabey and Novin Doostdar as an independent publishing house focusing on stimulating non-fiction. Now publishing over 100 books a year, Oneworld has retained its founding commitment to the old-fashioned principles of great writing, editorial excellence, high production values, and marketing flair, to produce books that are read by the intellectually curious all over the world.
Our fiction list showcases intelligent, challenging, and distinctive novels that sit at the intersection of the literary and the commercial: emotionally engaging stories with strong narratives and distinctive voices. In addition to being beautifully written, we hope our novels play their part in introducing the reader to a different culture or an interesting historical period/event, and deeply explore the human condition in all its vagaries. We aim to publish novels that matter, that stay with you long after the last page is turned.
We have always brought an international approach to our publishing, reflecting the global society in which we live. We work with authors, literary agents and publishing partners throughout the world, and achieve effective international distribution through a comprehensive network of distributors and representatives.
We are an independent publisher and lifestyle brand based in the UK. Founded by 2 black women in 2018, we want to disrupt the creative industries by offering opportunities to voices we need to hear more from.
At Onwe, we value three things above all: creator ownership, expressing marginalised ideas, and highlighting diverse voices. Our mission is to amplify diverse voices and express under-represented ideologies across all creative industries via unique content, products and experiences.
We’re small but we’re mighty and we have a team dedicated to ensuring that creatives get paid their due for their world-changing work.
Open Pen launched in 2011, as London’s first “Open Literature” magazine. What this really meant, to us at least, was that we wanted to encourage writing from anywhere and anyone, and we wanted to give it to you for free.
In 2018 we start publishing books, in particular novelettes. Buy them here: openpen.shop – you’ll also find our Anthology, published by Limehouse Books in 2016, and cost of post and packaging subscriptions to our magazine.
Our aim remains to publish work that is both interesting and relevant, and encourages growth within our talented, fertile, literary underbelly.
Orenda Book is a small independent publisher based in South London. We publish literary fiction, with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and roughly half the list is in translation. We currently publish authors from fifteen different nations … and counting.
Orenda Books was founded by publisher Karen Sullivan in 2014, and our first books were published in 2015. In 2016, Karen was a Bookseller Rising Star, and Orenda Books was shortlisted for the IPG Nick Robinson Newcomer Award in 2015 and 2016. We won the CWA Crime & Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger in 2020 and were a regional finalist for the Small Press of the Year Award in the British Book Awards in 2021.
Orenda is a Canadian First Nations word, which loosely translates to ‘the mystical power that drives human accomplishment’, and its provenance is a part of Ontario, Canada, where Karen has spent every summer of her life.
Orphans was founded in 1873 support the Leominster orphanage Quaker missionary Henry Stanley Newman had opened four years earlier. His mission was to teach the older children a trade that would set them up for life.
Today, we want to tell stories that help people connect; stories that reflect the world we live in and that open up conversations. Just like our Victorian founder, we’re passionate about local community but also offering a wider perspective on the world.
We believe that telling a gripping story has been around since humans have been able to string two sounds together. The venues and media may have changed, but the demand is constant. And could well be growing.
Ouen Press is a young independent publisher seeking to establish a close working relationship with a small ensemble of gifted story-tellers, capable of offering readers compelling tales.
If we had to spell it out in one word what we are about, the word would be commitment.
– to our authors, long term.- to the novel, printed & electronic.- to our readers – read after read.
Out-Spoken Press is a London-based independent publisher of poetry and critical writing. It was established in 2015 by poet and Editor Anthony Anaxagorou with the aim of providing a platform for compelling writing from voices that were (and remain) under-represented in mainstream publishing.
OWN IT! is a storytelling lifestyle brand, publishing and producing powerful stories across books, music, art and film. We are also a literary, film and TV agency representing truly exciting talent.
At the heart of everything we do is a desire to share, empower, celebrate and inspire. Whether through multi-media digital books, print books, music, art or film, OWN IT! releases and represents original and authentic stories.
We’re aware that pursuing a career as a writer/artist can be financially hard and fear that as a result of this the world is missing out on talented and important storytellers who have a valuable contribution to make to culture and society. This is why we split all net profits across all revenue streams 50/50 with everyone we publish through OWN IT! Stories.
Ōzaru Books is a boutique publisher based in the Kentish village of St Nicholas-at-Wade.
Our primary focus is on books with a local connection, including books about Thanet and books by East Kent authors or translators, but we have a secondary interest in works in translation, particularly from Japanese.
This is such a valuable service you are providing, Jill – thank you!
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Thanks Margaret, I’m glad it’s proving useful.
I had no idea there were that many independent publishers out there, let alone ones starting with “O”
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There are probably even more that I’ve missed, but it’s difficult to track them down.
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As always, I thank you for all the research.