An A-Z of (UK) Independent Publishers – P and Q

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. Not all publishers offer online ordering 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 P and Q

Panther Publishing

The Devil's Mark: a D.I. Graves Thriller (Book Three in the DI Graves Series)

Panther Publishing are a publishing company based in Wales. Publishers of gripping crime, thrilling thrillers, mysterious mystery, terrifying horror and spooky paranormal fiction. 


Paper Swans Press

At or Below Sea Level

Paper Swans Press is an independent publisher of poetry and flash fiction. We publish high quality anthologies, individual pamphlets and ‘Pocket Poetry’ books.

We run an annual single-author pamphlet prize and a single-poem competition. We are also involved in projects/events for and with our local community.


Pariah Press

Passing Time

Established in 2014, PARIAH PRESS is Jonny Walsh and Jamie Lee

We specialise in innovative literature; publishing mass-market paperbacks, ebooks, pamphlets and zines.


Parthian Books

Fear of Barbarians

A Carnival of Voices in Independent Publishing. Our titles reflect a diverse and contemporary Wales that cast a keen eye on the wider world.

‘For almost thirty years, [Parthian] have been one of the most consistently agile imprints in Wales.’ – Mike Parker, Planet Magazine

‘I’m always delighted to hear of new releases from Parthian because I know they will be of such a high standard. From the selection of its authors and topics covered through to the editing and production of the books, Parthian exudes quality. It puts out a dazzling, stimulating, thought-provoking selection of books on par with (if not better and more interesting than) the bigger publishing houses.’ – Jenny White, journalist  

‘a vital part of our publishing scene in Wales and great ambassador for the best of Welsh writing.’ – Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts at British Council Wales


Patrician Press

REBEL ALLIANCE: SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY

Patrician Press is a small literary press based in Manningtree, Essex.

Our aim is to encourage and promote writers of good-quality fiction and poetry. We like to take risks and believe in upholding and maintaining the standards for contemporary literature in today’s challenging, competitive and ever-changing world.

Patricia Borlenghi, who is hearing-impaired, has been working in publishing for several years. She set up the press at the end of 2012, after completing her MA in Creative Writing at the University of Essex.

Some books have an Italian flavour and some are politically-inspired anthologies of poetry, short stories and essays. Donations from the proceeds are going to various charities.


Peepal Tree Press

Daylight Come

Peepal Tree is a wholly independent company, founded in 1985, and now publishing around 20 books a year. We have published over 300 titles, and are committed to keeping most of them in print. The list features new writers and established voices. In 2009 we launched the Caribbean Modern Classics Series, which restores to print essential books from the past with new introductions.

We are grateful for financial support from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation since 2011; we were a regularly funded organisation from 2006. Arts Council funding allows us to sustain Inscribe, a writer development project that supports writers of African & Asian descent in England.

Our focus is on what George Lamming calls the Caribbean nation, wherever it is in the world, though we are also concerned with Black British writing of different heritages. We publish fiction, poetry and a range of academic and non-fiction titles. Our goal is to publish books that make a difference, and though we always want to achieve the best possible sales, we’re most concerned with whether a book will still be alive in the future.

We are based in Leeds in Yorkshire, part of an important independent publishing sector outside London. Everything happens at 17 King’s Avenue, in the Burley area, a rundown, multicultural part of Leeds (where business rates are low and you can get a good massala fish across the road). Visitors are always welcome and over the years a good many of our writers have called by.


Peirene Press

Yesterday


Peirene Press is an award-winning boutique publishing house, specialising in high-quality first-translations of contemporary European novellas.

We only publish books of less than 200 pages that can be read in the same time it takes to watch a film. We pride ourselves on publishing truly big stories in small packages.

Our books are beautifully designed paperback editions, using only the best paper from sustainable British sources. They are affordable, timeless collector items.


Peninsula Press

Sterling Karat Gold

Peninsula Press is an independent publisher founded, in 2018, by three booksellers: Jake Franklin, Sam Fisher, and Will Rees.


Penkhull Press

Excellence is the only genre.

We’ve never understood the rationale behind focusing purely on a single genre to the exclusion of all others. Sure, it might make marketing a little easier, but if it means turning our backs on that elusive work of genius then we think it’s well worth working that much harder. So you’ll see quite a spread among our authors, from children’s adventure to satirical fantasy, from historical fiction to demonic crime.

But they all have one important thing in common: they’re bloody good.

And that’s the only genre we’re interested in. Bandwagons don’t hold much stimulation for us, so don’t look for us rushing to catch the wave just because the fifty shades of vampire wizarding school field has just become hugely popular. We believe there’s a place for a genre-independent publisher who can be relied on for quality literature.

It may mean that we miss the trends, but we’d rather grow slowly and continue to be proud of what we publish.


Penned in the Margins

An Archive of Happiness

From modest beginnings as a reading series in a converted railway arch in south London, Penned in the Margins has grown over the last 15 years into an award-winning small arts organisation producing new work live, in print and online.

Our work regularly wins, or is shortlisted for, accolades including the Ted Hughes Award, the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Costa Book Awards and the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2017 Penned in the Margins was shortlisted for the inaugural Clarissa Luard Award for Independent Publishers.


Penteract Press

Slate Petals (and Other Wordscapes)

Penteract Press is a publisher of formal poetry. Our focus is on exploring the structural properties of poetry — in particular, the relationship between content and form. To this end, we aim to promote innovative constrained and visual poetry, as well as works that explore new uses of traditional verse forms.


Periscope Books

A MAN WITH A KILLER'S FACE

Periscope is a new imprint presenting bold, distinctive voices in fiction and non-fiction from around the world. Our founding comes during a dynamic, even tumultuous era. Yet, whilst the publishing industry is forever changing, our belief in the power of narrative to question, inspire, inform and stir remains constant.

We’re committed to bringing lovely books into the world as finely crafted objets befitting the prose they contain, and to seeking innovative and interesting ways to engage authors, publishers, booksellers and readers alike. Revelling in its size as a small publisher, Periscope can move nimbly in a heavily consolidated publishing environment. Dancing in the path of juggernauts, we can enable stories to be told that might otherwise be lost.

We hope you’ll join us.

AN IMPRINT FOR INDEPENDENT-MINDED WRITERS, READERS … AND BOOKSELLERS

Periscope is independent, and we like the company of other independents too. Booksellers in particular occupy a special place in our hearts: we believe passionately in the symbiosis of publisher–bookseller, even as we respect the digital book and the extraordinary convenience of online purchasing.

Bookshops are public spaces where readers can encounter writers, using all their senses, and well-curated bookshops complement well-produced books. If you’re a bookseller, why not contact us to find out how we can work together?


Persephone Books

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Persephone Books began in a room above a pub in the spring of 1998. Founder Nicola Beauman’s original concept was to publish a handful of ‘lost’ or out-of-print books every year, most of them interwar novels by women. The name Persephone was chosen as a symbol of female creativity, as well as of new beginnings (the daughter of Zeus is associated with spring). The company was initially run from a basement office in Clerkenwell and the first book published was William – An Englishman by Cicely Hamilton, with an endpaper named ‘Pamela’ designed by the Omega Workshop. After three years in the basement, Persephone book no. 21, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, became a word-of mouth bestseller (and later a film starring Amy Adams and Frances McDormand). Following its success, Persephone moved its office to Bloomsbury, also opening its first shop on the same premises. 

Persephone books are all grey because – well – we really like grey. We also had a vision of a woman who comes home tired from work, and there is a book waiting for her, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like because she knows she will enjoy it. Our books look beautiful because we believe that, whether they are on an office desk, by the Aga, or hanging in a bag over the handles of a pram, it is important to take pleasure from how they look and feel.

Early in 2021 after twenty years in Lamb’s Conduit Street, Persephone Books moved to Bath!


Peter Owen Publishers

The Gospel According to Lazarus

Peter Owen (1927–2016) started his company, aged twenty-four, six years after the Second World War.

He ran the business from home, with a typewriter as his only equipment. Soon, however, the company started to flourish, enabling him to employ some staff – his first editor was Muriel Spark. He was able to bring some of the very best international literature to what was a very insular British market.

In the decades since then, although the industry has changed beyond recognition, Peter Owen Publishers continues the tradition of producing new and interesting writing. The company has published seven Nobel Prize winners, including Hermann Hesse, Octavio Paz and Isaac Bashevis Singer, and boasts a backlist that includes some of the most talented and important writers from all over the world.

Peter Owen sadly died in May 2016, but his legacy lives on in the publishing house that carries his name and his commitment to publishing talented and exciting writers.


Pictish Beast Publications

The Outbreak

Welcome to Pictish Beast Publications. We are an independent publisher based in Glasgow, Scotland. We primarily specialise in publishing books with a broadly educational focus, although we do occasionally publish other types of books too.

Our fiction books for adults focus on the post-apocalyptic survival genre, and specifically contains books that explore the interface between post-apocalyptic survival, human psychology and science, rather than focusing on other aspects, such as horror or science fiction.


Pilrig Press

The Shoeshine Killer (The Scottish Lady Detective mysteries Book 2)

Pilrig Press started in late 2010 as an independent micro publisher based in Edinburgh.

They are passionate about good books and good writing.

Pilrig Press’ prime objective is to publish great literary fiction and great new crime fiction, and they are also interested in historical fiction and non-fiction with a focus on Scotland.

They want to encourage new Scottish talent but not exclusively, there are some fantastic new writers out there and they want to help them get published.

Pilrig Press published Craig Smith’s succesful 2014 novel about the Indyref debate, The Mile, and among others the work of crime writer Marianne Wheelaghan.

NB at time of posting unable to access website


Platypus Press

on a distant ridgeline

Platypus Press is an independent publisher of poetry, fiction & narrative non-fiction based in England.

Founded in 2015 by Michelle Tudor and Peter Barnfather, the press runs alongside our other project: wildness, an online literary journal.

We were honoured to be featured in Entropy’s Best of 2017: Presses, Magazines, Publishers & Journals list (alongside wildness), as well as being featured in Poets & Writers’ Small Press Points. We have also answered questions on the history (and future) of the press at Entropy and Poetry School.


Polygon Books (imprint of Birlinn Books)

A Rattle of Bones: A Rebecca Connolly Thriller (Book 3)

The Polygon imprint publishes literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern, by writers as highly acclaimed as Liz Lochhead, Agnes Owens, Norman MacCaig, Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown, Denzil Meyrick and the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith. High profile music journalists Stuart Cosgrove, Tom Doyle, Vic Galloway and Zoë Howe all publish non-fiction with Polygon.


Profusion Books

Greuceanu - Novel with a Policeman: Heroes, Gangsters and Diamonds (Profusion Gold)

Profusion is an independent British publishing house, based in London. We bring outstanding and popular crime writing from Eastern Europe.


Prototype Publishing

Republic Of Dogs/Republic Of Birds 2020

Prototype was founded in 2019 by Jess Chandler, co-founder of the independent publishing houses Test Centre and House Sparrow Press.

Established to continue and develop the work begun by Test Centre, Prototype is committed to creating new possibilities in the publishing of fiction and poetry through a flexible, interdisciplinary approach. Each publication is unique in its form and presentation, and the aesthetic of each object is considered critical to its production.

Through the discovery of high quality work across genres, Prototype strives to increase audiences for experimental writing, as the home for writers and artists whose work requires a creative vision not offered by mainstream literary publishers.


Provoco Publishing

The Hotel

Founded in 2020, Provoco Publishing is based on an idea formed between some previously self-published authors, artists, designers, editors, proofreaders, those people who do things with technology and I.T, and the owner’s son (musician and creative person)  and his best friend (legal person).

This small, talented bunch of people want to add you to Team Provoco, and they are always on the look out for would -be authors, poets, photographers, non – fiction writers., indeed, anyone who has a dream to get their written words or photographs into print. You could say the Team will make your Dream come true.

Offering a very personal yet professional service, this unique publishing house gives budding writers, poets and artists encouragement and enthusiasm in bucket loads which complements the talents of everyone who signs on the dotted line.

Provoco Publishing looks for diversity, which means authors can submit work in many genres, including fiction, fantasy, self-help, horror, comedy and erotica to name a few. Non-fiction work is also welcomed for biographies, factual content and memoirs.


PS Publishing

Chasm [Trade Paperback]

PS Publishing is a limited company based in the United Kingdom. Our aim is to produce high quality, collectable but affordable signed limited editions within the field of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

We put out our first four books in 1999 and we have published over 400 titles since. In between, we’ve had novels, collections, non-fiction – including a collaboration with Tartarus Press – a brand new short fiction magazine (Postscripts), an innovative new grandstand for up-and-coming talents (PS Showcase) and lots more novellas…

We’ve also won six British Fantasy Awards for the Best Small Press and have received similar recognition from the Horror Writers Association and have won the World Fantasy Award and the International Horror Guild Award.


Pushkin Press

The Village of Eight Graves (Pushkin Vertigo)

Founded in 1997, our list encompasses novels, non-fiction, crime, children’s books – everything from timeless classics to the urgent and contemporary. We publish some of the twentieth century’s most widely acclaimed and brilliant authors, including Stefan Zweig, Antal Szerb and Gaito Gazdanov, as well as award-winning current writers like the Dorthe Nors, Benjamín Labatut, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen and Perumal Murugan. Our authors have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the International Booker Prize, and even won the Nobel Prize.


Quartet Books – sadly closing (Bookseller 13/7/21)

Question Mark Press

Tales From The Coffee Pot

Question Mark Press publish dark books filled with thrills and spills….

QMP believes in new stories, and use our experience and advice to get them started. We also are passionate about great books, and a Pay-It-Forward attitude. Predominantly, QMP aims for Mystery, Psychological/Thrillers, and Horror, but we also consider Y/A, Contemporary Fiction and Comedy. So, if you’re thinking of publishing your book, look no further than here!

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