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 R
We’re a group of experienced publishing professionals who’ve chosen to become the home of Crime and Thrillers that don’t conform to genre standards, and seek to empower strong independent voices.
At Rat’s Tales we make books like we mean it; with no-holds barred enthusiasm, uncompromising creativity, high quality paper and illustrations – yes, illustrations! We believe that outstanding stories deserve an outstanding presentation – which is why we pair our authors with artists that create striking imagery to complement their prose.
If you loved or hated (we won’t hold it against you, promise) any of our books, or have anything to say at all, we really do want to hear it: Let’s talk!
Read and Co. Books
Based in Bristol, Read and Co. is a British independent publishing house specialising in the restoration and revival of beautiful out-of-print treasures, and forgotten voices. With an eclectic list spanning a multitude of subjects, it provides readers with books that spark imagination, inspire wisdom, and encourage thought and conversation. Read & Co. is a small publisher with a big heart and even larger plans.
The Real Press – really independent history publishing. We try to break out of silos. Do you?
As the big players have consolidated, so there is now a multiplicity of minnows – not exactly nipping at their heels; they are doing something different – but taking on the mantle of publishing.
It was one of the main reasons why I wanted to start the Real Press.
But there is another problem for us minnows. The big publishers still enjoy a stranglehold over the book trade. To succeed, all too often you have to accept their genre definitions and demarcations. Are you a thriller writer or a historical author, or do you produce ‘chick-lit’? It has to be one of a small number of acceptable genres and definitely not more than one at a time.
That has been a problem for me since my second book, a travelogue about new kinds of money (Funny Money) that I believed and hoped would set people free, was unfortunately defined by Waterstone’s as ‘accountancy’! It is also a problem for any of us who hold onto our right to be our own authentic selves, outside the conventional definitions if we want to be.
For those of us who cling to the idea that we are not machines for processing, not clones, not IT programmes nor pixels, this matters. Because the new truths and insights, the new breakthroughs, emerge in the cracks between conventional demarcations. They come to life when the conventional definitions are allowed to spark off each other. That is what makes real, emotional, creative human progress possible.
That is the raison d’être of the Real Press. To publish history, yes, but in its broadest possible sense, between genres and tried and tested definitions. To see history where nobody else does. To break new ground and push at boundaries of genres. To be comfortable in the discomfort we cause to the conventional, the staid and the dyed-in-the wool.
Rebellion Publishing is the award-winning publishing arm of leading European games development company Rebellion.
Founded in 2000 by Rebellion owners Chris and Jason Kingsley with acquisition of legendary UK comic imprint 2000 AD, Rebellion Publishing has expanded over the last 15 years with the creation of cult imprint Abaddon Books in 2006, acquisition of SFF powerhouse Solaris Books in 2010.
We’re proud that Rebellion Publishing has been consistently at the forefront of SFF publishing: we’ve been DRM-free on all our digital sales since our first electronic title in 2006; released a wide range of award-winning and fan favourite anthologies; and continued to promote a policy of publishing a diverse range of fiction from award-winning, bestselling and exciting new talent.
Based in the UK we’re an international publisher of the finest in traditional and cutting-edge Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Crime.
Richard Nathan and Koji Chikatani are two international publishing executives with a wealth of experience who have been friends for more than 20 years. Though fluent in Japanese, Richard has always wanted to read the very best Japanese creative writing in English; and for years it’s been Koji’s ambition to make the best Japanese contemporary writing accessible to readers outside Japan.
So together they have set up Red Circle with the aim of bringing the works of some of Japan’s finest authors to a wider international public, while at the same time building their international reputations. In doing so, Richard and Koji are convinced that readers, no matter where they live, will be captivated and thrilled by the sheer brilliance and inventiveness of Red Circle authors.
The company’s select circle of authors are already established and well known in Japan. Indeed, many have won Japan’s main literary prizes, had their works adapted for film and television, and have had numerous titles included in the lists of bestsellers in Japan.
In November 2018 Red Circle launched its publishing programme with its series Red Circle Minis. Each of the books is a first edition written specifically for the series and is being published in English first.
Red Circle is now working very closely with its authors to build their careers, profiles and readership globally.
Red Circle’s logo, which consists of two fused circles, drawn using a traditional Japanese calligraphy brush and ink, by each of the Company’s founders, reflects its approach and strategy of bringing together companies, organisations and individuals with a love of and fascination with contemporary Japanese creative writing.Red Circle is also working on new projects and more books with its curated circle of authors.
Red Dog Press
Small Indie Publisher bringing you the best new voices in crime, mystery and thriller.
We started Red Dog Press to feed our passion for reading thrillers with a twist. We wanted to find new voices, both authors and characters, and give them the chance to shine. As a team, we are obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller, but we tend to enjoy our dastardly tales with a twist of something else.
We’re not talking about a twisty ending—that’s standard. No, what makes us happy is a surprising and original angle on a familiar theme, and characters whose jobs allow them to get into scrapes without them having to follow procedure.
We love a twisty, creepy mystery, and we love a clever sci-fi. We adore edge-of-the-seat reads that keep us guessing from start to finish. We like bending genre, blending worlds, and upending tradition.
Red Door Publishing
RedDoor Press is the UK’s leading hybrid publisher.
We’re not a traditional publisher. We love traditional publishers – it’s our background – but things are hard for them. They have always been selective in who they will take on, but in today’s environment they can afford to take fewer and fewer risks commercially or artistically.
We’re not a self-publishing service. Self-publishing services perform a great role: they allow anybody to get in print, and they give the author complete control over their finished book, to market as they please. But however excellent a book might be, it’s much harder to make it stand out when it’s published alongside anything and everything.
What we are is a hybrid of the two models. RedDoor operates exactly as a traditional publisher in that we market, sell and represent subsidiary rights on a curated list of top-drawer titles. We have a small roster of authors we believe in, and are extremely selective about who we take on.
‘Extremely selective’ is just that – our business stands or falls by the quality of our list. We publish very few books annually, and we won’t take anything on if we can’t get completely behind it.
Our authors underwrite the cost of the production process of the UK edition of their book. This is the element we take from the self-publishing model; it shares the initial commercial risk for us, meaning that our sole consideration can be: ‘will this be a great book?’ It also gives the author immense control over every aspect of the process.
After this point we share the commercial returns equally. We’re invested long-term in the book’s success through sales and through subsidiary rights representation – another reason that we can only consider titles of genuine merit.
Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. We want our authors to feel involved, informed and fully supported. They are part of the team, all working towards the same goal: making, marketing and selling brilliant books.
Red Squirrel Press
Red Squirrel Press is a self-funded independent press based in Scotland. It was founded in April 2006 by Sheila Wakefield and has published over 200 titles to date. It publishes poetry pamphlets and full collections. The most recent publications are highlighted at the bottom of this page. Please browse our catalogue for details of titles in print and available.
Red Squirrel Press showcases young poets such as Claire Askew and Andrew McMillan as well as more established names like James Kirkup, William Bedford, Tim Turnbull and James McGonigal. To submit your own work, please visit our submissions page.
Red Squirrel Press is the publisher partner of the Scottish Writers’ Centre.
Reflex Press launched in December 2018 as a spin-off from the Reflex flash fiction competition. After two years of running the competition and reading over three thousand pieces of flash fiction from over one thousand authors, we came to an inevitable conclusion: there is a lot of outstanding fiction being written, most of it by unpublished authors, most of whom are destined to remain unpublished.
That’s a situation we want to change. As a small, independent press, we are able to take risks on the forms largely ignored by mainstream publishing: flash fiction, short stories, and novella-length fiction. We’re also not afraid of writing that is challenging, unusual, or just plain weird.
If you’re a writer ready to publish your first book, or if you’ve dipped your toe into the flood of self-publishing and are looking for a traditional publisher for your next book, Reflex Press could be the publisher for you.
RENARD PRESS is an independent publisher, launched in June 2020. Covering both classic and contemporary titles, Renard publishes fiction and non-fiction, theatre and poetry; the emphasis is on good writing, properly edited, and our books can be found in convenient modern formats – in a world increasingly lived online – as well as in beautifully designed and well-produced editions.
Renard considers design and production values to be fundamental in independent publishing, and we don’t believe anyone should have to read books – from classic theatre to contemporary fiction – in yellowing, crumbling editions with cramped typesetting and poor legibility. If we consider a book to be an artefact, rather than a mode of inhaling words, it’s important to think about the papers used, as well as the colours, typefaces, pictures – all the little details which make us treasure the books on our shelves. After all, no two books are the same – why should they be published as though they were?
We don’t want to ‘change how people read’, but we are passionate about good writing, and want to facilitate reading in all the ways people read – which is why we provide free digital downloads if you buy from our website, and we produce ebooks in all mainstream formats, too – and we also want to stimulate conversation about reading itself, and provide a platform for the promotion of it, which is why we have a focus on our News section. Over time we look forward to amassing an archive of opinion, resources, quizzes, interviews, the odd game and the Long Reads we all enjoy to try to find time for.
Perhaps most importantly, Renard places a premium on being accessible – we don’t want our editions to be overly scholarly, or our site hidden behind paywalls – and we aim to make our platform and editions as accessible and inclusive as we can. A big part of this is in fostering young talent – so we look forward to working with young and varied authors, artists, techsters and publishers in the making.
Repeater Books is a publishing imprint based in London, founded in 2014 by Tariq Goddard and Mark Fisher, formerly the founders of radical publishers Zero Books, along with Etan Ilfeld, Tamar Shlaim, Alex Niven and Matteo Mandarini.
Retreat West Books is an independent press with an environmental and social conscience publishing beautiful paperback books and ebooks.
Initially started in 2017 to publish the anthologies of winning stories in the competitions we run, between 2018 and 2020 we also commissioned novels, short story collections and memoirs; and published three anthologies to raise funds for environmental and social charities.
The impact of the 2020 pandemic means we are now permanently closed to open submissions and after the release of The Naming of Bones by Jan Kaneen in April 2021, will then only be publishing work that comes through the competitions.
To help keep indie publishing alive, the best place to buy our books is direct from us. Although with Brexit now having become a reality, we can only send paperbacks within the UK because of new customs rules and extortionate costs.
You can also purchase our titles on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, Foyles, Waterstones and WHSmith. You can also order them through independent bookstores and libraries.
Welcome to the website for The Rialto, where you can find out who we are and what we do, read poems from the magazine, and connect up with our social media pages. You can buy subscriptions, single copies, pamphlets and books. You can learn how to submit your poetry for possible publication, and you can read articles and blogs by the editors, poets and guest writers.
The Rialto magazine is edited by Michael Mackmin working with Rishi Dastidar, Edward Doegar, Will Harris and Degna Stone, who are graduates of our Editor Development Programme.
We’d like to say thank you to our loyal subscribers and to the Arts Council of England whose support and encouragement over years have made possible The Rialto. We invite you, reader, to join the team: help make poetry happen by subscribing now.
The founding editors, Michael among them, believed in a ‘Republic of Poetry’, an inclusive and diverse world of poetry, one that was open to experiment in form and content. We strive to keep this vision alive.
The magazine appears three times a year and each issue, with its spacious A4 pages, has fifty or so poems, an editorial and occasional, commissioned, prose pieces. Most of the space is occupied by the best new poems we can find, all wrapped up in our famously vibrant beautiful covers.
The Rialto has been called ‘Simply the best’ by Carol Ann Duffy and ‘A terrific magazine’ by Seamus Heaney.
BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS
At the start of the new millennium The Rialto published a short run of first collections. In 2005 we turned our energy to publishing pamphlets and began our Bridge Pamphlets list. These have so far been by poets who we’ve asked to submit work. We also run a regular poetry pamphlet competition which has become a fixture of how we discover new work. Oh, and we haven’t forgotten about first collections – we launched Dean Parkin’s The Swan Machine at last autumn’s Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, and published Matt Howard’s award winning Gall in 2018.
Laura Scott’s pamphlet What I Saw won the Michael Marks Award in 2014, and three of the early first collections were winners of major awards.
Rough Trade Press
ROUGH TRADE BOOKS, is a publishing house brought to you by the minds behind Rough Trade Records.
This new adventure in ‘capitalism’ is in the spirit of the pioneering independent record label, trading books and other wares of the same originality and radical direction.
Anyone interested in acquiring said wares can do so via this website, and through the most excellent independent retailers around.
Please subscribe to stay up to date on all the exciting happenings and publications we create.
Route is a terraced publishing house in the north of England with a principle commitment to authentic stories and good books. Our titles have been bestowed with Book of the Year Awards from Rolling Stone Magazine, Mojo, Rough Trade, Guardian, Northern Soul, Morning Star and Reader’s Digest, and have been deemed worthy of being shortlisted for the James Tait Memorial Prize for Fiction, Penderyn Music Book Prize, NME Book Award, Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award and PEN Ackerley Prize.
RYMOUR BOOKS was founded in 2020 by Ian Spring and Ruby McCann. It incorporates books published earlier under the imprint Hog’s Back Press, originally set up to publish books on the Scottish folk tradition (the imprint is still used for certain academic titles). Our intention is to publish quality Scottish books by current authors and reprints of works of Scottish substance worthy of further attention.