An A-Z of (UK) Independent Publishers – a round up.

I’m just mopping up this week and featuring the publishers I discovered after I’d posted ‘their’ featured alphabetical listing. Going forward any further publishers I uncover will be added straight to my master listing. I’ll review this periodically to remove any that may have sadly fallen by the wayside, or alternatively have gone mainstream as a result of a takeover.

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.

I hope you’ve found my shout outs useful, either as a source of new indie reading or as a possible publishing solution. If you know of publishers I’ve missed and want to help update my master list then please add details in the comments or email me at jillsbookcafe@gmail.com

I’m focusing on UK based publishers of adult fiction, short stories and poetry.

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.

3 of Cups Press

Tell Me Who We Were Before Life Made Us: An Anthology

Founded in 2017, 3 of Cups Press is a small press, focusing on inclusive publishing. We share a vision for a more equal, more peaceful, more inclusive world and we are dedicated to providing a platform for voices otherwise unheard in the mainstream. We are a team of women and non-binary folk, and are disability-led. 

Our first project is a series of anthologies, starting with On Anxiety, published in January 2018, and On Bodies, published in October 2018. Our third, On Relationships, is due to publish January 2020. These anthologies provide a platform for writers and artists and a starting point on how to tackle issues such as mental health, our relationships with our bodies, political activism and more.

We believe that art and literature can be activism. In pursuit of a more fair, more equal world, all of our contributors are paid for their work.


The 87 Press

The Softest Sleep

Radical Small Press. We publish experimental literatures at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and neurodiversity.


Ad Hoc Fiction

Don't Tell the Bees (Novella-in-Flash)

Ad Hoc Fiction is an award winning small independent publisher specialising in short-short fiction since 2015. This year, 2021, we are thrilled to have been chosen as a regional finalist for the Book Seller Small Press Awards.

We are closely associated with the Bath Flash Fiction Award and produce anthologies of micro fiction from their thrice-yearly Awards, novellas-in-flash from their yearly Novella-in-Flash Award and anthologies of stories from participants at Flash Fiction Festival UK.

We also publish individual collections of flash fiction by local and international authors. In addition to the collections of short-short fiction, we also produce the yearly Bath Short Story Award anthology, and have recently launched a new craft book series on all aspects of writing flash fiction.


Agora Books

The Girl in the Maze

We are Agora Books and we publish writing we adore, stories that keep us up at night, and, put simply, really good books.

Agora Books is part of Peters Fraser + Dunlop, one of the longest established literary and talent agencies in London. We are a digital first publisher with a diverse list of fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary, old favourites and the next big thing.

Previously known as Ipso Books, we were established in 2015, and we’re now embarking on a new adventure as Agora Books.

Inspired by the ancient Greek marketplace, we want to provide a platform for fantastic writing – in whatever form it comes


Black Bee Books

Arianwen

Based near Llandeilo, in Wales, Black Bee Books operates with a small team who work closely with our authors. Our focus is on books and authors with links to Wales.


Blackbird Books

Only Human: A gripping tale of love, lies and betrayal by the winner of The People's Book Prize for Fiction

Launching in Dec 2009, our brand identity has gradually emerged. We are resourceful, adventurous types living life to the full. We love birds and animals, travel, history, art, romance, natural health and environment, enterprise, humour, the surreal and magic.

Our aim is to build our name into a quality brand that readers and authors can trust. Old School ideas like manners, trust and communication with our authors and contributors are important to us. Our 50/50 contracts are built around flexibility and co-operation.  We are here to look after our authors’ long-term careers. We continue promoting our books long after the traditional 3-month launch window. Digital publishing means that the days of a book being ‘over’ and out of the retail market before it has had a chance to shine are over. 


Black Light Engine Room Press

Press, mostly Poetry. Middlesbrough, North East England. Live Night. You’ve probably never heard of us. Chief biro pusher and Editor: p.a. morbid


Black Spring Press

Paper Romance

IN 2021 WE’RE CELEBRATING 36 YEARS OF LITERARY QUALITY AND EXPERIENCE!

Eyewear Publishing Ltd. joined up with Black Spring Press (with its imprint Dexter Haven) in 2019 to form a new Indie boutique press group of cultural reach and quality in the heart of London, UK.

Founded in 1985, The Black Spring Press list had published literary classics and major figures, including Leonard Cohen, Orson Welles, Anais Nin, Momus, Carolyn Cassady, Charles Baudelaire, Nick Cave, and many more. It was named after the classic by Henry Miller, a collection of stories entitled Black Spring, published in 1963 by the important indie company Grove Press in New York. It is dedicated to Anais Nin. Hence, the identity and vision of the press was declared instantly, as celebrating outsider, underground, outlaw, radical and avant-garde voices and styles, unafraid of exploring taboo subjects and expressing the truths about human lives.

We are a small press, with a small team, part of the Independent Publishers Guild as well as the Publishers Association.


Burton Mayers Books

Complete Darkness: A Darkmatters Novel

Burton Mayers Books are a Bespoke Publishing Company that specialises in helping exceptional authors publish their literary creations. We passionately believe that everyone has a story to tell and that we can help you write, edit, design and distribute your novel or nonfiction work to a global audience through our distribution channels.

We never ask any of our accepted authors for money upfront.  We can publish our titles in paperback, hardback, premium colour picture books and the popular Kindle and eBook format.  We work with you, the author, to help you and your book reach its full potential.  Read more about our services and ethos here, including self publishing options for writers and illustrators who don’t meet our criteria.


Cinnamon Press

Crossword Solver

Cinnamon Press is a small, independent family-based, publisher run from a hamlet in a forest in Brittany, with outposts in Wales and Warwickshire. We began publishing in 2005 in a small village at the foot of the Moelwyn Mountains in Snowdonia, North Wales and we are proud of the significant number of Welsh authors on our list, as well as authors from across the planet.

We believe in publishing books we feel passionate about; small miracles from distinctive voices. Cinnamon Press books are not defined by genre but by their unique ability to be thought-provoking, say something innovative and go beyond the mainstream.

Cinnamon is proudly different. We don’t do social media; it’s neither innovative nor supportive of independent thought. Instead we value a community of readers and writers who don’t so much buy our books and courses as participate in our story by investing their time and resources.

We’ve won and been shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year, Best Book of he Year Scottish Book Awards, The Saltire Prize and been shortlisted (sometimes several times) for The Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Saboteur Awards and the Not the Booker Prize, and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Award and many other prizes. However, we think having readers who love our books trumps awards every time.

We’ve been publishing gorgeous books of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction for more than fifteen years and you can keep in touch with our story through the blog and newsletters.


Claret Press

Bored to Death in the Baltics

A Micro Publisher of Stories about Politics, Issues and Places

Stories are also the single best way to promote dialogue. Informed, provocative and thoughtful, Claret Press wants to be part of the conversation about the issues facing us. And if there’s no conversation, then we’ll start one. Our books don’t shy away from the big questions, but aren’t defined by them either. We want to reverse the trend of careful publishing shaped by corporate needs, and instead be a platform outside the framework of traditional publishing.

Most importantly, our books are just great page-turning reads

Claret Press meets all the costs of editing, designing, publishing across multiple formats and marketing our books. So we can only publish a limited number of books a year. We specialise in mysteries and thrills and chronicles and memoirs. New York audiobook producer Essential AudioBooks has turned seven of our books into audiobooks. Drachenhaus Verlag has published the German translation of Brushstrokes in Time by Sylvia Vetta. Mercuria Press in the USA has republished Sarah Gray’s books. Black Tea by Stephen Morris has been shortlisted for a Royal Society of Literature Award. 

If you like books like this, or are interested in the crazy adventures of building idea-sharing and dialogue by publishing gripping narratives, subscribe to this website. Once a month (but frequently less often than that), you’ll get a newsletter about literary events, our latest books, information from the world of micro-publishing, and cute photos of the Claret Press pets. 


Conrad Press

Gemini Day

The Conrad Press was founded at the end of 2015 by writer and literary agent James Essinger. The Conrad Press is named in honour of the great Anglo-Polish writer Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), who spent the last few years of his life in the village of Bishopsbourne near Canterbury and is buried in Canterbury.

The Conrad Press is interested in publishing all kinds of fiction (including contemporary novels, historical novels, fantasy novels, Young Adult novels and stories for children), and general non-fiction of all kinds including, but not limited to, memoirs and biographies. We also publish poetry collections, playscripts and screenplays. Please note that we do not publish books that have large numbers of illustrations and/or photographs (in practice about 20 per book is our maximum) and we do not usually publish books shorter than 15,000 words in length.


Dark Edge Press

Lawless: A gripping terrifying medical thriller

We are a progressive publishing house founded in 2020. We put our authors and their works at the centre of everything we do. We are passionate about helping writers reach their creative dreams and achieve literary success. We are Wales’ No. 1 crime fiction publisher, but we also publish some of the best literary fiction, contemporary romance novels, and popular historical fiction. Read more to learn what we can do for you and your next masterpiece.


Fum d’Estampa Press

Wilder Winds

Brought to fruition in 2019, Fum d’Estampa Press brings award-winning Catalan language poetry, fiction and essays to English translation. We work with some of the most exciting and well-known translators to bring English-language readers the very best in European translated literature in books that are beautiful to both read and hold.

Our authors and translators have won many prizes for their work and you can go to their individual pages for more information.


Fusion Press

Marbles Marvels

New indie publishing company formed in Feb 2021 – (I fear they may have already folded)


Ghost Orchid Press

Blood & Bone: An Anthology of Body Horror by Women and Non-Binary Writers

Established in January 2021, Ghost Orchid Press is an independent publisher of horror, Gothic, and supernatural fiction based in Cambridgeshire, UK. We are dedicated to championing new and emerging authors in these increasingly popular, versatile genres.

Since its roots in 18th Century Gothic novels, horror has been a genre dedicated to innovation and diverse voices. Now, in the 21st Century, we’re seeing a huge upsurge in popularity for the genre, particularly when it comes to traditionally-marginalised voices. Ghost Orchid Press strives to tap into this progressive vein with our anthologies like Blood & Bone: An Anthology of Body Horror by Women & Non-Binary Writers, and the forthcoming Beyond the Veil: Queer Tales of Supernatural Love. As we move into 2022, we are planning to publish several novellas, which will continue to showcase a wide range of voices.


Guts Publishing

Sending Nudes: short stories and poetry

An independent publisher in London. We publish ballsy memoirs and racy anthologies. Our goal is to support exceptional writers so readers can find bold life stories (and that other stuff they call fiction) in the marketplace. 


Ignition Press

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is home to ignitionpress 

Established in 2017, ignitionpress is a poetry pamphlet press with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets. In the future, we plan to work with established poets who are developing interim or special projects. Pamphlets published by the press have so far received four Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice selections (for A Hurry of EnglishHingeRipe, and Sargam / Swargam) and Hinge by Alycia Pirmohamed was also shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award, 2020. 


Lolli Editions

The Dolls

Lolli Editions is a European publisher based at the Barbican in London. We publish contemporary fiction that challenges existing ideas and breathes new life into the novel form. Our aim is to introduce to English-language readers some of the most innovative writers that speak to our shared culture in new and compelling ways, from Europe and beyond.

Antonio Lolli was an itinerant 18th-century composer who lived between Scandinavia, England, Russia and Italy. Transcending traditional, national “schools”, Lolli worked from the ethic that artistic thought, and the means through which it could express itself, should be the basis of art, rather than following the predetermined rules of a school.


Luna Press Publishing

This Is Our Undoing

Luna Press Publishing™ is an award-winning independent UK press, founded in 2015 by author Francesca T. Barbini. We deal with Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dark Fantasy, in both fiction and academia. We are also a proud member of Publishing Scotland.

We work with agents, published authors and new writers. We take pride in our family – the Luna family – and we work hard to promote and support it.


Mills & Boon

Italian Playboys: Seduction: The Sheikh's Last Seduction (Oosterse nachten) / Saved by the CEO / Sheikh's Forbidden Conquest

Founded in 1908, Mills & Boon is the UK’s number one publisher of romantic fiction.

Across every romance genre, from historical to contemporary, rom-com to erotica, our compelling, uplifting romances guarantee an instant escape to fantasy worlds, and the heart-warming reassurance of ‘happily ever after’. We are proud to publish over 1,300 authors, including international chart-topper Nora Roberts, RoNA winner Annie O’Neill and multi-million copy bestseller Sharon Kendrick.

Mills & Boon publish over 700 new titles a year, with manuscripts from 200 authors living in the UK and a further 1,300 worldwide. Every 10 seconds there is a new Mills & Boon book sold within the UK. 

There are currently 7 different Mills & Boon series, with something for everyone: 


Papillote Press

Dangerous Freedom

Papillote Press is a small, independent publishing house specialising in books about Dominica and the wider Caribbean. We publish a range of books, both fiction and non-fiction. We hope that these books reflect the culture and literary heritage of these islands and make them known to a wider audience.

We are happy to consider manuscripts or ideas and would be delighted to work with anyone to develop a book. We like to like what we publish and take pride in editing, design and production.


UEA Publishing Project

Space Odes

We are interested in publishing in its broadest sense:

  • Short monographs – single or co-authored
  • Full-length monographs – single or co-authored
  • Audio/visual work for digital publication
  • Performance work for audio/visual recording  
  • Creative writing, creative/critical writing, life-writing; fiction, poetry, non-fiction; essays, journalism and everything in between for Boiler House Press
  • Literary translation and related projects for Strangers Press
  • Speculative, para-academic works that are provisional, or playful; academic ‘spin-offs’ appropriate for print and/or digital publication
  • Formally experimental approaches to all modes and forms of writing
  • Extant publishing projects in need of improved distribution

Tell us what you’re working on and we’ll discuss the best means, method, or form of publication. 

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