“11 MORE Indie Presses You Should Know About”
About a year ago, I wrote “10 Awesome Indie Presses You Should Know About.” The list stopped at 10, but in the last year I’ve found so many more presses doing amazing things. So I knew I needed to create a part two.
Finding the right press for your personality can feel like literary tinder. Some have to win you over. Some, you swipe left and keep on moving. And others, you connect with right from the jump. Finding the perfect press really does feel like meeting your perfect match, whether you’re a writer trying to figure out which one is best suited for your book or a reader looking to fill your (already too full) bookshelf. With these two blog posts, I’m confident that you’ll find whatever you are looking for.
Each of these presses are worth knowing about if you don’t already. They were started by people like you and me, just a few inspired individuals who discovered authors making important art and highly entertaining books. Their stories are inspiring and relatable, and the work they put out is unique to each press.
So here are 11 more indie presses you should know about, in no particular order. Just like the last one.
After showing Ezra Pound his poems for months, James Laughlin decided to ask him for some career advice. “He urged me to finish Harvard and then do something useful,” recalls Laughlin on New Directions’ about page. That something useful turned out to be New Directions Publishing, which Laughlin created in 1936. Now based in New York City, this indie press publishes a number of international and experimental books all year long, and their catalog is definitely worth checking out.
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, cofounder of Cassava Republic Press says, “We want to convert minds. We want to convert them to begin to question who they are but also [to] question society.”
She and Jeremy Weate founded this indie press in 2006 in Abuja, Nigera but have now expanded their business to the UK as well. They publish a wide variety of books, including fiction and nonfiction for adults as well as children, all with the intent of having the black and African person be reflected in literature.
Bakare-Yusuf thinks that “In any society, you have to see yourself reflected in what your consuming.” They want to inspire readers to start asking questions about African writing while publishing titles that accurately portray daily life and culture in Africa.
This literary press is owned and operated by siblings Mikaela and Joseph Grantham. “Based out of New Orleans and somewhere else,” the pair uses their press to publish books that evoke emotion. In their words, “We publish work that is often difficult to categorize, work that is sometimes a struggle to put into words. That struggle means something is happening.” They publish fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction with “unapologetic writing.” If you’re in the mood to do some browsing, head over to their virtual bookstore.
Black Spot Books releases titles in speculative fiction. You can go to them to fulfill all of your thriller, fantasy, paranormal, and dark fiction needs. They are a young press with loads and loads of upside. Laura Morrison’s Come Back To The Swamp even won an IBR Book of the Month contest last year, and I’ve heard only great things from Sam Hooker’s Peril in the Old Country. Check out their current books here.
An independent boutique publisher based in San Francisco, Yellow Pear Press publishes incredible nonfiction, cooking, and lifestyle books. But they’ve got journals and stationary too. Their titles are always super cool and unique, like Hoppy Trails, a field guide to NorCal craft breweries, and like Local Eats London, whose name speaks for itself. They publish fiction under an imprint called Bonhomie Press too!
This not-for-profit press has been publishing new and extraordinary voices from the American South since 1995. With a strong commitment to writers from the lesser-heard southern communities like LGBTQIA and people of color, we’re really excited about the type of work they’ve been up to. Also, they just shared Leesa Cross-Smith’s Whiskey and Ribbons with the world, so clearly they’re doing something right.
This nonprofit press has been publishing both poetry and prose about poetry since 1972. They started out in Denver, but now, they’re calling Washington home. They publish new collections by emerging and established authors through their collections and anthologies, and since their start, they’ve published over 400 titles. That includes work by Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Laureates, and National Book Award winners. Ch-ch-check out those books!
Founded in 2010, this Utah nonprofit publishes authors who speak up for the land. They “develop literary resources for the conservation movement, educating and entertaining readers, inspiring action.” They hook readers in with their intriguing cover art and then educate and inspire them with their fiction and nonfiction. With titles like Microfarming for Profit: from garden to glory by Dave Dewitt and The Talker: Stories by Mary Sojourner, this press’s catalog will make you want to head out West—or at the least to the outdoors.
Though Catapult launched just a few years ago, they have already made a great name for themselves. They’ve published fiction and nonfiction that has gone on to win notable awards, and their online lit mag is just as impressive. Then, when they’re not busy working on all of that, they’re running writing classes in-person and online. Talk about our kind of press!
Browse their virtual bookstore.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bridge and Tunnel Books aims to celebrate the locals! Whether through art, poetry, or fiction, they publish work from the Pittsburgh region to share with the world. Their works like The Bee Book and 24-Hour Flowers are so beautifully illustrated and informational that I couldn’t help but mention them in our list.
With over 350 books published since they started in 1980, I think it’s safe to say Milkweed Editions is doing pretty well for themselves. Housed in the popular Open Book building in Minneapolis, Milkweed editions shares the space with literary neighbors such as The Loft Literary Center, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and their own bookstore. Four million copies of their literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are in circulation. So get reading!
Which awesome indie presses should I check out next? Let me know in the comments!
About the Author
Jaylynn Korrell is a nomadic writer currently based in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @JaylynnKorrell.
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