“7 Indie Genre Fiction Publishers to Keep an Eye On”
by Joe Walters
We love indie presses. We review them. We talk about them. We do just about everything we can to tell the world that there are more books out there than the ones that fill your local Barnes & Noble and indie bookstore.
We celebrate the enthusiastic people all across the world who want to publish great books and keep readers engaged. That’s why we want to tell you about them in blog posts like these. Indie presses deserve your support, attention, and praise.
But did you know that a good majority of indie presses specialize only in literary fiction? Well, you do now.
So what does that mean for the genre fiction books? There are readers out there who want to be thrilled, wooed, scared, or taken to distant lands. Can those readers only consume books by the big five publishers?
No! There are incredible indie presses who specialize in genre fiction, too. Since IBR opened in April 2018, I’ve been searching for some of the best indie genre fiction publishers out there, and today, I’m going to introduce you to a few of them.
If you’re a reader, support these indie presses and give their recent releases a shot. And if you’re a genre fiction writer, scroll through their websites. Some of them have open submission periods right now or will be opening soon.
Without further ado, here is “7 Indie Genre Fiction Publishers to Keep an Eye On.”
1. Joffe Books
This East London publisher aims to keep your heart pumping furiously. With their impressive selection of crime, thriller, and mystery novels, they’ve been hitting best-seller lists seemingly since their inception. They publish great books that “say something interesting about the world as you see it,” while thrilling you with heart-pumping plotlines. They’ve gotten bigger each year, and I really can’t wait to see what kind of mystery they’ll cook up for us next.
It’s hard to pick one book for you to keep an eye on, but I’m not sure you could go wrong with T.J. Brearton’s Dead or Alive or You Can’t Hide by Steve Parker.
2. Tiny Fox Press
Buckle up. You’re about to travel to new worlds with Tiny Fox Press. This Florida-based publisher produces commercial fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, military, bizarre, and funny fiction too. Scroll through their digital bookstore to check out their beautiful covers and mystical plotlines like The Great American Deception by Scott Stein and Office Preserves by Galen Surlak-Ramsey.
And for those who like to read on the run, Tiny Fox produces audiobooks of a few of their titles too.
3. Literary Wanderlust
Let’s spread the word about this emerging Denver-based publisher! Having opened in October 2014, they’ve been doing an awesome job promoting works in women’s fiction and romance, some erotic romance, paranormal and urban fantasy, crime and mystery, historical and western, as well as sci-fi and fantasy. In other words, if you’ve written some high-quality genre fiction, Literary Wanderlust might just publish it.
We had the pleasure of reviewing the rom-com Crisis Desserted by Katherine Laurin, but they’ve got other intriguing titles like the paranormal mystery Past Presence by Nicole Bross.
4. Owl House Books
This genre and YA imprint of Homebound Publications has been up to some great work since their 2015 inception. They publish only 2-4 full-length works a year, so they are highly selective, but that also means that what they do publish, they’re extremely proud of. Head over to their website for their eye-catching covers and creative premises in the science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and thriller genres.
The Seas of Distant Stars by Francesca G. Varela actually won the IPPY Gold award for science fiction in 2019, and Original Syn by Beth Kander is another thrilling title that is worth checking out before the sequel drops.
5. Eraserhead Press
Pull your blanket up to your eyes and keep the lights on. Eraserhead Press is bringing you the best in bizarre and cutting-edge horror books. Founded in 1999, this small press releases new books every month, so you’ll have plenty of stories to get freaked out about. And honestly, that sounds like a pretty great thing.
It’s located in Portland, Oregon, and it has branched out to showcase four different imprints. That’s when you know they’re dedicated to making sure you’re just as scared as you want to be. Keep an eye on books like Cherry Blosson Eyes by S.T. Cartledge and The Drive-Thru Crematorium by Jon Bassoff. If you dare.
6. Cozy Cat Press
Inspired by the queen of the cozy mystery Agatha Christie, Cozy Cat Press is helping readers put together the pieces of the puzzle in their mystery press. They publish the best of gentle mysteries (little to no blood, violence, or sex) where you can go deep into the genre and start being the amateur detective you’ve always wanted to be. Founded in 2010, they’ve now published over 200 books from their press based in Illinois.
They publish series as well as relatively short standalone novels for you to fly through while you’re sipping hot cocoa by the fire. Take a shot on titles like Baubles to Die For by Tonya Penrose or Memories of Malice by R.J. Rein.
7. Spencer Hill Press
Specializing in YA and Adult Contemporary Romance, we couldn’t ask to finish stronger than with the brilliant team over at Spencer Hill Press. They publish engaging fiction with “a fresh outlook on what love and romance could be.” They were founded in 2010 in New York City, and they are the publishers of multiple best-selling authors.
Just take a scroll through their website to discover what love stories you’ve been missing out on, like Dare to Surrender by Carly Phillips (Adult) and A Different Blue by Amy Harmon (YA). But prepare for some excitement, adult readers—some of these books can get pretty sexy.
Do you know of any indie genre fiction publishers we should keep an eye on? Let me know in the comments!
About the Author
Joe Walters is the editor-in-chief of Independent Book Review. When he’s not doing editorial or reviewing work at IBR, he’s working on his novel and trusting the process.
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Not genre specific but some newer small presses to keep an eye on – 7.13 Books (they specialize in publishing debuts) and Okay Donkey (brand spankin’ new).
You should check out Owl Hollow Press. Industry savvy and stellar books.
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Thinklings Books is a newer indie press that has excellent-quality fantasy and sci-fi books.