“BOOK SALE: Indie Presses Offering Discounts During COVID-19 Pandemic”
by Joe Walters
Read amazing books, support small presses
In March 2020, small businesses across the world were deemed non-essential and were forced to (at least temporarily) close their doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It’s a scary time for business owners, especially financially, but with the help of thoughtful and impassioned readers across the world, maybe it doesn’t have to be.
Since we all need to do our part by social distancing, now would be a great time to plant our collective butts on our couches and get to reading. If you want some new books and would like to support small businesses while you’re doing it, you have two options:
- Purchase books from indie booksellers through Bookshop.org, like your local indie or even IBR!
- Purchase books directly from independent publishers
In this trying time, independently owned publishing houses are doing all they can to ensure that they can continue sharing unique, important, and amazing books with the world. But since they won’t be able to promote author events (perhaps the single most successful marketing strategy for small presses), it’s up to us to support these presses from afar.
Since we want to do our part too, we’ve put together this listicle of the indie presses who are offering discounts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So if you want to read an amazing book, pay a little less for it, and even help a small business thrive during a difficult time, look no further than these amazing indies! See the second paragraph of each small press feature for discount codes, pricing, and recommended purchases.
*This list in no particular order.
#1. Third Man Books
Did you know that musician and former front-man of the White Stripes started a publishing house called Third Man Books? This indie press is “dedicated to publishing the best in poetry, fiction, SF/F, and nonfiction with the same diversity, craftsmanship, and aestheticism that are the hallmark of [their] partner company, Third Man Records.”
They’re currently promoting free shipping on domestic orders over $10 and offering book bundles of three books for $33. I’m particularly intrigued by their recent releases Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers (adult fiction), The Magic of We by Danielle Anderson-Craig (Children’s), and And What Would You Say If You Could? By Haviland N.G. Whiting (poetry).
#2. Chin Music Press
Founded by Bruce Rutlege and Yuko Enomoto in 2002, Chin Music Press shares books that are “risky and beautiful, a pleasure to both touch and read.” They publish a variety of categories including fiction, cultural studies, politics, memoirs, art, poetry, and more. They even have a bookstore located in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, so if you’re a Pacific NW reader looking to support small and local, they could be a great fit for your next book purchase.
They’re currently offering a 19% discount on everything in their online store as long as you type “corona” into the discount code box when checking out. Quite a few recent titles caught my eye, like Variations of Labor by Alexa Gallo Brown which is a hybrid collection of poetry and essays about what it means to labor in modern-day America and Sugar, which is a modern, fabulist fairy tale set right in the Pike Place Market.
#3. Sunbury Press
Based out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, this indie press has been hard at work publishing a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction since its inception in 2004. They’ve published around 700 books in that time, many of which have won awards and even garnered praise from the likes of review outlets like…Independent Book Review!
They’re currently offering a 15% discount on all books in the store when you use the coupon code SPRING15S, and they’re combining that with free shipping on all orders, too (code = FREESHIP). Some of their notable recent releases include a humorous new adult fantasy called Satan’s Petting Zoo and the travel memoir The Reluctant RV Wife, which we included in our round-up of “30 Impressive Indie Press Books of 2019!”
#4. Interlude Press
Interlude Press is an “award-winning boutique publisher of LGBTQ+ general and romantic fiction.” They publish stand-alone fiction as well as book series for both adult and young adult readers, spreading the good word about inclusivity, acceptance, and being who you are. I couldn’t be more thrilled that I stumbled upon this press a few months ago.
They’re currently offering free shipping on all of their titles through March 31st, so if you’re in the mood for a great new read from a publisher that is doing important and notable work, the Interlude virtual store would be a great place to start browsing. Check out Monster of the Week by FT Lukens and Shine of the Ever by Claire Rudy Foster.
#5. Dzanc Books
Created in 2006, Dzanc Books is a haven of daring literary fiction. We’ve now reviewed two books from this press (Five Windows and The Conviction of Cora Burns) and enjoyed them both. Whenever we’re looking for a great new book to share with our reviewers, Dzanc is one of the first places we look.
They’re offering free shipping on all their books when you use the coupon code READIN. I’ve already mentioned a few books that we’ve vouched for, but if you want to take Electric Lit at their word (which you should!), Don’t You Know I Love You by Laura Bogart was recently included on their list of “14 Highly Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books!”
This non-profit Pittsburgh publisher believes “literature is an affirmation of the deep and elemental range of our human experience…and our need for it is as crucial now as it ever has been.” They love publishing lesser-known authors and giving them the platform to share their important works with the world.
They’re currently offering 30% OFF all titles when you use the coupon code STOCKUP, and they’ve got all sorts of promising titles to check out. Our creative director Jaylynn Korrell really enjoyed reviewing Not Dead Yet by Hadley Moore, but I’ve also got my eye on Heartland Calamitous by Michael Credico and Praise Song for My Children by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley.
#7. AK Press
AK Press aims to supply radical ideas through powerful books that will expand minds and change worlds. They’re a worker-run collective, meaning they have no boss, and they’ve been thriving since 1987. They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comic, graphic novels, books for younger readers, and more.
When you use the code JUSTICE, you can get 25% OFF your online order. They publish an array of impactful books like the recent Lambda Literary Award Finalist Love WITH Accountability and Child Soldier.
Founded by Eric Benick and Nick Rossi, Ursus Americanus Press “aims to publish two to three chapbooks per year of original poetry and prose at a run of one-hundred units per book.” They especially enjoy work that “challenges conventional syntax, perspective, and ethos through an original employment of language.” They’re up to some innovative stuff over there, and since their books are so short, they’d be well worth the shot.
They’re currently offering all chapbooks at the devilish price of $6.66. You’d be able to find poems, stories, or essays with gorgeous designs. I’m particularly excited about American Girl Doll by Naomi Washer, who was named one of 30 writers to watch by the Guild Literary Complex, and The Thought of Preservation by Keegan Cook Finberg.
Let’s celebrate another local indie! Independent Book Review is based out of Philadelphia, and so is the amazing Lanternfish Press. Founded in 2013, they publish “literature of the rare and strange, fiction that crosses the boundary between literary and speculative, and essays rooted in a strong sense of place.” I was lucky enough to stumble upon a few titles at A Novel Idea bookstore, and I’ve been thrilled about finding them ever since.
They’re offering 30% off everything until March 31st when you use the coupon code FLATTENTHECURVE. They recently released exciting books like Medusa’s Daughters which is a collection of gothic tales of women by women, and Ship of Fates by Caitlin Chung, which is about the California gold rush and the Chinese-American experience.
Thank you for supporting these amazing indie presses! If you know of a small press offering discounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us. We’ll be updating this blog post as often as we can to make sure we get as much support for indie presses as we can muster.
About the Author
Joe Walters is the founder 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. He tweets at @joewalters13.
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