Independent Presses – Reading Women 2019

This post is part of a series on reading women 2019 hosted by Lonely Cryptid Media’s Narrative Designer, Dan Michael Fielding.

I love independent presses!

There are so many wonderful books in the world which have been published by an independent press. Sometimes called a “small press,” indie presses are those who are separate from large corporate presses.

Basically, a small press is any book publisher whose yearly annual sales are less than $50 million. These kinds of literature—whether because of genre, subject, specialization, or location—often aren’t attractive to large corporations for publication. Large publishers simply don’t think they will make a big enough profit!

But that doesn’t mean those books aren’t worth reading. Often these are the best books of all—books that focus on substance over profit, and on telling the truth of an issue rather than only telling stories that sell.  The goal of this prompt is that by supporting these presses (who often have narrow profit margins) you will be helping to support literature with a smaller—but no less important—readership.

An independent press isn’t necessarily the same thing as self-publishing, although there may be some overlap (for example with a self-publisher who later expanded their publications to include the works of others).

For this prompt it’s up to you to decide how “independent” you want your independent press to be. The cap of $50 million dollars in sales is still pretty high! You may want to choose a press that is smaller, or more local, or which is near and dear to your heart for other reasons.

Here are a few small, independent presses to get you started:

  • AK Press, which publishes radical and revolutionary books
  • Feminist Press, originally founded in 1970 to publish feminist classics and continues to be a strong voice in publishing works from around the world
  • Small Beer Press, publishes science fiction of all kinds, each intentionally different from the one before

What are some of your favorite independent book publishers? Share in the comments to help others locate a wonderful book to read!

For this prompt I already had a few books from independent presses lining my shelf. In the spirit of clearing my ever-growing “to-read” pile I decided to choose Out of this World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories by Catherine Lundoff. This book was published by Queen of Swords Press, an independent press that specializes in fantastical stories.

I bought this book direct from the author herself at a book fair. She had a number of other books which caught my eye (including one about a menopausal werewolf—how awesome is that?), but being a poor graduate student I just bought this one. I’m super excited to get the chance to read it!

I’ll be sure to give you all a review when I’m done with the book.

What independent press book will you be reading?

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6 thoughts on “Independent Presses – Reading Women 2019

    1. I read _The Astronomer Who Met the North Wind_ by Kate Hall and found it underwhelming. As feminist fairy tale retellings go, it didn’t offer much new or interesting. Could be a great read for the right little girl.

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  1. Hi! I’m choosing a book recently published, called Amores como el nuestro (Loves like our own, i think), published by Editorial Brandon, an independent press founded by a civic and cultural LGBT+ association here in Buenos Aires.

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