Thursday, 30 April 2009

And the list goes on...

Get_Involved The next call for submissions opens tomorrow, 1 May, and so here's a note of all of the publishers that are so far involved, or at least interested in taking part in Exclusively Independent.

Legend Press, PaperBooks, Self Made Hero, Oxygen Books, Alma Books, One World Publications, Picnic Publishing, Accent Press Ltd, Gallic Books, Winged Chariot Press, Janus Publishing, In Easy Steps, Muswell Press, Garnet Publishing, LPS Publishing, Ravens Quill Ltd, YGB Publishing Ltd, Telegram, Queastor 2000, Loki Books, Not Really Books, Know the Score, Myriad Editions, Peter Owen Publishing, Bounce! Sales and Marketing (representing 25 publishers including Piccadilly Press), Whites Books, How To Books, Salt Publishing, Reportage Press, Flipped Eye Publishing, Andromache Books, Advance Materials, Wild Guides UK, Classical Comics, Maia Press, B Small Publishing Ltd, Tony Potter Publishing Ltd, Inpress Books, Barn Owl Books, Intellect Books, Bluemoose Books, Harvard UP and the MIT Press, Flame Books, Zygmunt Stanley Publishing, Anvil Press Poetry, Bitter Lemon Press, Pluto Press, Harvey Berrick Publishing, Mokee Jo Promotions, Studymates, Troubador Publishing, The Manning Partnership - Anness Publishing, Search Press, Carroll and Brown, Sourcebooks Inc, Five Mile Press, Brimax, and Interpret, Shepheard-Walwyn, SB Publishing, Souvenir Press, Pryor Publications, Hesperus Press Ltd, Honno Press, Eland Publishing Ltd, Duckwork Publishing, Meadowside Childrens Books, Gullane Childrens Books, Clairview Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, Gingercat Books, O'Brian Press, Five Leaves, Ragged Bears Publishing, Aurum Press, Hogs Back Books, Mogzilla Publishing, and Francis Lincoln Publishing - Tara Books, Boxer Books, New York Review of Books, Little Book Room, Timber Books, and Natural History Museum.

As you can see, there are all sorts of different publishers on board from childrens books to travel, poetry to illustrations. The project truly aims to provide variety which is reflected in those participating.

As I mentioned before, the call for submissions opens tomorrow, and for more information in how you can take part, send an email to or call 0207 426 0340


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

London Book Fair

Yesterday I went to the London Book Fair, for what turned out to be a very tiring but eventful day!

I met with several independent publishers, varying in size, and it was great to hear the feedback regarding their involvement in Exclusively Independent.

Some were new to the project, and others not yet involved, but either way the meetings gave me a great insight into the type of work that we can see submitted over the next few cycles.

Each publisher were able to offer something different, and it was interesting to see what sort of variety we can expect to see. With companies based in London to Ireland, Scotland to Brighton, the project defines what it is to be an independent publisher, and the fantastic titles they each have on offer.


Monday, 20 April 2009

EI Mention from Caroline interview

Caroline Rance, author of Kill Grief from Picnic Publishing, was interviewed by Vulpes Libris. There were a couple of mentions of Exclusively Independent, so many thanks to Caroline. The interview was really interesting, a great insight into the novel, as well as what inspired the author.

Here's a snippet:

"One of ten books chosen for the Arts Council backed Exclusively Independent Initiative (an Arts Council-backed scheme bringing together indie publishers with independent bookshops) Kill-Grief is described by publishers Picnic Publishing as full of 'the clap, alcohol and amputations'.

"Here, Caroline talks to RosyB about unusual heroines, writing about addiction and the smell of mud in 17th century Chester.

"At the beginning of Kill-Grief, Mary arrives in Chester having lived all her life in a tiny coastal village, so she is overwhelmed by the noise, the atmosphere and the sheer number of people. This gave me more scope to describe the city in detail than I would have had if she’d been blasé about it all.

"I pictured Mary as a loner with a fiery streak, but that was about it to begin with. As I went through the countless re-writes and edits of the book, her character developed in some directions I didn’t expect. She became increasingly complex as I added more layers to the book, and I found that her self-reliance was rooted in vulnerability. She has never been able to count on anyone, so she isolates herself as a way to survive."

Read the full interview here:


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Quotes from the Panel

Part of the POS is an A4 Quote Sheet which details quotes from one panel member on each title. It's just a nice, simple way for quickly sumarising the title to the reader, letting them know what we thought of it. So here it is:

The Angel Makers
‘A finely tuned historical novel; well balanced, well-written and thoroughly gripping.’ – Lauren, Legend Press

Unfolding Islam
‘A compelling, concise and accessible history.’ – Steve, The Book Depository

The Blue Fox
‘Lyrical and haunting, The Blue Fox is part thriller, part fable, set in the unforgiving Icelandic winter.’ – Irene, Bookgroup Info

Crime and Punishment
‘A masterful adaptation of one of Russia’s literary classics; dark, dramatic and fascinating.’ – Lauren, Legend Press

Kill Grief
‘A story of its time – earthy, enchanting and yet subdued.’ – Tom, Legend Press

Poets in View
‘A beautiful collection of poets spanning four centuries. Each provides individual beauty, importance and meaning.’ - Lauren, Legend Press

‘Welcome to the surreal world of Yasutaka Tsutsui where you will be taken on a poetic, graphic and often very funny experience.’ – Irene, Bookgroup Info

The Year of the Hare
‘An act of kindness acts as a catalyst, turning a journalists life upside down.’ – Debby, Reader Development Librarian

‘The story moves at a fast pace and you just have to find out what will happen next, complex and ultimately unforgettable.’ – Tom, Legend Press

Saxby Smart: Private Detective – Eye of the Serpent
'Eye of the Serpent' - the latest in the excellent Saxby Smart series, this is another fun collection of cases for the schoolboy detective - and the reader - to solve. Perfect for 8-12 year-olds.’ – Roy, Dulwich Bookshop

Thursday, 9 April 2009

The Bookseller Supplement coverage

A few weeks ago now, I was interviewed by Hannah Davies regarding Exlusively Independent, and what the future holds for the project. A few weeks later, we have this full page spread giving a thorough report on EI, how it began, it's current status and what was next on the agenda.

"One of the primary challenges for independent publishers, particularly in the current climate where retailers are increasingly trying to reduce their risk, is to get bookshops to invest in their books.

Last year, in recognition of this problem and in a bid to overcome it, independent publisher Legend Press, with support from Arts Council England, launched the scheme Exclusively Independent. Its aim is to improve the relationship between independent publishers and independent booksellers and raise the profile of the books they publish.

Butlin’s bookshop is one of the participating stores which takes five copies of each of the selected titles. He thinks the initiative (which now has two cycles under its belt) provides a great way to keep his stock interesting and support the publishers and authors who often do not get seen by customers. “The 50% discount makes it more viable, because we wouldn’t normally take these books in this kind of quantity. We have sold more titles that we would have done without the scheme and customers have been making positive comments,” he says."

We really appreciate such great coverage. To read the full article, have a look at page 8 of The Bookseller Supplement this week.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Latest EI announcement in The Bookseller

Announced on The Bookseller main site yesterday, was the exciting new collaboration between Exclusively Independent and Gardners.

"Wholesaler Gardners has entered into a partnership with publishers signed up for the Exclusively Independent scheme, becoming the sole distribution channel between the publishers and booksellers.

The scheme, which aims to bring together independent publishers with their bookselling counterparts, has been running since before Christmas, when a trial group of six shops and seven publishers began working together."

It's wonderful to read the publicity for the project, which will hopefully bring the scheme to the attention of more readers, bookshops and publishers across the UK. A big thankyou to The Bookseller for the coverage.

To read the full article, visit


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

UK Distribution of EI Selection!

Exclusively Independent is going from strength to strength. With the addition of London Libraries back January, we are now pleased to announce, that the project is going to be distributed nationwide be Gardners Books.

The collaboration leaves room for further expansion, with additional bookshops already signed up to the next cycle of EI.

So far, the list of bookshops are: Dulwich Bookshop (Dulwich), Bolingbroke Bookshop (Clapham Junction), Housmans (Kings Cross), Bookseller Crow on the Hill (Crystal Palace), Peckham Review (Peckham), Eastside (Shoreditch), Woodstock Bookshop (Woodstock) , City Books (Hove), Knaresborough Bookshop (Knaresborough), Chepstow Bookshop (Chepstow) Bookends (Wokingham), The Torbary Bookshop (Devon) and Crockatt & Powell (Fulham Rd and Lower Marsh branches).

Over the next few months, we aim to work with as many bookshops as possible, to branch out and provide the selection to readers all over the country.

This is a great step forward for the project, and proves that it's aim of providing independent talent, is something that readers are definitely interested in.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

As I announced yesterday, 'The Angel Makers' by Jessica Gregson (Paperbooks) is one of the final ten titles for this next cycle of Exclusively Independent. We are delighted with the success of this novel, being sold in around ten other countries.

Based on a harrowing true story – The Angel Makers is a gripping tale of superstition and prejudice, desperation and love, the bitter aftershocks of which linger throughout your mind like the ghostly visions of Sari's dreams.

The bleak Hungarian plain, 1914, an isolated village shrouded in superstition and rumours of witchcraft . Outcast from village life, Sari is tormented by a loneliness like no other. The daughter of a Taltos, Sari has the second sight and a reputation as a witch.

At the outbreak of war, the men of the village are called away to fight and a powerful bond develops between the women left behind. Sari, for the first time, finds herself with friends. However, these friendships come at a price as the women struggle to hold on to the freedom that war has brought them.

Things take a sinister turn and suspicions are alerted, as one by one the villagers begin to uncover Sari’s dark secret . . .

About the Author:

Jessica Gregson, 28, has a degree in Anthropology from Cambridge and a Masters in Development from LSE. Jessica has worked as a policy advisor for the home office and a humanitarian worker in Sudan. Jessica has just started a PhD at SOAS in London.

The books will be in shops within the next week or so, and check back here tomorrow to find out which additional shops will be showcasing the display this month.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Next Selection Announcement!

We are now into the fourth cycle of Exclusively Independent and I am very proud to announce the final ten titles!

Crime and Punishment from Self Made Hero. An adaptation of Dostoevsky's classic of Russian Literature, this graphic novel broaches a wide range of themes.

Saxby Smart: Private Detective - The Eye of the Serpent from Piccadilly Press. An exciting children's book giving you puzzling cases, and clues to help solve the mystery.

Angel Makers from Paperbooks. A gripping novel involving witchcraft, suspicion, desperation and love. A secret that holds dark repurcussions.

Poets in View from Salt Publishing. A unique, full colour anthology gathering together for the first time significant portraits of fifty major British and Irish poets, along with a classic poem by each writer.

Paprika from Alma Books. Exploring the balance between reality and fantasy, the author Tsutsui demonstrates his quirky, surreal and compelling narrative.

Kill Grief from Picnic Publishing. Based in Chester from 1756, Mary tries to move forward with her new life. Her past begins to haunt her as she hopes for an independent future. Now she must decide whether addiction is a fair price to pay for love.

Unfolding Islam from Garnet Publishing. A new addition setting out to present Islam to non-Muslim readers in the aftermath of 9/11. The story shows how it has achieved its special balance of constancy and flexibility. The controlling position of the Prophet, the unique authority of the Koran and the strength of the Muslim family give the religion its enduring central core.

Riversmeet from Muswell Press. An escapee from slavery arrives in Britain to argue for the abolitionist cause. He meets indifference until his presence begins to sway public opinion. Douglass will have to answer the question 'how do we confront the evils of the world in which we live'?

The Blue Fox from Telegram. Described as a magical novel, the fates of the characters involved are intrinsically bound, and gradually, surprisingly, unravelled in this spellbinding fable that is part mystery, part fairy tale.

And finally, The Year of the Hare from Peter Owen Publishing. When a small incident results in a life changing experience for one man as he decides to break free from the world's constraints. This is a story is a situational comedy, with sharp wit that makes this a great book.

So there you have it! The final ten titles will be displayed in Hammersmith and Fulham Libraries, as well as a selection of bookshops across the UK. So keep an eye out for the 'Exclusively Independent' POS, and be sure to find the very finest of independent talent, this month.