Blue Poppy Publishing

Blue Poppy Publishing

Blue Poppy Publishing

This is a prime example of what I really enjoy and want to help celebrate in the indie publishing scene, one persons journey from wanting to get their own works published and out there for people to read gradually develops into a way to share that enthusiasm and knowledge helping other indie authors.

Blue Poppy Publishing is a growing indie based in North Devon helping authors who are from Devon or centre Devon get their books into print and published in the spirit of an indie author collective.

Website: https://bluepoppypublishing.co.uk/
Twitter: @BluePoppyPub

In their own words

When did you start publishing?

2016

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

I didn’t, I just wanted to make my own self-published book look more legitimate. But then it just grew from there. To date, it has been exclusively a self-publishing label where authors pay for everything, but they also own everything too. I just smooth the passage and help keep them from making expensive mistakes. I also provide them with distribution to UK bookstores.

Wonder Girl Carmela & Tinker the Stinker

What genres do you specialise in?

Fairly open to most genres except for horror and erotica. Happy to consider non-fiction as well as fiction. The most important thing is I tend only to work with Devon based authors or books with a strong Devon connection. There are exceptions now and then for very specific reasons.

Where are you based?

Ilfracombe in North Devon

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

Not really. People can contact me any time, but I am having to reject more and more authors because I am so swamped with work.

What is your submission procedure?

I’m pretty relaxed about it. If you are from Devon, and have written a book, you can send it to me or just ask for help and advice and I will do what I can to help.

Who are you (team photo if possible)?

Just one person. Oliver (Olli) Tooley

What was your background in the book industry before this venture?

I had none. I have learned by making mistakes and I expect I will make many more. Blue Poppy will not be every author’s cup of tea, but as I am snowed under with work from people who “get me” it doesn’t matter too much.

I'm Still Standing

I’m Still Standing

Talk about some of your books if possible, upcoming, favourite?

I did a count up recently and realised I am selling over forty titles by over two dozen authors. To pick a favourite would be terrible. However, a few stand out as being top sellers.

We had one of our authors on BBC Breakfast TV on May 11th. Lucy Chillery-Watson talked about her children’s picture book “Wonder Girl Carmela & Tinker the Stinker” a fantasy featuring her daughter who has muscular dystrophy, and her therapy dog Tinker who farts them on adventures into space etc. We sold more books on that one day than in the previous five years.

Then there’s “I’m Still Standing: A Personal Journey Living With Depression” by ambulance worker Clare Davey who only just failed to take her own life during lockdown. The book is her diary of the events immediately before during and after her attempt. It is both harrowing and uplifting and gives a valuable insight into the mind of someone suffering severe depression.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Bookshops and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Red Circle Authors

Monkey Man

Monkey Man

I was approached by Richard from Red Circle Authors to see if I was interested in reading one of the Red Circle Minis, and it being literary fiction with a speculative bent translated from the Japanese, I couldn’t really say no as I can’t think of anymore boxes it could have ticked for me personally.

Red Circle is a small London-based publisher producing some excellently crafted books translated from the Japanese, I’ve received ‘Monkey Man’ by Takuji Ichikawa, and it is beautiful (full review to be put on www.bigbeardedbookseller.com soon), and this is just one of the mini series of originals commissioned by Red Circle.

Really looking forward to reading it and more.

Website: www.redcircleauthors.com
Twitter: @TeamRedCircle
Instagram: @redcircleauthors
Facebook: @redcircleauthors

In their own words

When did you start publishing?

We started publishing in late 2018 when we released the first titles in our series, a series of short Japanese books in English, Red Circle Minis, and our series has been slowly expanding since then. Each of the titles in the series is a first edition, especially commissioned from our curated circle of award-winning writers, and is being published in English before any other language including Japanese, in an “English first” publishing strategy. The reaction so far to this somewhat unusual approach has been really terrific.

Red Circle Minis

Red Circle Minis

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

Though fluent in Japanese I have always wanted to read the very best Japanese creative writing in English and wished that more writing from Japan was available. I am fluent in Japanese, having studied and worked in Japan in the 1980s and 90s, but reading for pleasure in a second language can still be rather challenging. After a busy day’s work picking up a Japanese novel and reading it in Japanese requires concentration and dedication, which I couldn’t always muster when I was tired, and annoyingly many of the books my partner (who is Japanese) recommended and was enjoying at the time weren’t published in English translation.

I asked around and researched the reasons behind this and then decided that instead of just complaining that more needed to be done and that someone should do something to increase international awareness of the many super-talented Japanese authors writing today, I decided to try to do something about it myself, which led to me founding Red Circle Authors with the aim of getting the work of more Japanese authors translated into English and other languages too.

What genres do you specialise in?

We specialise in Japanese fiction and currently publish short form contemporary fiction that span from novelettes to novellas in length. Our Minis have been called: ‘small books for big brains’, ‘beautiful pocket-sized slices of Japanese literature’, ‘their very compactness sets them apart as rather special and even luxurious’, ‘an incredible window into the zeitgeist of modern Japanese society’ and ‘communicating directly and intentionally with Western audiences through fiction’.

We are delighted by the feedback but as a startup we are taking things slowly and currently focusing on our launch series. That said, we do have longer term plans for another series, as well as other exciting new publications.

We are still a small, or perhaps I should say, a tiny independent publisher in our early startup phase. I like to describe Red Circle as a passion project but despite this we are making wonderful progress.

We have a great team of people supporting us and encouraging us onwards, which really helps and makes us optimistic, not just about our own future as an independent publisher, but also how far and widely brilliant Japanese fiction can travel.

Where are you based?

We are London-based but take a distributed approach and have a team of freelancers based in other parts of the UK and Japan; and our translators are based even further a field including in Australia, for example.

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

Currently we only publish works by authors in our curated circle of award-winning Japanese writers. Identifying, meeting and then binging such authors on board takes time and sadly the pandemic has slowed us down considrerably. We currently have eight authors in our circle.

We have more titles in our publishing pipeline but as each title in the Red Circle Minis series is an original and all of our authors are extremely busy writing for readers in Japan we are never quite sure which Japanese language manuscript will be the next one to arrive.

Red Circle Authors

Red Circle Authors

We work out our translation and publishing scheduling once they do. This is one of the beauties of being a small publisher. We can be very flexible and in a sense we thrive on being agile and working very closely with each author and our translators in a way that the major publishing houses probably can’t be. Our approach is very collaborative.

In addition to our books we have also launched an online magazine, The Circle, where we write and publish information about Japanese literature, culture and books.

A lot of the content so far has been written by me, but we also have some other very interesting contributors, which include for instance a highly regarded Tokyo-based British economist and commentator as well as the former Swedish Ambassador to Japan, who, for example, has contributed an essay about Japanese poetry titled: “Poems that Decode Japan’s Intellectual DNA: The Ambassador’s choice”.

Talk about some of your books if possible, upcoming, favourite?

We are still very much in an early phase of our development and what we hope will be a long adventurous journey as an independent publisher so we aren’t really ready yet to talk about our greatest hits.

What was your background in the book industry before this venture?

Prior to setting up Red Circle Authors I worked for Kyodo News as well as the international journal of science Nature and the international publisher Macmillan; holding various roles in London, New York and Tokyo.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Bookshops and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Questions for Publishers

Signature

Signature

The ‘Publisher Profile’ feature is kicking off once again, there are already a few publishers who were part of this earlier and I’ll be updating and expanding their info first.

Each post will have contact information, some blurb, images, contact details, website, etc. I’ll be using public information for this, but if you want to be part of this you can get ahead of the crowd by answering the following questions:

* When did you start publishing?
* What made you want to start an independent publisher?
* What genres do you specialise in?
* Where are you based?
* Do you have a submission window, if so when?
* What is your submission procedure?
* Who are you (team photo if possible)?
* What was your background in the book industry before this venture?
* Talk about some of your books if possible, upcoming, favourite?
* Some photos, please
* Website/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and any other contact details please

Then each publisher on the list will have an expanded entry to make the list more searchable.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Bookshops and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Storyhouse Publishing

Storyhouse Publishing

Storyhouse Publishing


Storyhouse Publishing is another indie publisher that has struck out in this year of lockdowns and unknowns and have they struck out in style.

At the time of writing they have four bright, colourful, and fun picture books for children in their catalogue, all of which would be great for storytimes and gifts for younger children

Website: www.storyhousepublishing.com
Instagram @storyhousepublishing
Twitter: @BooksStoryhouse
Facebook: @storyhousepublishing

As a new parent reading children’s books everyday, I set up Storyhouse to produce books that do a little more. Our stories create wonder and delight which is so important to help foster a love of reading and at the same time they gently entwine ideas to support children’s wellbeing, including ideas about friendship, collaborative play, kindness and conservation.

Every decision we make is made with sustainability in mind. We are committed to reducing waste and print all our books on FSC approved paper.

In their own words

When did you start publishing?

Our first titles were published in January 2021 although our set up, commissioning, development and marketing happened during the lockdowns and with two preschoolers at home, it was a lively time. I had a lot of interrupted Zoom calls like many others who juggled home schooling whilst running businesses. I’ve looked back on that time feeling really proud of all the team have achieved.

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

I was a children’s publisher previously in a publishing house but I knew I needed greater flexibility with two children under three. I wanted to be able to offer others the same flexible working and it’s been so successful. We work in a fairly unique way in that the schedules aren’t set until after the book is started. It takes the pressure off the contributors and being so small means it’s easy for us to swap things around. Even during challenging times, I know it’s the best thing I’ve done.

What genres do you specialise in?

Children’s picture books.

Where are you based?

In the beautiful city of Bath. Bath has amazing festivals, its close proximity to Bristol is a bonus and I love meeting other creative people who live here.

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

I’m really happy for people to contact me at any time. I read and reply to every submission that is sent.

What is your submission procedure?

Direct by email or Instagram. It might take me a week or so to get back to you but I will do! I’d suggest checking we are the right fit before sending anything, we have specific ideas and we don’t publish outside of these themes. Our website and Instagram give more information.

Who are you (team photo if possible)?

Myself and a brilliant freelance team. I’m very lucky to have had the same small freelance group since we set up. Oh and our young consultants, it’s been fantastic having my own children and those of our freelance team to review our books.

What was your background in the book industry before this venture?

I worked at Penguin and then Parragon as children’s publisher where I learnt a lot about publishing globally.

Talk about some of your books if possible, upcoming, favourite?

Our upcoming release for September 2021, The Last Seaweed Pie is endorsed by the Marine Conservation Society. It’s a heart-warming story about ocean conservation, recycling and working together. It’s so beautifully written by Wenda Shurety and Paddy’s Donnelly’s illustrations are just gorgeous.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Bookshops and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.