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.
In their own words
When did you start publishing?
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.
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.
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.