Handheld Press

Handheld PressBased in Bath, Handheld Press can be contacted at:

Website: www.handheldpress.co.uk
Instagram: @handheldpress
Twitter: @KateHandheld
Email: enquiries [at] handheldpress.co.uk

Handheld Press sells remarkable and wonderful stories from the past and the present. We publish the novels that you won’t want to put down, and the stories you’ll want to give as presents. Handheld Press books are beautiful objects, designed with care, a pleasure to read.

Handheld Classics present forgotten fiction and authors who need to be rediscovered, with introductions by experts and astonishingly useful notes.

Handheld Research tells stories from scholarly research, in plain English.

Handheld Modern brings you excellent modern fiction and non-fiction from living authors.

In their own words…

When did you start publishing?

Technically it was March 2017, when a research colleague told me I should set up a publishing company, and I realised that this was so darn obvious I could not understand why I had needed someone else to point me in the right direction. Officially it was June 2017 when we incorporated as a company.

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

I’d been an editor and a researcher of 20thC Eng lit all my working life, and the two career paths coalesced. I spent most of my teaching and research career finding wonderful stories and telling people about them. I also had increasingly strong views about what should and should not be republished, so Handheld Classics was always going to be our core business. But I was also concerned that too much scholarly research was disappearing into the maw of expensive academic editions that no ordinary person would ever see, or could afford, so I wanted to find a way to bring the results of publicly funded academic reseach into trade publishing, hence Handheld Research. Handheld Modern indulges my secret desire to bring more modern feminist science fiction to the world, when we find some.

What genres do you specialise in?

Classics, forgotten fiction; women’s lives; science fiction / fantasy

Where are you based?

Bath, in SW England

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

We’re always open to submissions; but please read our Authors page for the guidelines, and the proposal forms. We do want prospective authors to pitch using the form. It helps them, and us.

What is your submission procedure?

For the Classics: tell us why this forgotten work is so good, and what you’d like to write about in the introduction. Is it in copyright? Who owns this? Send us a sample chapter.

For Handheld Research: give us an outline of your book’s scope, why nothing like this has been published before, and a breakdown of the chapter contents. Which are your competing books? Who is your readership? Send a sample chapter.

Who are you?

80% is Kate Macdonald, energy source, commissioning editor, picture researcher, production manager and writer of all copy. 10% is David Marsh, in charge of numbers and logic patrol. We also use a network of stupendous freelancers for web, data, design, publicity, media and marketing.

What’s your background in the book industry?

Kate trained as an editor in civil service and technical publishing, and was a freelance editor for 14 years. She also researches, publishes on and teaches publishing history and book history, most recently on the history of W H Smith.

Talk about some of your books if possible

Potterism - August 2020

Potterism – August 2020

Our most recent Classic (30 May) is Blitz Writing by Inez Holden, consisting of a novella (Night Shift) and a memoir (It Was Different At The Time) of the Second World War. Inez was/is a forgotten journalist and novelist who hung out and worked with George Orwell, Stevie Smith, Cyril Connolly and many others in 1930s literary London. H G Wells was her landlord. The stories in Blitz Writing are tremendous portraits of the industrial home front in the Blitz.

The book we published before that (26 March) has been our smash hit so far. Rose Macaulay’s What Not is a forgotten dystopian portrait of a world where the government enforces eugenics on a population determined never to allow war to happen again, and aero buses transport commuters to work in London. Aldous Huxley borrowed her key ideas for Brave New World. Kate’s research recovered not only this novel, but the missing suppressed pages that had it withdrawn as soon as it was published

and any future projects/dreams if you can

Oooh, we have lots! In August we publish the first English translation of a Dutch classic about 1920s China, Adrift in the Middle Kingdom. In September we republish the funniest Edwardian feminist novel, Elizabeth von Arnim’s The Caravaners. And in October we republish Vonda N McIntyre’s first novel, The Exile Waiting, a science fiction classic from 1975, and a collection of Weird fiction by women, called, appropriately, Women’s Weird. In 2020 we’re bringing out two more Rose Macaulay novels, more short fantasy stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner, and a marvellous forgotten novel about Selfridges in the 1930s, a collection of letters from the First World War by a Quaker conscientious objector, and two more collections of Weird fiction.


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.

The A3 Press and Review

A3 Press and Review is based in London, contact details are:

PO Box 65016, London, N5 9BD
020 7193 7642

website: https://writingmaps.com/collections/a3-chapbooks
email: a3@writingmaps.com
twitter: @WritingMaps
facebook: Writing Maps
instagram: writingmaps

Editor: Shaun Levin

I received a lovely little package from A3 Press a while back now full of chapbooks, lovely little essays and all presented so well, from the initial packaging all the way down to each individual book.

I love how these are presented and it’s great to have a beautiful, hand-crafted work to read amongst all the books, an experiment, an essay, a poem, take your pick and while away twenty minutes in peoples beautiful words/worlds.

The Unit

by Jason Jackson

Past, present and future of a working class psychogeography.

A place that has different meanings through time, that gradually decays through time, changes purpose and importance.

How we fabricate lives intermingled with truth and exaggeration, until we grow and forget the important geographies of our youth.

My New Car

by Alan Sincic
A magnificent green with the art work reminiscent of a children’s road mat, play and childhood combine with desire for a status symbol.

There is a hint of Marinetti and the Futurists to this text, the worship and fetishisation of a mechanical object, repetitive noises (words), the experimentation with word and sentence structure, and speed.

But there is a certain rot to this text that takes us past all that out to the other side of gross consumerism, familial break up due to obsession and fetishisation in a car culture.

Almost a beat poem.

the abyss of the other

by cecilia cavalieri
Poetry and art works combined in a beautiful A3 page, greys and neutral tones frame and support mother and child in their exploration of a grey square with an abyss crossing it.

Exploring, examining, reacting, feeling, the poetry reacts to the relationship between mother and daughter, pregnancy and society, childhood and limitations, beautifully stated, anger, hurt, confusion all spill out.

Realities and the expectations of others bear down, uneasiness and love intermingle.

Palatable

by Solange Leon Iriarte
Words and art work, the black and white drawing and photographs echo the words that speak of food and hungers.

Exploring the relationship we have with food through a personal journey of getting to know intimately what she eats, drawing and exploring (consuming) before eating (once more consuming), Solange seeks to personalise the death of animals for our benefit once more, to step over that remove that industrial food production has created.

The depiction of food in art is also explored discussing the development away from naturalistic representation to abstract representation.

A great project which speaks a truth about our relationship with that which sustains our own life.

MASH

by Lena Ziegler
A maze of hopes and dreams, eighteen passages of desires and thoughts on a hand-crafted A3 fold-out page.

Each passage gives you a choice of where to go next, almost like an adventure but nowhere near as determined, there are loops and feedbacks which can often leave the reader going round in circles. It almost reminds me of those paper fortune tellers, which I think the art work alludes to.

Wonderful, dreamy, the prose pulls you into the world of this college girl and her thoughts on herself and relationships.


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.

Hideaway Fall

This publisher is now closed

Hideaway Falls is a Yorkshire-based independent publisher working at taking the narrative of publishing away from its London-centric focus.

Publishing ‘twisty’ fiction, but always on the lookout for something that Wows them with a Northern focus, e.g. author, setting, …

Website: www.hideawayfall.com
Twitter: @hideawayfall
Instagram: @hideawayfall

In their own words…

When did you start publishing?

Hideaway Fall opened for business with the publication of Broken Branches in Spring 2017.

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

We leapt onto the indie publishing scene after founder and author M Jonathan Lee launched Hideaway Fall to help northern authors get published in an industry that is so often focussed on London.

What genres do you specialise in?

So far we’ve published predominantly contemporary fiction but in submissions we’re just looking for something that takes our breath away. Twists, turns, cliff-hangers, sucker punch endings… nothing much!

Where are you based?

We’re based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in a Business Village full of independent entrepreneurs.

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

At the moment we’re open to submissions all year round. If you’ve got a twisty-turny book with northern flair then we want to hear about it!

What is your submission procedure?

Start by pitching us your idea at www.hideawayfall.com/book-submission and if we like the sound of it, we’ll be in touch!

Who are you (team photo if possible)?

Our team is made up of enthusiastic book lovers and wordsmiths. Headed up by author M Jonathan Lee, Hideaway Fall has a small core team accompanied by a host of talented freelancers.

If you’ve ever spoken to us on social media, by email or simply appreciated one of her bookish memes on Twitter, you will have met our lovely front-of-house Communications Officer, Holly.

Background in the book industry?

Jonathan had been previously published by another company but had been dissatisfied with the impersonality of the system and its marketing efforts. Still continuing to write, he decided to set up Hideaway Fall with his close friend, Sarah, in 2017. Holly then joined the team in Summer 2020 following the completion of her English Literature degree.

Talk about some of your books if possible?

Our most recent publication is 337, which has also just been released as our very first audiobook! It has so far been very well received and we look forward to producing more for future projects. Give it a listen here (Audible link).


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.

Mama Makes Books

Kicking off during February 2021 in the middle of a covid lockdown Mama Makes Books took a leap of faith and put their bright and cheerful books out there into the world.

With a commitment to producing quality products in an environmentally friendly way, recycled materials, no plastics, and carbon offsets, they not only want to make great books but help toward keeping a planet for the children they produce these books for.

Mama Makes Books
49 Newlands Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN4 9AS, UK

Website: www.mamamakesbooks.com
Twitter: @mamamakesbooks
Instagram: @mamamakesbooks

In their own words…

When did you start publishing?

In February 2021 – the timing couldn’t have been worse! All the important bookfairs were cancelled the year before so the fact that I managed to launch at all felt like a mini-triumph.

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

I was going through a time of deep reflection after I lost my mum. I had been working in children’s publishing for 30 years and the words of a lovely lady I met at a friend’s BBQ kept ringing in my ears. She was a successful businesswoman in the theme park industry. She said, “It’s all about the ideas. You have ideas. You should do it yourself.” I am naturally adventurous and entrepreneurial, so I decided to do just that and I haven’t looked back.

What genres do you specialise in?

Children’s books: baby and toddler books, early learning and non-fiction.

Where are you based?

In Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

I’m open to submissions anytime for clever ideas, originality and new approaches to popular subjects, or those ideas that have an educational aspect to them – not fiction or picture books.

What is your submission procedure?

Just direct via email. You don’t need an agent. If it’s not for me, I’ll probably email back quickly. If it sounds interesting, it may take a little longer. I like to let ideas rumble around in my head for a while. All submissions should be well thought through book proposals that detail the target age group, the unique selling points, similar (successful) titles, along with the text or a sample of the text if it’s non-fiction. I don’t need to see any artwork, unless you are a professional illustrator with an idea, and then I’d love to.

Who are you (team photo if possible)?

We are a small team. Me, my partner and our daughter. We are now lucky enough to be working with a PR and marketing consultant, and we have wonderful rights and sales agents.

Background in the book industry?

I started out at Orchard Books, working for two inspiring publishers. It was a happy place to work and the learning curve was steep. I remember the day we first got computers on our desks! I then went to Kingfisher and Ticktock, where I discovered how much I loved working on non-fiction books. When I had my daughter, I became a freelance editor, writer and book packager, creating books for publishers. I also did quite a few maternity covers – at Puffin, Macmillan and Egmont.

Talk about some of your books if possible?

We only have three published, so it’s not hard to choose. They are baby board books with interesting formats – Baby Look!, Baby Love and Tummy Time. Babies and toddlers love books that DO things, so these books are offering plenty of interactivity, with mirrors, flaps, wheels, fabrics and sliders. They were fun to create and babies love them. In July, we are publishing our star title, The Most Important Animal of All, beautifully illustrated by Hannah Bailey and endorsed by the British Ecological Society. It’s a positive introduction to ecosystems, challenging children to learn about and champion one of seven keystone species – bee, bat, beaver, elephant, shark, tiger and krill. There are photos, too, so children can marvel at the animals up close and in real-life. Next year you’ll see more of the same, with some early-learning and humour thrown in.

and future projects/dreams if you can?

I dream of having a small but mighty publishing company that publishes interesting, quirky, unusual, innovative books. I aspire to the Disney model of entertainment – producing things that kids will love and that parents enjoy sharing with them. There is nothing better than a happy shared reading experience. It’s a special bonding time.


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.