We're more than big fans of these fiction publishers.
They've been an inspiration to us, and we feel honored to bring more eyes to their titles.
Fife, Dublin & Paris
For those first and foremost interested in the name, it comes from a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "In the real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day."
"3:AM Press is the fiction imprint of The Blue Pavillion, based in Fife, Dublin and Paris. 3:AM Press started as a collaboration (under emergency circumstances!) with 3:AM Magazine, in the summer of 2013, with Christiana Spens, Andrew Gallix and Susan Tomaselli."
"Founded in Chicago in 2003, Agate Publishing has five unique imprints: B2 Books, devoted to business-related nonfiction; Bolden Books, which publishes fiction and nonfiction by African-American writers; Surrey Books, founded in 1983 and acquired by Agate in 2006, which is focused on food, nutrition, and entertaining; and new in 2012, Agate Digital, devoted to stand-alone ebooks, and Midway Books, devoted to Midwestern topics and authors with a particular focus on Chicago. Among the authors published by Agate are recent winners of the James Beard, Pulitzer, and National Book Award prizes. In 2012, Agate was recognized as the fastest-growing independent publisher in America by Publishers Weekly magazine."
And Other Stories
Though their books are enough reasons to love And Other Stories, there's plenty more—like their dedication to independent publishing, their use of foreign language reading groups to choose books, and the fact they were the first UK lit fiction publisher to use direct, advance subscriptions as part of its model.
They've published 11 Commandments to help guide them in their book selection process. Among those include "We publish writing that is mind-blowing, often 'challenging' (Maureen Freely) and 'shamelessly literary' (Stuart Evers), "Reading groups keep our lifeblood pumping" and "We publish world-class writing, not 'world writing'".
New York, New York
In 1988, husband-and-wife-duo Richard and Jeanette Seaver launched Arcade Publishing "onto the choppy waters of a book climate that many people warned us was perilous."
"We determined that we would chart a course that we would keep to as best we knew how," Jeanette says. "To publish quality consistently and to range far afield geographically in search of new authors, new projects, and new ideas. As a result, we have brought to the North American reading public works by 252 authors from 31 different countries."
After Richard passed in 2009, Arcade's backlist was taken over by Skyhorse Publishing, and the relaunch has breathed new life into the Seaver's venture.
Black Balloon Publishing
New York, New York
Black Balloon's history is short and meteoric. Despite being founded in 2010, the press's titles have garnered praise from The New Yorker, New York Magazine, TIME, Esquire and NPR. It helps to have founders with pedigree: Elizabeth Koch of Literary Death Match and Leigh Newman of Oprah.com.
Their self-description is both incredibly specific and representative: "We call ourselves artists then remember we hate people who call themselves artists. We interrupt. Over-apologize. We talk so fast no one knows what we're saying. We eat only black and white jelly-beans and toss the vile fruits in the can. We're pretty sure that a bump behind our ear is a tumor, or that a bug has crawled in there and laid eggs." The press also operates The Airship, a "digital daily that showcases young voices and talent from across the nation."
Brooklyn Arts Press
New York, New York
"Brooklyn Arts Press (BAP) is an independent house devoted to publishing poetry books, lyrical fiction, short fiction, novels, chapbooks, art monographs, essays, translations, & nonfiction by emerging artists. We believe we serve our community best by publishing great works of varying aesthetics side by side, subverting the notion that writers & artists exist in vacuums, apart from the culture in which they reside and outside the realm & understanding of other camps & aesthetics. We believe experimentation & innovation, arriving by way of given forms or new ones, make our culture greater through diversity of perspective, opinion, expression, & spirit."
Coach House Books
Coach House Books publishes fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction to push "at the frontiers of the book". Started in 1965, Coach House earned its name by putting out early works from such writers as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Daphne Marlatt, Gwendolyn MacEwen and bpNichol.
The list of awards their titles have garnered is too long to print—but that's not Coach House's only claim to fame. By pioneering such innovations as SoftQuad (the SGML/XML company), computerized phototypesetting and desktop publishing, the press has always been positioned on the industry's frontier.
Curbside Splendor publishes "literary fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and art that celebrate the delicate point where gritty urban life and art intersect. The work we publish ranges from highly experimental to 'in-your-face' realism."
While starting as a basement publisher releasing only a few books a year, Curbside Splendor has recently received attention from across the industry. The press also puts out titles under three other imprints: Concepción Books (English and Spanish books), Dark House Press (innovative genre fiction) and Artifice Books (experimental poetry, prose and visual art).
"C&R Press began in 2006 as a literary press committed to publishing books from new and emerging poets whose work might otherwise be ignored by commercial publishers. We were interested in supporting authors whose thoughtful and imaginative contribution to contemporary literature deserved recognition and support. We've since expanded our catalog to include exciting new fiction and nonfiction, too."
C&R Press is officially a 501(3)c nonprofit independent press and currently offers works from four nonfiction authors, eleven fiction authors and eighteen poets. They also award three fiction prizes and one poetry prize each calendar year.
Dark House Press
We were originally keen to Dark House Press because of their parent publisher, Curbside Splendor. The imprint publishes a wide range of fiction, but gravitate most toward "Neo-noir, fantasy, science fiction, horror, literary, magical realism, transgressive, crime, surrealism, and the grotesque. Everything we like has an elevated perspective, a literary voice, so whatever the genre, avoid the expected, the formulaic, the same old stories and voices."
Deep Vellum Publishing
Deep Vellum Publishing is a not-for-profit literary arts organization that seeks to enhance the open exchange of ideas among cultures and to connect the world’s greatest writers with English-language readers through original translations, while facilitating educational opportunities for students of translation in the Dallas community, and promoting a more vibrant literary community in north Texas and beyond.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dzanc Books was created in 2006 to advance great writing and to impact communities nationally with our efforts to promote literary readership and advocacy of creative writing workshops and readings offered across the country.
As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Dzanc publishes innovative and award-winning literary fiction, including short story collections and novels by accomplished and award-winning writers such as Roy Kesey, Yannick Murphy, Peter Markus, Hesh Kestin, Kyle Minor, Michael Czyzniejewski, Suzanne Burns, Peter Selgin, Laura van den Berg, Robert Lopez, Dawn Raffel, Jeff Parker, Terese Svoboda, and Henning Koch.
Dzanc also supports editorially-independent imprints and journals, such as OV Books, Starcherone and Monkeybicycle.
ECW Press is a prime example of the evolution of publishing. What it stood for, both figuratively and literally, has morphed greatly in the forty years it has been in business. In 1974, ECW stood for Essays on Canadian Writing. It now "represents a particular strain of ECW Press’s diverse passions - Entertainment, Culture, Writing."
Publishers Weekly recognized ECW Press as one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America. The press has published close to 1,000 books that are distributed throughout the English-speaking world and translated into dozens of languages. In the next year they’ll release 50 new titles and will continue to support and promote a vibrant backlist that includes poetry and fiction, pop-culture and political analysis, sports books, biography, and travel guides.
Santa Monica, California
Exclaim Books is straight out of Santa Monica, California. They keep their mission straightforward and concise: "We publish experimental literature in print & online. We pair every story with a piece of art. Not highbrow, not lowbrow; we're no-brow. We do not publish poetry or novels. We're excited about the future of books, reading, and writing. Our submissions are 100% blind and open year-round."
The Feminist Press
New York, New York
"The Feminist Press is an educational nonprofit organization founded to advance women's rights and amplify feminist perspectives. FP publishes classic and new writing from around the world, creates cutting-edge programs, and elevates silenced and marginalized voices in order to support personal transformation and social justice for all people."
"Freehand Books was established in 2007 as the literary imprint of the academic publisher Broadview Press with a very simple mandate: to publish excellent Canadian literature. Our list is an aesthetically diverse, award-winning collection of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by both established authors and exciting new voices. We pride ourselves on our careful attention to detail throughout the editorial process, the high production quality and innovative design of our titles, and our creativity in the marketing and promotion of each book."
Fugue State Press
New York, New York
Founded in 1992, Fugue State Press has made a name for itself by publishing "experimental" novels—but, as they say, "any good art is experimental". The press features Stephen Dixon, André Malraux, Joshua Cohen, W.B. Keckler and James Chapman (the publisher), among others.
Also from the press: "We publish novels. To us, the long form of a novel, in which everything is said, can have an emotional impact only matched by other large forms: film, opera, symphony, epic. So for over twenty years we've published ambitious innovative novels of a high literary quality."
Goose Lane Editions
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Though it's not all they're notable for, Goose Lane Editions has been operating for over 50 years, and is Canada's oldest independent publisher. They owe their success to "the power of words to inspire, to change, to enlighten."
"We believe that the pen can be more powerful than the sword and that ideas writ large are the most important resource on this small planet. We believe that stories both show we we are and who we might become — one word at a time."
Hobart (Short Flight/Long Drive Books)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Short Flight/Long Drive Books is the book division of Hobart, an American literary magazine specializing in fiction, poetry, interviews and essays. In addition to winning awards for its short fiction (including an inclusion into The Best American Short Stories), Hobart is known for its themed pseudo-biannual print journal.
SF/LD grew out of Hobart in 2006, and spends its energy on just a few titles a year. Currently, SF/LD has upcoming books by such authors as Tao Lin, Chloe Caldwell, Mira Gonzalez and the debut work of Uzodinma Okehi.
Hub City Press
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Hub City Press is the imprint of Hub City, a publishing house, independent bookstore and creative writing institution.
The press "publishes well-crafted, high-quality works by new and established authors, with an emphasis on the Southern experience. We are committed to high-caliber novels, short stories, poetry, plays, memoir, and works emphasizing regional culture and history. We are particularly interested in books with a strong sense of place."
Lazy Fascist Press
Lazy Fascist is very proud to be an imprint of bizarro fiction hallmark Eraserhead Press. Valuing both the word and the atmosphere, Lazy Fascist finds wonderful explorations into "unique linguistic landscapes" that "create monstrous, unclassifiable fiction." Though they value dynamic prose that doesn't necessarily have to do with dynamite, they think it's best "when we can have our Bruce Willis with our Borges."
"We’ve published everything from minimalist dark comedies to meta-fictional SF, along with historical fiction, fairy tales for adults, and hybrid plays. We seek out books that are emotionally hard-hitting, critically engaging, and exhibit crisp, original prose."
New Vessel Press
New York, New York
"New Vessel Press, founded in New York City in 2012, is an independent publishing house specializing in the translation of foreign literature into English. Today, only about three percent of the books available in the American marketplace are translations. In a globalized world, shouldn’t our choice of books be global as well? By bringing readers foreign literature and literary non-fiction as ebooks and paperbacks, we offer wonderful works for a very affordable price, and in a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing format. But of course, what matters most is not where the authors hail from, or what language they write in. The most important thing is the quality of the work itself. And hence our name. We publish great books, just in a new vessel."
San Francisco, California & New York, New York
Bicoastal Outpost 19 gets the best of both worlds: San Francisco and New York, provocative and hard to put down. The press is headed by Jon Roemer (SF, experience in developing creative projects for a handful of Fortune 100 companies) and Robert Schirmer (NY, Pushcart and O. Henry awards winner).
"We're committed to delivering provocative reading. Fiction, memoirs, essays, testimonies. The shining exception. The artful argument. The story you don't want to stop."
Perfect Day Publishing
Perfect Day Publishing is a small outfit, both literally and in style. The press lays their terms out clearly—"If it's not personal, we're not interested"—and has already received acclaim, both for their individual books and their catalog. The Portland Mercury's annual 'best local' list included Perfect Day: "These books would've made it onto their list on their own merits, but they also mark the debut of a noteworthy new Portland publisher."
Perfect Day only publishes non-fiction, but the type that takes you away from the feeling you're being told a straight story. And yet to call it "creative non-fiction" wouldn't do it full justice; the original voices Perfect Day cultivates truly expand on the genre.
Publishing Genius Press
Publishing Genius was formed in 2006 with a straightforward, earnest, innovative philosophy: "Believing in literature’s practical ability to create sympathy and therefore a better world, Publishing Genius exists to make the best books by devoted members of the global literary community, and to make them in the most interesting and progressive ways."
Named Best Publishing House twice by the Baltimore City Paper, Publishing Genius constantly recreates itself. Its 'Everyday Genius' is an online journal now in its fourth year, having published over a thousand writers and artists. The press has also released its 'eBook Flights', a series for 'longer short work'—available only on eBook.
Known as the "Home of the Novella", Quattro specializes in the form and runs a yearly novella contest, the "Ken Klonsky Novella Contest."
Through three lines of books (Quattro Poetry, Quattro Fiction and Quattro International), the publisher accomplishes it's three-fold agenda: "1) to bring to the fore established writers who experiment with new forms; 2) to publish emerging writers who have produced strong work, but have been previously invisible to readers due to linguistic, stylistic and cultural obstacles; and 3) to provide a home for 'the other' – providing publication for Canadian immigrant or refugee voices."
Rare Bird Books
Los Angeles, California
Rare Bird Books is a PGW-distributed independent publisher of approximately twenty-five books a year in multiple formats, including print, ebook, audio, and limited edition.
With titles that never shy away from the taboo yet always retain true heart, Rare Bird Books continuously publishes books that you'll want to share with the uninitiated.
Red Hen Press
Divided into two imprints (Arktoi Books and Boreal Books), Red Hen Press is one of the few presses in the LA area. They're committed to "publishing works of literary excellence, supporting diversity, and promoting literacy in our local schools. We seek a community of readers and writers who are actively engaged in the essential human practice known as literature."
In addition to winning numerous awards (such as the American Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award), Red Hen gives out several of their own literary awards each year: the Benjamin Saltman Award, the Red Hen Press Short Story Award, the Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award, and the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize.
Thought Catalog Books
New York, New York
Thought Catalog Book is the imprint of Thought Catalog, "a website dedicated to your stories and ideas". Since its launch, in the beginning of 2010, Thought Catalog has exploded onto the scene of user-produced content, publishing over 35,000 articles and 170 books from over 7,600 writers.
Among their five ideals are: "We believe all thinking is relevant and strive for a value-neutral editorial policy governed by openness. The more world views and rhetorical styles o nthe site, the better. We want to tell all sides of the story and generate dialogue." and "We're about today. But our mission is also archival. We want to catalog the times for tomorrow."
Portland, Oregon & New York, New York
“Tin House is an invaluable repository of fine American writing and American fiction, presented in a crisp and entertaining visual format.” — Stephen King
In 2002, Tin House, originally founded as a literary magazine, "ventured into the world of book publishing as an imprint with Bloomsbury. In 2005, the independent press Tin House Books was launched, Spearheaded by editorial director Lee Montgomery, Tin House Books publishes a dozen titles a year, and its authors have garnered attention from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and O, the Oprah magazine."
Two Lines Press
San Francisco, CA
"Two Lines Press exists to give American readers the opportunity to read some of the great work from outside our borders that they would not otherwise get to see. As the barriers between cultures continue to come down and more and more authors are finding inspiration in foreign lands, there’s all the more reason for us all to read the world."
New York, New York
"Nowadays many literary functions in New York consist of some hummus and maybe a glass or two of white wine and everyone’s home in time to catch The Daily Show. Multiple factors have contributed to this taming of New York letters. Many working writers are sequestered to academia, maybe due to the fact that New York has become prohibitively costly for artists to live as artists. New York Tyrant and Tyrant Books, a literary magazine and small press, is the exception to the rule." — Los Angeles Review of Books.
Tyrant Books was founded by Giancarlo DiTrapano in 2006 and features some incredible fiction from some incredible writers, including Rachel B. Glaser, Marie Calloway, Scott McClanahan, Sam Lipsyte, Padgett Powell and Gordon Lish.
London, England and New York, New York
Verso is a force to be reckoned within the realm of independent publishing (they are the largest house in that speciality, with 100+ books a year). Even more remarkably, they boast "global sales approaching $3 million per year and over 350 titles in print," possibly making it "the largest radical publisher in the English-language world."
To say they're unafraid to announce their political affiliation is an understatement. The house was originally known as "New Left Books" and "Verso" alludes to the technical term for the left-hand page in a book. A more complete history can be found on their website, but it's worth nothing they've been producing notable works for over forty years, including the autobiography of Rigoberta Menchú, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.
What Books Press
Los Angeles, California
Working off the model of a collective, What Books Press categorizes itself as one of "diverse literary and visual artists whose work often defies ready classification, spanning the past quarter century. Among us we have published a long list of books from small literary presses and New York commercial presses, as well as regional, international, and university presses. Our Work has appeared here and abroad in journals, art galleries, and theaters. We have come together to create, promote, and celebrate new books of literary writing and astounding art."
What attracted us to What Books was their unyielding affinity to the searching and the experimental—and yet each book they publish is just as compelling as it is artful.