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Favorite small- to mid-sized publishers ~ No Self-Promo Please

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Initial post: Aug 4, 2012 10:19:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2012 6:23:25 PM PDT
Scamp says:
Hi! Yesterday I was downloading my usual monthly freebie from Phoenix Pick, an independent publisher of sci-fi titles. I got to thinking about the various small publishers who have distinguished themselves from the rest.

Some that come to mind:

Poisoned Pen
Midnight Ink
Night Shade Books

There are others whose names escape me. I would like to keep a list handy for when I am searching for new books to buy.

What are your favorites among the smaller presses?

Evolving list:

Poisoned Pen
Midnight Ink
Night Shade Books
Open Road
Small Beer Press
Subterranean Press
Sourcebooks Landmark
Bloomsbury Reader
Algonquin Press
Darkfuse Publications (Delirium Books an imprint)
Abbattoir Press
Rosetta Books
Dark Regions Press
Book View Cafe
Accent Press (UK)
Premiere Digital Publishing
Permuted Press
Sunbury Press
Phoenix Pick (imprint of Arc Manor)
Whiskey Creek Press
New Pulp Press
Cemetary Dance
ChiZine (Fairly new develpment: they are now in some way affiliated with HarperCollins.)

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 10:47:30 AM PDT
Brenda says:
I have no idea of the size of these, but I've used their sites and Amazon lists them as publishers:
Small Beer Press
Book View Cafe
Subterranean Press

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2012 11:33:05 AM PDT
Scamp says:
Thanks, I'll look those up.

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 11:37:12 AM PDT
Scamp says:
I just thought of another few of fairly well known ones:

Sourcebooks Landmark

Mira came to mind because there is a Brenda Novak freebie today listed at BOTK:
When We Touch (Whiskey Creek)

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 11:46:49 AM PDT
Scamp says:,p_36:0-0&field-keywords=%22Oceanview%20Publishing%22

This is a list of freebies (some repeats) from Oceaview Publishing. I have not yet read any titles from this publisher, but my mother has read several of their books and liked them.

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 5:49:23 PM PDT
Miss M says:
Just when I had sworn off the KBF, Scamp, you pulled me back in - great thread idea (I'll mainly be taking notes. ;)
I've always hoped (and still do) that the small, specialized publishers will be the saviors of the SP "industry" (from a picky reader's perspective.) Although I appreciate how much some authors want to throw out the evil "gatekeepers" it just seems to me there's a big, gaping hole for quality entrepeneurs to step in, clean up the editing (and maybe uploading/formatting/publicity) process without all the exploitation & infrastructure of the Big 6, and guarantee authors a fair deal and readers a quality read from an independent author...

But, anyway...I haven't yet developed the awareness/recognition-factor for these quality publishers, but am working on getting smarter. I very much like Open Road, primarily their sales, but I guess they are the big daddy of the e-industry so far, outside of the Big 6 and their imprints. I totally love the Bloomsbury Reader re-print series but that's more a trad pub derivative.
Camel is a small-house that I've picked up some interesting titles from. Also, Algonquin Press has been a favorite for many years in DTB, and have picked up a few e-books from them so far.

That's all I got - a mini-rant and a couple of rec's. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2012 1:41:05 PM PDT
Scamp says:
>>Just when I had sworn off the KBF, Scamp, you pulled me back in <<

I'm having a difficult time wanting to come here also, but I still was sad to read that you had sworn off the forum. It's not really fun here a lot, is it? :(

>>Although I appreciate how much some authors want to throw out the evil "gatekeepers" it just seems to me there's a big, gaping hole for quality entrepeneurs to step in, clean up the editing (and maybe uploading/formatting/publicity) process without all the exploitation & infrastructure of the Big 6, and guarantee authors a fair deal and readers a quality read from an independent author...<<

I agree. And from a selfish perspective, I also want someone else to wade through the slush pile. Some of the publishers mentioned in this thread have been around for some time, and some already have stellar reps. But I suspect, and even hope, that more will rise to the top.l

I think the Big 6 - or some or most of them - will endure, but there is definitely a gap to be filled. I think the small- and mid-sized pubs can do that.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 7:26:52 AM PDT
Scamp says:
Thought this was as good a place as any to post the new Poisoned Pen Press freebie:

Concrete Desert: A David Mapstone Mystery (David Mapstone Series)

Have a great day all! I'm off to the trenches. :)

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 7:44:42 AM PDT
Darkfuse Publications is one of my current favorites. Delirium books is part of Darkfuse. Also Abbattoir Press.
These are both horror publishers. Try not to be too shocked. : )

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 9:30:07 AM PDT
Scamp says:
*gasp* The horror!


Thanks for adding this one. I don't read a lot of horror, so we need more diversity in our growing list. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 9:31:57 AM PDT
I have to represent. : )

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 9:38:04 AM PDT
Scamp says:
You are duly appointed to represent all the horror fans of the world! This is a very big responsibility, but I feel you are up to the task. :)

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 9:40:43 AM PDT
*takes a deep breath* I shall certainly do my best. : )

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 1:19:24 PM PDT
Scamp says:
Two more PPP freebies!!

Dangerous Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery (Buryin' Barry Series)

Embrace the Grim Reaper: A Grim Reaper Mystery (Grim Reaper Series) <--- This one looks interesting - mystery with a little supernatural into the mix.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 1:45:45 PM PDT
Scamp says:
I also ran across a couple of books in my archive by Rosetta Books, and I'm seeing more and more titles by this publisher showing up in the Kindle store. They have a specialty (or at least it is one of their specialties) of books-into-movies.

One of Brenda's suggestions appears to be a co-op rather than what we think of in the traditional sense of a publisher: Book View Cafe. Authors become members. I am not sure if they have to meet certain criteria, whether they pay a regular fee, or how the services offered work for the members (editing, covers, etc.) Another publisher name that seems to be coming up lately is ePublishing Works! They also refer to author "members."

I am curious about these co-ops. I think they could be very good, if like-minded authors of talent banded together, if the "membership" wasn't just a matter of paying a fee or signing on the dotted line, and if there were identifiable standards involved in membership. Authors need to find some way to distinguish themselves from the slush pile. If they choose correctly those with whom they keep company (so to speak), it could be beneficial.

Brenda, if you are still reading, do you remember any of the titles you have read from the Book View Cafe? I would love to hear more specifics about your experience. Thanks. :)

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 1:47:52 PM PDT
I forgot to list Dark Regions press.
(I'm representin'.)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 1:49:59 PM PDT
Scamp says:
Hey, just wanted to point out that Subterranean Press, one of Brenda's picks, specializes in horror and fantasy. It looks like they sometimes publish special editions of books from pretty well-known authors. (GRRM, for one.)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 1:50:39 PM PDT
Scamp says:
It's going on there, Ms. Representeress. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 1:55:01 PM PDT
Oh yes, Subterranean! How could I have forgotten them?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 4:41:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2012 4:48:30 PM PDT
Brenda says:
Hi Scamp, I hadn't even considered whether Book View Cafe was a publisher or simply a site selling books until I saw your OP. Then I put them in Amazon's search field and found some books listing them as the publisher, so just posted without further researching. When I was shopping, I only researched enough to know if I'd give them my credit card info.

I've only bought 3 books at BVC. They were all by Vonda McIntyre and not available here (Dreamsnake, Moon and the Sun, and Starfarers). The only specifics I can think of to share, since she's a well-known author, are that they're drm-free and I can go back and download whenever (as long as they exist). I just now went and glanced at their site and, although there aren't a large number of authors, I see they also have Judith Tarr and Linda Nagata. They have other genres but I wouldn't be familiar with author names.

[Not about publishers, but because I saw a Charlene on one of the "what are you reading" threads saying she likes a short story now and then.]
Subterranean Press also has a magazine that can be read online for free. I don't see a download option, but may have missed it.
I found them (and Baen) via a site called Free Speculative Fiction Online. It links to other legitimate sites where some shorter works by well-known authors are being given away. I was looking for some award winners I couldn't find to buy anywhere. I assume other genres have similar sites, and that finding them is as tedious as finding this one was for me (avoiding illegal sites).

edit: here are a few more parentheses in case there aren't quite enough :) (((((!)))))

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 5:10:36 PM PDT
Scamp says:
Brenda, I am pretty certain that they *do* function as publishers. They seem to be going a different direction from the traditional houses.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the variations I'm seeing in the way some new publishers are doing business. I've even seen some publisher sites in which they accept submissions on the one hand and offer services (editing, cover art, etc.) on the other, apparently for a fee. Books We Love appears to function in this dual role, just to name one I've come across recently.

Thank you for telling me about the well-known authors you have encountered there and the books you have bought from the site. That helps to put a perspective on it.

I am flipping through the authors on BVC as we *speak*, and I just came across this familiar name: "Ursula K. Le Guin is a founding member of Book View Café." Interesting! :) While I haven't come across too many familiar names (which doesn't mean anything except that I am not familiar with them), the bios look promising overall. The site looks professional also. :)

There have been a few "publisher" sites I have encountered that looked like several authors pooled their resources to form a publishing company. I guess the challenge for readers is to determine what, if any, standards of quality exist. (Some of them, unlike the Book View Cafe, don't appear to be all that great.)

Thanks, again.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 8:01:08 AM PDT
Thank you, Brenda! I don't know how I could've missed a magazine. I'm going to go check it out.

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 8:04:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2012 8:04:17 AM PDT
Another small horror press. Sorry to keep on adding, but there are so many horror/apocalyptic small presses out there, I keep forgetting them. Until another email hits my in box!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2012 12:34:17 PM PDT
Scamp says:
I lost track of this thread, Charlene, but I will add Permuted Press. I do believe I've seen this publisher with some freebie offerings recently.

I just added Accent Press and Premiere Digital Publishing, the latter of which has some familiar names, including Piers Anthony. There are some freebies today that I will also post.

Posted on Sep 2, 2012 12:57:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2012 1:06:28 PM PDT
Scamp says:
Medallion Press:
Diary of a Confessions Queen by Kathy Carmichael (This is supposed to be humorous as well as suspenseful)
A Foreign Policy by Richard Graham-Yooll

Sunbury Press:
Ambush at Dry Bone Gulch by Sid Davis

Premiere Digital Publishing:
Trey of Swords (Witch World (Estcarp Series))
Merlin's Mirror

Story Merchant Books:
Dead Game (Ed Noon Mystery) by Michael Avallone (This is pulp fiction from the early 1950s being re-released by the author. It's part of a series of short books, this one about 120 pages.)

Midnight Ink:
September Fair (The Murder-By-Month Mysteries) by Jess Lourey (I have the first two books in this series, the May and June ones. This is the fifth. Haven't read them yet.)

EDITED: I've added Sunbury Press to the list, as they look like a decent-sized (and growing) publisher. I don't think I've read any of their books yet.

***I am not adding Story Merchant Books to the list of small pubs because it looks like a POD publisher. This does not mean they won't have good books to offer. I have downloaded a couple of books published by SMB. They seem to have some services that may make them an attractive publisher for some self-pubs, possibly including some authors who are backlisting, like the one mentioned above.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  169
Initial post:  Aug 4, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 12, 2013

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