It’s February! Today is the first day of Reading Independent Publishers Month, an event being co-hosted by Karen and myself. We hope you’ve all been raiding your TBR piles or madly spending all your hard-earned dosh on lots of lovely indie press books, ready to share them with everyone – it should be great fun!

In the run up to the month, the question has arisen as to what in reality counts as an Independent Publisher. That’s actually a difficult question to answer; some are obvious, when we’re talking about a smaller outfit printing and issuing their own works, like Renard Press. However, what about university presses or bookshop associated presses? How can you tell whether a publisher is part of a bigger conglomerate. It *isn’t* straightforward, and so here are a few hints or guidelines.

Lists are a good place to start. Here are some links.

UK Publishers

Contemporary Small Presses

List of Independent Publishers

The Independent Alliance

The Northern Fiction Alliance

Scottish Independent Publishers

International Presses

American Presses

International Alliance of Independent Publishers

Publishers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland

It’s worth noting that these lists may be incomplete, and some may contain non-indies! But they are a useful reference point, particularly if you have a particular book in mind.

Another way to check is to have a look at a publisher’s website – many will proudly proclaim their independence, and their About page may give you more info on their status.

None of this is necessarily definitive, so we guess the best advice is to go with your gut. If a book is from a name which doesn’t seem to be connected with one of the main publishing giants, and you want to read it, go for it! The main point of this month is to read as many wonderful books as you can as well as supporting the smaller publishers who produce them.

Enjoy and share your reading during February. Use the #ReadIndies hashtag on whatever platform you use and link your reviews on the linky at https://readindies2021.blogspot.com/2021/01/our-indie-bookshelf.html

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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