An A-Z of (UK) Independent Publishers – F

I’m focusing on UK based publishers of adult fiction, short stories and poetry. I’ll update my master list as I go along (or I’ll try too) but this fortnightly list will give a more personalised shout out.

During the current pandemic, we’re all aware that times are tough for indie bookshops and publishers so obviously if you can buy direct from them that benefits them more. During lockdown that isn’t always an option for hard copy books so instead, you might want to consider using Bookshop.org or Hive Books.co.uk – both of which offer a percentage of the sale to a bricks-and-mortar bookshop.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice a slight change in format from previous posts. As you’ll appreciate these posts are time consuming and one of the things that slows me down is sourcing/formatting example book covers into a standard sized image for each publisher. In addition this is eating into my storage limit as WordPress keeps adding these to my image files. So to speed things up (and slow down my need to upgrade) I’ve decided to lose the logo (another thing that needs time to source and format) and will use a sample book cover as the image, this will also be the link through to the publishers website – which also loses the need for a button.

If you know of publishers I’ve missed or want to help update my master list then please add details in the comments.

So here we go with F.

Faber & Faber

Klara and the Sun

Founded in 1929 in London, Faber is one of the world’s great publishing houses. Our list of authors includes thirteen Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize-winners. We are proud to publish the foremost voices in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama, with writers including T. S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, Harold Pinter, Sylvia Plath, William Golding, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney and Kazuo Ishiguro.


Fahrenheit Press

The Beloved Children

The brains behind Fahrenheit Press have worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years and we figured it was time we created the publishing company we always dreamed of. We shoot from the lip and we call it like we see it – if that rubs people up the wrong way we can live with that.

Fahrenheit Press are a brand new publishing house founded by international publishing veteran Chris McVeigh.

After many years helping the world’s biggest publishers build authors and create best-selling titles we’ve decided the time is right to step out from behind the curtain, set up our own publishing house and do things the way we think they should be done. We definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s just the way we like it. If we’re not ruffling some feathers, we reckon we’re doing something wrong.

For sure our punk ethos runs through everything we do but don’t mistake our tone for unprofessionalism – over the years we’ve helped shift literally millions of books for some of the biggest publishers in the world.

We’ve only just started out on this journey and we really appreciate all the support you’ve given us so far – it’s been a real blast – we have no idea where this will take us but we promise you the ride will never be boring.


Fairlight Books

Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn Fairlight Moderns

Fairlight Books has one aim – to celebrate quality writing and promote the best of new and contemporary literary fiction.

Based in the thriving and energetic publishing hub of Oxford, we’re a young, dynamic team wanting to do things a little differently. For us, it’s about a wider community coming together to celebrate and promote quality writing.

Since our inception, our authors have been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, shortlisted for the Paul Torday Prize, the BBC National Short Story Award and on the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Recommended List.


Fantom Publishing

Children of the Stones

Fantom Publishing has a long history of producing and releasing high quality audio titles. These consist of a mixture of full length readings, abridged classics, and full cast dramas. With a whole spectrumof genres, from horror to romance, autobiographical to science fiction, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.

We released our first book title in 2009, when we proudly presented the first volume of Mary Tamm’s autobiography, First Generation. Since then we have continued to add constantly to our diverse catalogue of titles, encompassing original fiction and adaptations, photographical and design, as well as biographies and autobiographies.


Farrago Books

Odd Bird

Farrago’s purpose is simply to help readers find fiction that makes them smile.

We want to introduce you to books that will tickle your funny bone. We want you to know that if you find one funny, there’s a whole series that you’ll enjoy. And we will invite you to discover other series that make you smile.


Fictive Dream

Welcome to Fictive Dream, the online magazine dedicated to the short story. We chose our name with more than just a backward glance to American writer and teacher John Gardner whose concept of the fictive dream remains a cornerstone of good writing. Powerful writing ensures that readers never slip out of the fictional world or dream that a writer creates. This is the sort of writing we’re looking to promote here at Fictive Dream.

If you write fiction with a contemporary feel that gives an insight into the human condition, then we’d like to hear from you. We’re interested in stories with a distinctive voice, clarity of thought and precision of language. They may be on any subject. They may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating or cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.


Fine Press Poetry

I’ve always been a keen reader and had my favourite authors, generally American novelists but also British poets. A bit of a collector too, I like a signed first, preferably limited, edition. I collected John Updike’s books – it was Updike who once said; “a book is beautiful in its relation to the human hand, to the human eye, to the human brain, and to the human spirit.” I felt the same way.  I was keen to venture into the book world; but where would I start?

My inspiration came sooner than expected. It was in June 2012, soon after reading an article in Parenthesis by John Kristensen of Boston’s Firefly Press, which featured work he’d done with a publisher William B. Ewert, that I found myself in Massachusetts for the Updike Society’s conference. Prior to going to the States, I’d e-mailed Firefly and John had invited me to visit the press where I had a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring day. How could I learn from William B. Ewert? Where could I use this inspiration?

Simon Armitage, the British poet, was someone whose work I also collected, though his publications had a notable lack of fine press editions. Simon had recently contributed to a wonderful project in which he wrote 6 poems on the theme of water that were then carved onto rocks on the Pennine watershed. I saw this as my opportunity. I proposed the rather loose idea of a beautiful limited edition of the poems and, despite my lack of experience; he agreed to give it a go.

I then needed to find a printer. I first tried Incline Press, based in Oldham; they were interested in the idea but too busy to take on the project, so instead suggested that I contact John Grice at Evergreen Press in Gloucestershire. John too was interested and, whilst I was discussing my very tentative, ill-formed ideas, he suggested that Hilary Paynter might like to be involved.

I didn’t know it at the time but I know now how lucky I was to work with such talented people. In April 2013 Hilary came north and on a cold, wet weekend we visited the site of each of the six poems. Somehow Hilary came away with images in her head that she developed to engrave beautiful images for the Snow, Rain, Mist, Dew, Puddle and Beck poems.

John and Hilary’s advice on the design of the book, the type, the paper and the layout was invaluable, as was the recommendation to involve the Fine Book Bindery. In October 2013, about a year after I initially proposed the idea, I, as publisher, had a beautiful book in my hands.

Working with very talented poets, artists, printers and binders has been a wonderful experience and I hope to continue to publish books that live up to Updike’s assertion.

– Andrew Moorhouse


Fitzcarraldo Editions

Fifty Sounds

Fitzcarraldo Editions is an independent publisher specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays. Founded in 2014, it focuses on ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing, both in translation and in the English language. The series, designed by Ray O’Meara, are published as paperback originals with French flaps, using a custom serif typeface (called Fitzcarraldo). Fitzcarraldo Editions publishes, among other authors, 2015 and 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature laureates Svetlana Alexievich and Olga Tokarczuk. 


Flapjack Press

Flapjack Press publishes poetry, poetry-theatre, plays and art collections for adults and children, and coordinates Word Central in association with Manchester Libraries


Fledgling Press

Whirligig

Fledgling Press is an independent publisher based in Edinburgh, publishing historical fiction, life stories, crime fiction, literary fiction and young adult fiction, including award-winning authors Helen Grant, Philip Caveney and Alex Nye. We are committed to publishing work by debut authors, emerging talent and new voices in the literary world.

As an independent publisher Fledgling Press aim to make new authors available to readers quickly and effectively. We combine publishing printed books and electronic books to give authors the best opportunity to gain exposure.​​

Saltire First Book Award shortlistees Moira McPartlin (The Incomers) and Kate Hunter (The Caseroom), and the next new name in Scottish Crime Fiction, Andrew James Greig (Whirligig), longlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger 2020 and finalist for The McIlvanney Prize 2020 are represented by Fledgling Press too.


flipped eye publishing

His Father's Disease

Founded in 2001 by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, an editor and award-winning writer, flipped eye publishing has won global critical acclaim, playing a key role in developing poets such as Inua Ellams, Malika Booker, Miriam Nash, Nick Makoha and Warsan Shire. Our writers are Latinx, Queer, White, school dropouts, Intersex, degree holders, Black, Gay, old, young, Asian, Straight… and they all feel heard and at home with flipped eye publishing, expressing themselves with freedom, creating affirming and challenging work.

Always at the forefront of innovation in the publishing world, we were one of the first publishers in the world to have a regular subscription mailing list (in 2005) as well as a regular podcast – the hugely popular Poem of the Week Redux, with readings from the likes of Roger Robinson, Warsan Shire, Inua Ellams and Malika Booker – in 2010. Our small staff has meant that we have been unable to maintain many of these initiatives, but we believe in constant experimentation, always pushing boundaries. 

Our audiences recognise our diversity and commitment and that is why we have been one of the most imitated small presses in the UK for years. Our mouthmark series – a groundbreaking, goal-focussed, poetry pamphlet series – revolutionised pamphlet publishing in the UK. Launched in 2004 with the first book released in 2005, it was the first time that a series was dedicated to developing writers with a slant towards transposing the energy of the stage to the page. The goal-focussed approach has since been imitated by the likes of Tall Lighthouse and Faber, but what remains unique about the mouthmark series, which unveiled the likes of Inua Ellams, Warsan Shire, Nick Makoha and Malika Booker, is that it was run on an incredible budget of £300 per title.

flipped eye publishing is a lean, reader-focussed, writer-loving, boat-rocking support system for culture that matters. History is just a beginning for us. Here’s to the next eighteen years.


Fly on the Wall Poetry Press

PowerPoint Eulogy

Fly on the Wall is a social enterprise company and a not for profit publisher, based in Manchester. We publish innovative short stories, poetry and photography books on pressing issues, from exceptional authors around the globe, all with a socially conscious theme.

Social action is intrinsically linked into our books, and has been since the Press was established in February 2018. Our flagship anthologies work in two ways: each sale fundraises for the chosen charity and each reader  continues our conversation, tackling the issues highlighted.  We are proud to publish short stories and poetry on the pressing issues of our time, being unafraid to generate conversation about perhaps ‘prickly’ subjects, whilst also dedicating a large proportion of our yearly publishing schedule to charitable projects. 


Fox, Finch & Tepper

The Shiralee Paperback

After nearly 8 years of passionate bookselling at our award-winning independent bookshop in Bath, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, we are now aiming to mirror the principles and passion behind that business to create our own publishing house – Fox, Finch & Tepper.

Initially all of our focus will be on literary fiction titles with a strong sense of place that have already been published and that deserve resurrection. They are books that we have read, adored and sold in their previous incarnations and that we want to be able to share with a greater audience and deserve to be loved by many more readers.

Our publishing concern will share the personality characteristics of the three very different literary heroes that we have named it after. Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is tenacious in the face of adversity and endlessly inventive; Scout Finch is a brave innocent who is confident in following the beat of her own drum; Murray Tepper is the star of Calvin Trillin’s brilliantly oddball “Tepper Isn’t Going Out” – a classic example of a relatively unknown book that we like to champion. Tepper loves to read, has great insight into consumer preferences and a real love of life’s less obvious delights – specifically, a good parking place!

Fox, Finch & Tepper is run by the exact same folk who run Mr B’s. Our shop was set up in 2006 and it’s a dynamic independent bookshop laid out over three floors and is an atmospheric, quirky and welcoming space. We quickly built a reputation, in particular, for our excellent customer service, our reading gifts for book lovers (the Mr B’s Reading Spa and Mr B’s Reading Year subscription service) and our ability to hand-sell the books that we love. We were fortunate enough to be twice named Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards (2008 and 2011) and have won local awards, and national recognition, for our innovative approach to bookselling. Do come and visit us at our lovely shop in Bath or check out the shop’s website www.mrbsemporium.com where you can buy Fox, Finch & Tepper titles and thousands of other books that we love.


Fox Spirit Books

White Rabbit

Fox Spirit believes that day to day life lacks a few things. We need the fantastic, the magical, the mischievous and even a touch of the horrific to stave off the banal and humdrum. Let the skulk bring you stories full of wonder and mischief delivered with a sharp bite.


Francis Boutle

Josafat (Short Fiction translated from European regional and lesser used languages)

Independent publisher specialising in books with an alternative view of history, literature, art, languages including Scottish Gaelic, Basque, Frisian

(The) Frogmore Press

Image

The Frogmore Press was founded by André Evans and Jeremy Page at the Frogmore Tea Rooms in Folkestone in 1983. The Press has published hundreds of writers in its now bi-annual magazine The Frogmore Papers and also in individual collections and anthologies. Early work by numerous writers who have gone on to consolidate their reputations elsewhere appeared in the magazine.

Poems by Sophie Hannah, Tobias Hill, Sarah Jackson, Katherine Pierpoint, Linda France, Tamar Yoseloff and many more were published in The Frogmore Papers before re-appearing in their authors’ first collections.

Work by established writers such as Brian Aldiss, John Mole, Clare Pollard, Carole Satyamurti, Pauline Stainer and Andrew Waterman has also appeared, alongside work by unknown or emerging writers.

The Frogmore Press exists for readers and writers. It receives no grant aid and welcomes subscriptions to The Frogmore Papers and purchases from the back catalogue.


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