#InclusiveIndies campaign – celebrating indie presses


Inclusive Indies are pleased to announce a new campaign for 2021. The two-week summer campaign has been launched with 14 inclusive independent presses. It will highlight titles spanning fiction, short stories, non-fiction, poetry and children’s, featuring 7 debut titles. A partnership with Bookshop.org has also been announced with campaign advertisements in The Bookseller. An InstaLive schedule, featuring all the presses, is also taking place. The schedule is here.

“To be a part of this campaign alongside other indies that are dedicated to celebrating the breadth of storytelling, and allowing cultures to hold centre stage in the ways that they are explored on the page is wonderful, because it is a reminder not just to the world, but ourselves, that we are part of an ever-growing network of people committed to the work of dismantling the idea of the mainstream as singular.” Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Publisher, Cassava Republic Press

Inclusive Indies was set up by Knights Of and Jacaranda Books in partnership with Spread the Word in 2020, as a response to the impact of Covid-19 on independent presses. After the death of George Floyd an outpouring of support for diverse literature saw the campaign smash through its funding target and raise over £100,000. They decided to share the fund with 12 other inclusive and independent small presses.

The aim for this year’s campaign is to highlight the important work done by these small indies who often don’t have the marketing budget to reach new readers, and shine a spotlight on the important work they are doing.

Launching on Saturday 3 July and running through to Saturday 17 July, the campaign will provide commercial and marketing support to 14 inclusive independent presses in the UK and Ireland, and raise awareness of their critical role in publishing diverse stories within the book trade and with readers. The Campaign will include a partnership with Bookshop.org, advertisements in The Bookseller, social media and online events.

Aimée Felone, Managing Director, Knights of, says: “More than a year on since we launched the initial crowdfund it’s important to make sure the conversation around supporting inclusive led independent publishing houses doesn’t just fade into the background. This new campaign is a wonderful showcase of the books that are being published, the authors who are taking up space in this industry and the publishing houses that are actively doing the work to ensure underrepresented voices are given the same spotlight that is so easily afforded to others.”

Valerie Brandes, Director, Jacaranda Books, says: “Pain is long, and memories are short. It can be easy to forget or assume that the urgency of last year, out of which Inclusive Indies was created, is no longer a concern. However, the truth remains that the need for diverse, inclusive, independent publishers, and the risks and challenges inherent for small presses, remain as urgent as ever. With this campaign, we have the opportunity to reach new readerships, draw focus and awareness on exciting works of a diverse, exciting range of debut and established authors, and support independent publishers in a way that is most beneficial.”

Mark Thornton, UK Bookshop.org Partnership Manager, says: “Bookshop.org is really proud to support this initiative, and independent publishers of diverse books. It aligns perfectly with our mission of supporting diversity and independence on the High Street.”

The Campaign’s 14 selected books include fiction, fantasy, children’s, short stories, poetry and anthologies. Seven of the titles are by debut writers.

Joelle Taylor, Editor, Out-Spoken Press, says: “As a small independent press trying to introduce innovative voices the Inclusive Indies Campaign provides us with a valuable opportunity to develop our marketing potential and reach a wider readership. It is exactly what the small book trade needs.”

Sonya McGilchrist, Owner and Publisher, Dinosaur Books, says: “At Dinosaur Books, we are proud to publish diverse and inclusive stories that children love to read. We think that independent publishers and independent booksellers make great partners.”

Farhana Shaik, Managing Editor, Dahlia Books, says: “I’m thrilled that Dahlia Books is part of the Inclusive Indies campaign which hopes to put the excellent work being done by the independent presses on the map.” 

Kevin Duffy, Publisher, Bluemoose Books, says: “Cooperation and collaboration are the essence of Independent publishing, sharing our stories and knowledge in getting our books into readers’ hands and I’m delighted to be a part of this brilliant initiative.” 

Inclusive Indies Campaign titles, authors, illustrators, translators and publishers

  • Should We Fall Apart by Sharon Duggal, Bluemoose Books

  • In the Palace of Flowers by Victoria Princewill, Cassava Republic Press

  • Let Us Look Elsewhere by Mona Dash, Dahlia Publishing

  • Children of the Benin Kingdom by Dinah Orji, Dinosaur Books

  • Fovea / Ages Ago by Sarah Lasoye, Hajar Press

  • A Long Way from Douala by Max Lobe, translated by Ros Schwarz, HopeRoad and Small Axes

  • Mayhem Mission by Burhana Islam, illustrated by Farah Khandaker, Knights of

  • Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez, Jacaranda Books

  • Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson, Little Island Books

  • Daughters of Nri by Reni K Amayo, Onwe Press

  • Fetch Your Mother’s Heart by lisa luxx, Out-Spoken Press

  • Sunflower Sisters by Monika Singh Gangotra, illustrated by Michelle Dias-Hayes, Owlet Press

  • Unlocked: Stories of Hope from Tiny Owl Artists in Lockdown, Tiny Owl Publishing

  • In Search of Mami Wata, Michelle Yaa Asantewa (editor), Way Wive Wordz Publishing

The Inclusive Indies Campaign is funded by Arts Council England.

You can see the InstaLive campaign schedule here.

Published 5 July 2021