Picture book author and illustrator Gillian McClure is setting up publishing company Plaister Press rather than conform to the "hugely cautious" picture book market.
McClure hopes the company will eventually expand to include work by other authors and illustrators. She said she was "creatively frustrated" at being unable to produce books that publishers considered too risky. Her titles have previously been published by Random House and Bloomsbury.
She said: "There is still demand in the market for very young picture books but it is harder to get picture books for older children produced even though I see demand for these. I had to decide whether I wanted to produce what the market wants or create those more risky titles on my own."
McClure has already republished one of her earlier titles, Selkie, and will publish a new book, The Little White Sprite, this month. She added: "Selkie was a steady seller and should have remained in print." Like many authors, she depends on having her books available to sell during school visits. "By publishing these titles, I am prolonging my career in schools," she added.
McClure will publish one new title each year, using local printers and supporting independent booksellers. Plaister Press' initial publishing programme is being funded by a private donor but McClue believes the initiative will grow to become self-funding and profitable.
She will be visiting Bologna to sell the titles with her agent handling overseas rights and contracts. McClure added: "At some point in the future, I very much hope to have other names on the list."