Northodox Press founders talk launching during lockdown

Northodox Press founders talk launching during lockdown

Northodox Press is a new crime fiction publisher based in the north of England which was founded by friends Tom Ashton, Ted O’Connor and James Keane last year. They answer Caroline Carpenter’s questions below.

How did Northodox Press begin and why did you decide to set it up?

We launched Northodox in 2020 as the nation went into lockdown as a reaction to the London-centric orbit of the publishing industry in the UK. Publishing often favours white middle-class voices within the southern bubble, a reality completely disparate from our own backgrounds and experiences growing up in the north. 

Who is the team behind Northodox Press and what were you all doing beforehand?

The team all met while studying Creative Writing at the University of Derby, and went on to work in and around publishing, for the big four, with literary agents, and as published authors ourselves, before striking out on our own. We're based remotely, for the time being, working from our homes in Manchester, Barrow-In-Furness, and Sheffield. 

Some of Northodox Press' titles

What has it been like launching a new publisher during a pandemic? Have there been any particular challenges? 

The pandemic has brought its challenges, though our digital-first approach has put us in good stead, being able to offer e-book and print-on-demand alternatives has allowed us to be agile. The lack of physical events has been a drawback, the things which make authors excited about their books often can’t be found behind a Zoom call. But we have a few events planned in the summer (restrictions permitting).

What are the long-term aims and ambitions of Northodox Press?

We’re concentrating on crime fiction for our initial publications, based strictly in the north of England. Drawing on those rich and dark locations, while playing with a genre aching with tired old stereotypes by turning them on their heads.

What plans or projects do you have in the pipeline?

We have lots of exciting books on the horizon. Our fourth title publishes in November, Joseph Darlington’s The Girl Beneath the Ice, which takes a small-town drama and locks it in a wintery landscape of suspicion and intrigue. Our first physical book launch event was in Manchester in July, for Her Sister's Shadow, by Mancunian author Catherine Wimpeney. There are book signings planned across the North West on the book's publicity trail. It's great to be able to meet with our authors and bring events to readers, which is really what publishing is about.

More information can be found on Northodox Press’ website