New independent publisher Black Bee Books has set up shop in the Carmarthenshire town of Llandeilo, with the aim of seeking out authors who "represent the diverse communities in Wales".
The indie is headed by Seonaid and Huw Francis, who also run Thunderpoint Publishing. Seonaid, who is editorial director at the new company, said: “We are excited to be launching Black Bee Books, and though the Covid pandemic has impacted on our launch plans, we are very much looking forward to working with an expanded group of authors and engaging with bookshops, readers and new audiences in Wales. We are actively looking for authors who represent the diverse communities in Wales, and write with a distinctive and engaging voice that readers will empathise with.”
Black Bee Books will release three titles this year, including Angela Johnson's Arianwen, a historical novel set in 20th-century rural west Wales, G B Williams' contemporary crime novel The Chair and Colin R Parsons' YA horror and sci-fi short story collection The Man with the Black Shoebox and Other Strange Stories. They will be published in September, and the publisher's distribution will be handled by the Books Council of Wales and Gardners.
A spokesperson at The Books Council of Wales said: “We are delighted to welcome Black Bee Books to the Welsh publishing industry and look forward to working with them as a distributor. The benefits of reading have been foregrounded once more during the strange times in which we currently live, and it is important that readers in Wales are able to choose from a wide selection of titles which reflect the diversity and distinctiveness of our country in both Welsh and English."