Inclusive Indies campaign to spotlight 14 presses

Inclusive Indies campaign to spotlight 14 presses

Inclusive Indies, a partnership set up by Jacaranda Books, Knights Of and Spread the Word, is launching a new campaign to spotlight 14 inclusive presses and their books this month.

The two-week summer campaign will highlight titles spanning fiction, short stories, non-fiction, poetry and children’s, featuring seven debuts and drawing attention to the important work smaller independents are doing, often without large marketing budgets. A partnership with Bookshop.org has also been announced with campaign advertisements in The Bookseller, and it is being funded by Arts Council England.

Launching on 3rd July and running through to the 17th, the campaign will provide commercial and marketing support to 14 inclusive independent presses in the UK and Ireland, raising awareness of their role in publishing diverse stories within the book trade and with readers. Publishers involved in the campaign include Cassava Republic, Hajar Press, Out-Spoken Press and Dahlia Books among others.

Aimée Felone, m.d. and co-founder of Knights Of (pictured) said: “More than a year on since we launched the initial crowdfunding campaign 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 for 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.”

Inclusive Indies was set up last year 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 more than £100,000. The organisers decided to share the fund with 12 other inclusive and independent small presses.

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, publisher and founder of Cassava Republic Press, said: “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." 

“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," said Joelle Taylor, editor at Out-Spoken Press. "It is exactly what the small book trade needs.” 

Sonya McGilchrist, owner and publisher at Dinosaur Books, commented: “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, m.d. at Dahlia Books, added: “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."

The full list of titles included in the campaign are: 
Should We Fall Apart by Sharon Duggal (Bluemoose Books)
In the Palace of Flowers by Victoria Princewell (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)