Here is some information from James Keane who represents independent publishing house, Northodox Press. They specialise in Crime Fiction and champion authors from the North of England. Northodox set up shop at the start of lockdown in the UK and James predicts more Indies will sprout up over the coming years, with authors moving away from the traditional publishing models.
They are currently accepting submissions of high quality books. Please see their submission page for what they will accept.
Here is what James has to say about Independent Publishing:
Independent publishing relates to any company that is not part of a large conglomerate or international business. For example, Penguin Random House are owned by the Bertelsmann Group and HarperCollins by New Corp, both multinational media corporations who’s publishing enterprises make up a fraction of their profits as a business.
Indie publishers range from one-person ventures to large companies, and may specialise in certain genres or areas of publishing. In the UK indie publishing can be generalised as any publishing house outside of the Big 5 publishers, however this isn’t always the case. The larger Independents in the UK are represented alongside Faber and Faber in “The Independent Alliance” or may be represented by the Independent Publishers Guild. Groups like these exert pressure on printers and distributors to level the playing field between the benefits the Big 5 publishers receive on account of their size.
Indies are generally more agile than their traditional counterpart, unlaboured by the bureaucracy and the wider publishing group. Take for example, the trends in trade publishing. You will recall over the past five years the trends for unicorns, colouring books, and a focus on translated titles (especially from China and Africa). It’s often Indies who lead the charge as they are able to respond to trends in the market a lot more efficiently and effectively than a larger organisation.
Equally, in terms of author care, an Indie publisher will be more willing to negotiate the finer points of contracts, editorial, marketing plans, cover design, and distribution a lot more reasonably. If you want to have full creative control over your writing, an independent publisher is likely your best choice.
The disadvantages of an independent publisher largely revolve around their reach and resources compared to a traditional publisher, who can afford to allot a reasonable sum of money behind a first-time author, driving sales and publicity towards a title. There is a drop-off with regards to this effect for every subsequent title, which is why authors often renegotiate contracts or part ways with their publishers after five years. Whereas, an independent publisher will be more likely to champion an author who have seen favourable sales, spending more time, effort, and money to ensure the frontlist and backlist grow at similar levels.
Overall COVID 19 has demonstrated to most folk working in the creative industries, that you don’t need to be based in one location and your team doesn’t need to be centralised to function successfully. We embrace the exodus from office life and more toward a more personalised and thoughtful approach to publishing. James guarantees that we’ll see independent publishers and traditional publishers opening up to wider demographics, targeting underrepresented regions, and following the ever-changing appetite of readers.
You can see the Northodox website here:
Their submission page is here: