Northern indies overcome boost sales and build communities of readers through new routes (via The Bookseller)

A report by Natasha Onwuemezi in this week's issue of The Bookseller tells us that independent publishers, including members of The Northern Fiction Alliance, are overcoming trade challenges such as high returns and the effects of Brexit, through new routes.

Speaking to The Bookseller, founder of Manchester-based Comma Press Ra Page has seen their income from trade sales double year on year in the 12 months to 1st July, but while sales are up, the fiction market remains "massively overcrowded". "It is more difficult than ever for small presses without significant publicity and marketing budgets to get their books into shops in large quantities," he said. "Bookshops and wholesalers are becoming more selective in what they promote or buy, meaning that initial orders have become smaller and smaller over the years."

All that said, the "real elephant in the room", according to Page, is the issue of regional diversity, which is affecting everything from representation in the national press to staff retention. Page argued that as media coverage is dependent on relationships between reviews editors and publicists, northern publicists cannot hope to build relationships with such editors who rarely visit the north of England in a professional capacity. And with much of the industry concentrated in London, the opportunities for career development in the north is limited, so small publishers constantly lose staff to other, better-paying arts or non-arts employers in the region, or to bigger publishing houses in London.

Read the full article here: