A wee while ago, two years in fact, I wrote a post listing Black bookshops and publishers that people should go visit and support, if they wanted to get their supply of books by Black authors. Over the last few days, and in the light of #blackouttuesday, I’ve noticed a huge surge in the number of visits to that particular post, which alerted me to the fact that the post definitely needs updating as there are more.
So below I’ve listed some more bookshops and publishers, that you should definitely check out and who do need your support, especially now. As ever, this is by no means a definitive list, so if I missed anyone out, please do let me know in the comments. Let’s share the information as much as we can.
A small and relatively new publisher of commercial children’s fiction, distributed through the UK, Ireland and Europe. Their remit is to create quality and diverse content for kids – with as many perspectives as possible. They also have a community #BooksMadeBetter on the Medium platform where they discuss the books they love and share industry ideas, criticisms, solutions with fellow Knights.
Jacaranda is an an award winning independent publisher of award winning adult fiction, non-fiction & YA, committed to “creating space on the bookshelf” for diverse ideas and writers. Last year, they made national headlines with a groundbreaking commitment to publish 20 books by Black British writers in 2020 – #Twentyin2020. Jacaranda have been established for quite some time and are the home of a lot of literary faves such as Irenosen Okojie and Bernice L. McFadden.
An imprint of Penguin Books and curated by Stormzy, Merky Books is dedicated to publishing the best new fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Launching with Stormzy’s first book Rise Up in autumn 2018, followed by Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi in summer 2019, and That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu, Merky Books has quickly become a go to for exciting new voices in British literature.
Another imprint, this time of Little Brown of Hachette UK, Dialogue is headed up by Sharmaine Lovegrove and home to a variety of fantastic stories that are not usually published in the mainstream. With it’s focus on cross-genre titles, Dialogue shines a bright spotlight on stories for, about and by readers from the LGBTQI+, disability, working class and BAME communities.
Hashtag Blak is an imprint of Hashtag Press, which you should also check out. Founded by Abiola Bello, author of the Emily Knight I Am… series and Helen Lewis, they’ve recently signed up two new writers who should be making their debut very soon, and will be opening up for new submissions this summer. Add them to your watchlist!
Round Table Books
I could not post without mentioning this new(ish) bookstore, which has quickly become very much loved in Brixton, South London, and the Black British literary corners of Twitter. Originally started as a pop-up to celebrate the first anniversary of Knights Of, the team behind Round Table realised the call and demand for a permanent space for Black books (particularly for children), and successfully crowdfunded to launch a permanent store. Like many independents, Round Table have been hit very hard by the Covid-19 crisis, so any support you can provide them will go a long way.