For the first of these recommendation posts for the Indie Challenge we thought we'd pick two squares: one we struggled to come up with a book for, and one that was very very easy for us!
It turns out, all the publishers I thought were founded in 2018 were pretty much unanimously founded in 2017 or before. Crazy how time warps in my memory... Anyway! We decided to stretch the definition a little bit, to publishers that published their first book in 2018 (regardless of when they were actually founded), and so we've got a few suggestions for you.
Firstly, a small publisher doing mighty things in the world of anthologies. 3 of Cups Press, although founded in 2017, published their first and second anthologies, On Anxiety (which can still be found in our first Little Box of Calm) and On Bodies during 2018. These would both also work for the Anthology square!
Peninsula Press was also founded in 2017 but published its first titles in 2018. One of them - The Waterfront Journals by David Wojnarowicz - is on my TBR for this challenge, and they have a small but growing list of great looking books!
Epoque Press is a new literary publisher who released their first title in February 2018. They currently have three titles available; two novels and a short story collection, El Hacho by Luis Carrasco, The Groundsmen by Lynn Buckle, and The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney.
Women's Presses are substantially easier, primarily because I've made it a priority to seek them out.
My personal favourites are Persephone Books who publish forgotten women writers primarily from the interwar period. They publish beautiful books from across a wide range of genres. Some personal favourites are They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple, the story of three sisters who marry very different men and the situations they find themselves in subsequently, Saplings by Noel Streatfield which is delightfully similar to her children's books but just with adult themes, and Miss Buncle's Book by DE Stevenson, about a woman in a small village who writes a book about all of the people in the village without them knowing she's doing it...
Another great women's press, and one we've included in our boxes in the past is Linen Press. Sometimes a River Song by Avril Joy is one of the most unusual books I've read in a long time, with a protagonist whose voice will stay with you for a long time. Set amongst a river boat community, it tells Aiyana's story as she tries to escape from her abusive father and start a new life. The Red Beach Hut by Linen Press founder Lynn Michell is another great and unusual story about the friendship between a man and a young boy each at troubled times in their lives, and the assumptions society makes about it.
Finally, I'm currently reading A Burglary by Amy Dilwyn, published by Welsh Women's publisher, Honno Press. Another Honno title that I really enjoyed is Small Scale Tour by Caroline Ross, about an out of work actor and his forays into scriptwriting, involving a trip back to the time when it all went wrong...
The beauty of this challenge is the variety of options for each square, but we hope this has given you some idea of where to start! We'd love you to add your recommendations in the comments, and don't forget to use #IndieChallenge when sharing your thoughts, current reads and blog posts on social media!