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Supporting your Friendly Independent Publisher

Independent publishing is a notoriously tricky business: indies tend to publish more innovative and ‘risky’ books than the big publishers, with considerably less available to spend on marketing and sales. The costs of book production though remain the same as for the larger publishers – without the economies of scale possible when you have much deeper pockets. And now, the price of book production is rising. Sharply.

I won’t add to what’s already been said on this subject except to say that small publishers can no longer continue to absorb the increased costs of book production. It doesn’t help that somehow, the RRP of books has remained stubbornly fixed for more than ten years, while every cost involved has increased. Small publishers all over are feeling the strain.

So, if you have a publisher you love and want to see continue to publish the books you love to read, what can you do?

1. Buy another book. Ideally, direct or from an indie bookshop.

Much has been said on margins and discounts, how much goes to the retailer compared to author or publisher. More and more publishers offer a direct sales option which maximises the money reaching the publisher and helps us to keep publishing the books you love.

This goes double for readers of a series: if you’re keen to see the next book in the series that’s keeping you hooked, why not help us bring it to you by buying from us direct for yourself or that friend you just know will love it too.

Indie bookshops are wonderful at getting books published by small presses into the hands of new readers. We get a smaller percentage of the RRP when you buy from a bookshop than direct from us, but we couldn’t make a lot of our sales without the brilliant booksellers across the country.

2. Pre-order that exciting new release

When you spot an upcoming book you can’t wait to get your mitts on, placing a pre-order helps show that there is interest in the book and aids in the building of that all-important buzz. If that’s not enough to convince you, there’s a whole list of reasons why it’s helpful here

3. Or go the other way and try their early work

Just discovered an author who’s got quite the backlist? Lucky you! Loads to read and discover from someone whose work you already know you enjoy. This especially helps publishers out as it can be hard to maintain external support for a book that’s been out for a couple of years so a renewed interest can help get the books back out on shelves!

4. Get reading – no purchase necessary

Can’t buy right now? We understand. Costs are going up all over. But did you know that borrowing books from libraries results in a small royalty for the author for each borrow? Free to you, helpful to your faves!

5. Spread the word

If you’ve read a book you love, tell your friends. Leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Post a pic and a brief reaction on Twitter or Instagram. There are loads of ways you can help other readers discover and get on board with the books and authors you love!

-Kay Farrell, Assistant Publisher

Fancy buying or pre-ordering a Sandstone book? Head over to our online shop.