Small Publishers I Love || Vlogmas Day 18 || Always Doing

Small Publishers I Love || Vlogmas Day 18 || Always Doing

Hey there, Kazen here, and welcome back to Always Doing. [♪♪] Today I’m going to tell you about four small publishers that I
love. The big presses get all of the attention and the marketing dollars, but
the small presses are putting some really incredible work out there that I
want to introduce to you guys. There are four and they’re all quite different
from each other. One is a translation press that does exclusively
literature in translation. One does a little bit of everything.
One is an LGBTQIA+ press, and one is the one I’m looking to get into, that I
haven’t read anything from yet but is on my radar that is a fusion… it… it’s… uh… just watch. So for each publisher I’m just going to
give you a few quick titles that either I’ve read or I’m interested in. And these
won’t be full reviews, just something to get you interested. There may be full
reviews of these books further down the line, in other review videos and things,
but I’m rambling. [exhales] First is one of my first indie press loves. It’s Deep Vellum Publishing. They’re based in Dallas in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, so you can see where they got the name, and they publish literature in
translation. And what I love about their list is that it’s a completely wide,
diverse range of everything. They don’t get stuck in one language, they don’t get
stuck even in one region of the world. They publish Korean authors, and Mexican
authors, and South American authors, and Moroccan authors, and authors from the
Middle East, and just a little bit of everything. I get the feeling that that
diversity is a point of pride for them. And at least half of their authors are
women. And once you throw in the translators, I’m pretty sure at least
half of the translators are women as well. Deep Vellum published Seeing Red by
Lina Meruane, translated by Meghan McDowell. It’s a semi-autobiographical
novel, which is a weird space, I know, but it’s about a woman that moves from South
America to New York. And she has a medical condition where she knows that
she can go blind at any time and she does. And it’s in a curtain of red, that’s
the last thing she sees. And it’s about her experiences with that. And just,
the way it’s written gripped me. It was just, oh, it’s stuck with me. Incredibly. Another
book they published is Banthology: Stories from Banned Nations. It’s an
anthology of short stories that was commissioned after the so-called Muslim
ban in the United States and there’s one story for each country affected. And it
deals with the themes of displacement and migration, and all of that stuff in
each story. As with any anthology I liked some
stories better than others, but the themes and the thoughts and the, just
everything behind it has also stuck with me. The second publisher is Nine Star Press.
It is an LGBTQIA owned and managed publishing house. They publish mostly
romance and it’s mostly non-heterosexual pairings. There’s trans protagonists,
non-binary, and along with your f/f, m/m, and every other combination and menage
included in that. There’s a wide range not only in that sense but in in the
stories. Like, there are some where there’s explicit sex, and there are some
where there is barely any kissing, and everything in between.
The great thing is if you go on their website and if you go to any book’s
individual page at the bottom there’s a whole list, and you can look up anything
you might be interested in, whether it’s what the pairing is, or if the
characters are cisgender or queer gender, or any content warnings. Like, if you want
to avoid violence or character death or some other things they will let you know
down at the bottom, so you know what you’re getting into. My favorite book that I’ve
read, by far, from Nine Star is Coffee Boy by Austin Chant. Chant is a trans author and
he writes a story of a trans character who is getting into the workplace and
having to deal with people who aren’t used to working with a trans person and
what that involves. And of course he ♪ finds some love ♪. So yeah, it’s… [sigh] I love Austin Chant. Austin Chant is wonderful. Another book I like by them is To Seek and to Find by Tamryn Eradani. In the genre of BDSM romance it seems like
there’s always a tendency to go to the extreme. You know, very difficult bondage,
or, you know, people being suspended, or just really, the out there
edges of things. And what I love about this book – which is about two male
characters who meet at a club and start having a, I wanna say temporary relationship
while they figure out if this is something they want to continue. And this
is a series so it goes on from here with the same pairing – is that one of the
characters, I think it’s Kyle, is into bondage but it is the most sedate bondage
I’ve ever seen in a book. Like, he’s just lying down on a flat surface and there’s
some rope being wrapped around his torso. And that’s it. Like, *it’s very
light, but seeing how that affects him, and what that means for him, and the
emotional connection he has with the person who is doing the rope work, that
was something I’d never seen before and I really liked watching that and the
relationship and its progression. Another thing I like about Nine Star is that a
bunch of the authors are own voices. So that’s always a plus.
The next press is one that I just found recently and they’ve been around for a
while though. It’s Soft Skull Press and their logo is an ant, I love it. Even when they
send out stuff, apparently the tape that they put over as ants crawling all over
it. I just think it’s great. Anyway. They’re based in New York City and they
publish a little bit of everything. So from their website it says, “books that
engage art, culture, and current events in new and radical ways. We publish every
genre.” So – cool. The book that introduced me to them was the recent release The
Lonesome Bodybuilder by Motoya Yukiko, translated by Asa Yoneda. I’ll link to a
couple of videos where I talk about this book. I really liked it and it’s been
getting some end of year buzz, which I am very happy for. I have a bunch of their
books on my TBR, though. There’s an upcoming release called Mohammad: Forty Introductions by, I think it’s Michael Mohammad Knight. And I’ve been looking
forward to that one. And some of their past releases that are on my TBR radar
are The Amputee’s Guide to Sex by Jillian Weise. That’s a poetry collection that’s
own voices, which is about what it says in the title. The other book that I’ve
been looking forward to for awhile is Tower Dog by Douglas Scott Delaney. It talks
about, I think they’re called linesmen, the people who go up the high-tension
power lines in order to do repairs and things. And and it is a very dangerous job that can
be deadly, and he talks about his experience doing that. And the last
publisher I want to talk to you about is Bellevue Literary Press. And I haven’t
read anything from them yet but they have been on my radar, and I need to get
to it. Again, from their website it says, they are “devoted to publishing literary
fiction and nonfiction at the intersection of arts and sciences
because we believe that science and humanities are natural companions for
understanding the human experience.” Which I’m for. You guys probably know by now
I’m a medical interpreter and this is definitely my sort of thing. And they
have a lot of books that look interesting. Right now I have my eye on
Understories by Tim Horvath and Keep Out of Reach of Children: Reye’s Syndrome,
Aspirin, and the Politics of Public Health by Mark A. Largent. The
one disappointment for me is that it was harder to find women authors in their
catalog than men. So there we have it, four small publishers that I like.
Well, three that I like and one that I’m pretty sure I’m really gonna like.
There’s so many great small and indie publishers out there that I can’t get to
all of them in just one video, but what are some of your favorites? Let me know
down in the comments below. Thank you for watching, subscribe if you’re new, and
I’ll see you in the next video. Bye! [♪♪]
Thanks for watching! Update on the bite on my hand – it’s healing up! Thanks to everyone who has asked after it. My skin isn’t happy with the constant band aids, though, so I’m finding all kinds of weird angles for them 😂

7 thoughts on “Small Publishers I Love || Vlogmas Day 18 || Always Doing

  1. I live for small publishers! I've been working through Deep Vellum's catalogue for a little over a year now, and stumbled upon so many 5-star reads. For my birthday last month I received a Deep Vellum subscription, is there a better present to receive? Hahah. Never heard of Soft Skull before though, they look interesting!

    Some of my favorites are Tilted Axis Press (translated Asian lit) , And Other Stories (translated from all over the world, many European), and Peirene Press (translated books that get released in sets of 3 books on a certain theme). I also found out about Charco Press (Latin American lit) recently, but I haven't read anything from them yet.

  2. As I mainly buy second hand books I'm a bit limited on what I can get but I do like things I've read from Archipelago books who specialize in translated fiction and I recently heard about BLF which specializes in women of color. I've heard great things about Soft Skull and Gray Wolf Press.

  3. This is fantastic! The only thing I’d heard of on this list is Coffee Boy but I’m def excited to look into more indie publishers, thanks Kazen 🧡

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