I’m obsessed with indie presses. Why, you may wonder? I love the individuality of each press and their publishing vision; I appreciate their nurturing relationship with their authors; I admire their strength to go out and make their dream a reality. I wish all presses were independent. They all used to be. Penguin was originally an independent press, as was Hogarth – founded in Virginia Woolf’s living room, and now one of the many small presses digested by Penguin. All the Big 5 were once independent. Yes, it is financially beneficial, and yes, it allows you to compete in a global market, but what about the quirks!
I’ve looked into working at Penguin, Pan Macmillan, and HarperCollins, and while it sounds like the dream, authors waltzing in, free books, and oh so many literature events, you’re still in a corporate environment where the objective is to make a profit. It is in independent publishing, perhaps even more so – as it’s profit or die for indies! – but there is more freedom, and necessity, to be creative.
Thus, I am starting ‘ImPRESSive, or interviews with indie presses’ to help support and raise awareness about the quirky and amazing small presses that are surviving and even thriving in this toxic reading culture (Go home Netflix!).
So please say hello to, Hideway Fall.
Literary Pixie: Why did you decide to start the press?
Hideaway Falls: There were two main reasons. The first was that I wanted to take control over my own titles initially having had promises made from other industry professionals and publishers which didn’t come to fruition. It was a case of feeling that I could do a better job. The second reason and most important reason was that I was seeing so many talented authors, from the north of England not getting a chance because of geography. I wanted to help them.
What makes you stand out from all the other publishers?
We have hands on approach and involve the author in every step of the process. This means editing, cover art, social media, marketing. We don’t just publish twenty authors and hope one takes off. It simply dilutes the attention the book deserves. We would rather focus all our attention into one or two good books.
What does good writing mean to you?
It means good storytelling. Something that grips, something that isn’t trying to be too clever or self-aware. Something that immerses the reader. There is no need for thirty words where one will do.
What are one or two books you are most excited about?
We are really really excited by a novel 5ive Truths which we hope to release later in the year. We also have one or two others at pre-contract stage which are exciting but it’s a little too early to talk about.
What advice do you have to someone wanting to publish a book?
First and foremost, make sure it is edited and proofread properly. There is nothing worse than errors to take the readers eye away from the story.
What advice do you have to someone wanting to start their own press?
Don’t! No, seriously, there is nothing more exciting than putting other peoples work out to the world. There is so much to think about however, it’s not simply the book itself. Get good artists, get good distribution, ensure keywords are used to their potential and don’t be afraid to break even a few times to get it right.
Why do you think the reader should know and care about who publishes their book and not just the author?
I think that publishers get a reputation just like anyone else in business. Readers get to know exactly what to expect from certain publishers whether it be trashy crime or bandwagon-esque vampire stories. The publisher should really act as the quality control, and the reader should in turn trust the publisher. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to like every story a publisher puts out, nor are they going to like every book by a particular author in equal measures.
What’s one way that you would like the publishing industry to change in the next decade?
I would like to see a wave of quality, which comes from publishers truly believing and investing in the stories they put out rather than putting out books that they know will sell. I know this sounds non-commercial but how are truly talented writers supposed to compete when the big players are spending money on yet another youtube spin off book?
How would you like your press to look in the next ten years?
I’d like us to have a regular stable of talented northern authors, who have the same mindset that we do. Authors that are loyal and put in the same effort and love that we do to each title.
Find out more about Hideaway Fall and follow them on the social media.