We believe in the power of books to change the world, that all voices should be heard, and all publishers should find their readers.
A staggering number of books are published each year, from publishers of all sizes. At Foreword Reviews, we highlight some of the best titles produced from the independent publishing community. We prefer to review books exclusively from these publishers because we find them interesting, dynamic, and authentic in a way that blockbuster titles are not. It's the difference between seeing your favorite band in a club versus seeing everyone's favorite band in a sold-out arena. Being on the inside is cool, isn't it?
In the publishing industry, we talk a lot about independent publishers. What exactly does that mean? Well, it's hard to define. In the strictest sense, we mean anyone other than the powerful Big Five: Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster. Though they publish some important, thought-provoking titles, they hardly need help bringing them to market.
But the indie spirit goes beyond corporate identity. Independent publishers offer readers a choice, something other than another bestseller from a publishing monolith. Not-for-profit publishers, university presses, employee-owned publishers, and even the not-so-small independent publishers all bring their own unique voices to the reading community, from genre fiction to essays to race relations and community activism. Indie publishers are thriving because they know how to successfully publish niche titles in this wildly competitive industry. They value the quality of the output as much as the bottom line. We want to help them succeed by shining a light on the best they have to offer.
At the end of the day, the real indie strength is YOU!—book people who recognize the importance of supporting a vibrant free press in this country, one that fearlessly speaks truth to power, and defends those who are marginalized by racism, sexism, inequality, homophobia, anti-Semitism, et al. Important books provoke dialogue. Dialogue encourages tolerance. Tolerance leads to… You get the idea. Viva indie.