Sadly, most ‘companies’ that pass themselves off as ‘indie’ publishers tend to be tiny (one-person) organisations that prefer to charge for their services, add little value to the process and are, in all but name, self-publishing companies. As a rule of thumb, if you’re asked to pay for the service of publishing your book (whether this be to have your work edited, laid out, a cover designed), then you’re not in the hands of a genuine publisher.
Salt Publishing produces around 20 books of contemporary British fiction a year. They state on their website that they cannot accept unsolicited submissions directly from writers. They do organise regular competitions however, so their site is worth bookmarking.
And Other Stories welcomes unsolicited submissions from authors and are keen to consider debut writers. Their list is closed though until January 2016.
Myrmidon Books say they are particularly interested in world class literary fiction – both originally written in English and translated work – and popular fiction and non-fiction in all genres that is sufficiently original and engaging to secure the enthusiasm of readers and commitment of booksellers. About a quarter of their published books came directly from unrepresented writers – though several have subsequently secured agents after publication. Providing opportunities for all writers, whether they have an agent or not, is something this publisher believes strongly to be good for the book trade.
Seren Books is one of Wales’ leading publishers, with a reputation for high quality poetry, fiction and non-fiction. They have submissions guidelines online.
Comma Press place emphasis on growing the status of the short story in the UK, Manchester’s Comma Press are a not-for-profit initiative whose ventures range from city-themed anthologies to competitions and collections from new writers, as well as a strong selection of fiction from overseas,
Other names to consider:
BeWrite Books & e-Publishing
Faber & Faber
Five Leaves Publications
Flipped Eye Publishing Ltd
Independent Northern Publishers
Marion Boyers Publishers
Next Century Books
Only Women Press