10 Small Presses to Check Out in 2016

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Finding a press is like finding a local record label, or a brand that you know will likely never disappoint. That little logo and all the hard work that they put in becomes its own seal of quality, and can influence some buyers by that alone. Here are 10 presses that I have found rarely disappoint. They work hard to release some of the best books around.

If any of their books do interest you, make sure you buy them as direct from the presses or authors as you can, like we suggested here. This should make your to read pile exceptionally longer, but also exceptionally better.


1. Tyrant Books

Tyrant Books has had a wild couple of years. It published the debut novel of Atticus Lish, which won  the Pen/Faulkner prize for fiction, as well as Clancy Martin’s Bad Sex. Giancarlo DiTrapano, founder and editor, has proven that indie houses can still publish some of the best things around.

Releases in 2016 include Ann Dewitt’s White Nights in Split Town City, David Shapiro’s Supremacist and Scott McClanahan’s The Sarah Book. DiTrapano also hinted at an announcement coming soon that will make fans of the press extremely happy, and stated his ambition for 2016: “2016 for Tyrant is going to make Tyrant’s 2015 look like Tyrant’s 2004 when it didn’t even exist.”


2. Galley Beggar Press

Galley Beggar Press has been helping England remain vital in the small press scene since its inception. Other than producing fabulous looking books, it also releases plenty of literature merchandise and general necessities that you need. The latter half of 2016 is set to be busy for Galley Beggar Press, as it features releases from Adam Biles, Paul Stainbridge, Megan Dunn and Toby Litt. Basically, it just means that you’ve got your Christmas shopping sorted.


3. Dark House Press

Richard Thomas’ Dark House Press has two releases scheduled for 2016. Aside from releasing works by great authors like Rebecca Jones-Howe and Stephen Graham Jones, Dark House Press has a tendency to release exceptional anthologies.  2016 sees the release of Paper Tigers by Damien Angelica Waters and Scratch by Steve Himmer which Thomas describes the books having “found that sweet spot between genre and literary fiction, between gritty reality and the supernatural.”


4. Broken River Books / King Shot Press / Ladybox Books

Broken River Books is the brainchild of crime writer and exceptional publisher J David Osbourne. Since its start, it’s spawned two imprints, King Shot Press and LadyBox Books. Ladybox publishes work exclusively by female authors, and King Shot Press has recently changed its mantra to focus on covering themes that are often neglected by other presses.

After an acclaimed Kickstarter and a wave of previous releases, Broken River Books says it’ll be taking 2016 slow, so that it can work on managing things “under the hood”, but will still feature releases from Jedidiah Ayres, Scott Adlerberg, David Bowles, Mark Jaskowski, Marilyse Figueroa, Grant Wamack, and Kelby Losack.


5. Lazy Fascist Press

2016 looks like it’ll feature a whole bunch of acclaimed releases. So far it looks promising, featuring the release of Witch Hunt by acclaimed writer Juliet Escoria. It’ll also feature releases by cult authors, which mean that many of these books will end up on the best of lists at the end of 2016, so get on it before they do.


6. Civil Coping Mechanisms

Embracing the new age and publishing so many different kinds of things that are all different kind of wonderful. Michael J Seidlinger, editor in chief, and prolific and talented writer of his own right, runs the press, who last year released excellent books like Everyone Get Eaten, and How To Pose For Hustler, which appeared on our end of year list. Recently they just published The 2015 CCM Compendium compiling extracts of some of their 2015 and 2016 titles. Other notable books to look forward to include Janice Lee’s The Sky Isn’t Blue and Laura Marie Marciano’s Mall Brat.


7. Unthank Books

After a successful year in 2015, which saw the release of Country Life by Ken Edwards and Between Here and Knitwear by Chrissie Gittins. Unthank Books also managed to squeeze two editions of it’s popular Unthology series and just released Unthology 8. 2016 will see the release of Unthology 9, as well as more books that the press puts out to such acclaim. Either way, it’ll be worth looking to see what they get up to.


8. Tin House Books

Tin House has always been releasing wonderful things. Coming soon are Montauk by Max Frisch, Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht, The Coyote’s Bicycle by Kimball Taylor and The Sleep Garden by Jim Krusoe. Not too many details are available on these projects yet. But after such a reputable publishing history, know that they will all be most likely worth your attention.


9. Two Dollar Radio

Two Dollar Radio has a big year ahead of it. Aside from pushing literary ground, it’ll also release its second film, The Removals. This indie press who had releases that ended up on our best of 2015 list is releasing, The Gloaming by Melanie Finn, The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga and Daniel Johnston, a graphic novel by Ricardo Cavolo & Scott McClanahan. A press that is doing such a diverse schedule of releases is definitely one to watch.


10. Melville House

Perhaps the largest one on this list, Melville House has published authors from Tao Lin to Pope Francis.  Each year they push further and further out there, whether it’s their Art of the Novella series or just publishing fantastic novels. Melville House have championed some early stars, as well as tempting bigger authors from their major publishing houses. To some, they are a bastion of hope in the publishing scene.

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