Books have the power to change lives just as much as they provoke new thought. Mainstream publishers have historically acted as “gatekeepers,” denying authors of color the ability to share their perspective. Indie publishers have leveled the playing field.
Indie publishers are small independently owned boutique publishing companies, that are not backed by large conglomerates. Over half of the books published in the United States are done through indie publishers. Authors can get their work directly to audiences who are eager to read stories they can relate to.
Indie publishers are important in particular for traditionally marginalized communities that are underrepresented in media. We’ve compiled a list of five black owned indie publishers that aspiring authors should know about.
Atlanta Literary Publishing is an independent publishing company owned by Naomi Bradley of Atlanta, Georgia. Her company services marketing, illustrations, editing, and full publishing to a worldwide market.
BlackGold Publishing is the brain child of 25-year-old Virginia native Tahara Saron. It’s a very versatile publishing company that can service a broad spectrum of authors and literary needs. BlackGold publishing covers songs, novels, poetry, as well as business-related documents.
Life Changing Books (LCB) publishes a variety of African American literature including contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, urban as well as street literature. Azarel, the founder of LCB, launched her publishing company with her own book “A Life To Remember.”
Media mogul Tavis Smiley founded Smiley Books in 2004 as a co-publishing venture with Hay House Inc. They publish nonfiction books from both established and new authors.
Columbus, Ohio based entrepreneur Dante Lee founded Urban Ebooks in 2016. They publish a relatively high volume of books in short windows of time. Urban Ebooks publishes affordable ebooks that empower African Americans and minorities.