#ReadIndies 2021 was such a blast, Lizzy and I decided to do it all over again. Please join us, if you can, and add your review to this year’s linky at https://readindies2022.blogspot.com/2022/01/our-indie-bookshelf.html. There’s only one rule – read anything you like, in any language you like, as long as it was published by an independent publisher.

Ah, there’s always a snag, isn’t there? Determining if a publisher is an indie is not always easy. So here’s a recap of the advice we gave last year. It’s not comprehensive but it is a start.

“In the run up to the month, the question has arisen as to what in reality counts as an Independent Publisher. That’s actually a difficult question to answer; some are obvious, when we’re talking about a smaller outfit printing and issuing their own works, like Renard Press. However, what about University presses? How can you tell whether a publisher is part of a bigger conglomerate. It *isn’t* straightforward, and so we thought we would offer a few hints or guidelines.

First off, here are some useful links:

Independent Publishers list: http://www.indiepublishers.co.uk/independent-publishers
The Independent Alliance: https://www.faber.co.uk/independent-alliance
Northern Fiction Alliance: http://northernfictionalliance.com
List of Scottish Independent Publishers: https://booksfromscotland.com/publishers
A small press directory: https://contemporarysmallpress.com/press
International Sites: https://www.alliance-editeurs.org/-reseaux-linguistiques,017-?lang=en
Publishers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland: https://www.indiebook.de
American Presses: https://medium.com/the-nonconformist/the-big-big-list-of-indie-publishers-and-small-presses-5e83e9522b5c

It’s worth noting that none of these are a complete listing, and some may contain publishers who aren’t indies! But they may well provide guidelines, particularly if you have a particular book in mind.

Another way to check is to have a look at a publisher’s website – many will proudly proclaim their independence, and their About page may give you more info on their status.

However, none of this is necessarily definitive, so we guess the best advice is to go with your gut. If a book is from a name which doesn’t seem to be connected with one of the main publishing giants, and you want to read it, go for it! The main point of this month is to read as many wonderful books as you can as well as supporting the smaller publishers who produce them.”

So what am I planning to read? I am determined to reduce the TBR if I can this year, so I’ve dug around in the stacks to find unread books from indie publishers, and my goodness am I spoiled for choice!

Here’s a good range of indies, from the political angles of Zero and Verso, through translated fiction, poetry and essays – all very appealing.

Then more non fiction, poetry and travel, including works from real indies like Confingo and Renard and Sublunary and Little Toller. Really I’d be happy to read any of those right now. And I had assembled those two piles, when some lovely review books arrived from other indies:

Fitzcarraldo were, of course, one of the catalysts of this month, and Deep Vellum a recent discovery for me. Looking forward to dipping into these!

And finally some chapbooks from Nightjar Press! They specialise in spooky short works and I’m very much hoping to get to these two!

So having looked at those piles I’ve decided that I’m going to do what I’m intending to do mostly this year – follow my reading moods and whims, and just pick up from the stacks the ones I fancy the most! After all, there’s such a variety to choose from already in my library of unread volumes that I shall certainly not be bored!

So we hope you can all join in and look forward to hearing what you all read this month – here goes with #ReadIndies 2022! 😀