Independent Book Publishers.

Independent book publishers

We are currently closed to submissions

The Blue Nib are an independent press who publish poetry and literary fiction. We accept unsolicited collections of poetry, short stories, novella or novels. We only accept work completed and edited to a high standard.

We suggest that any writer, no matter where they intend to submit their work should consider using a professional editor to look over their manuscript.
As small independent book publishers, we recommend the but you are free to use an editor of your choice and a search of the internet will reveal who is available in your area and what they charge for their services. All work must be submitted through our easy-to-use form which you will find below, but before you rush to submit, please read the entire content of this page and then make an informed decision.

What you should consider before submitting to an independent book publisher

The submission process is at best tedious, but we make it as simple as possible. We suggest you consult the checklist to ensure you have everything to hand before sending your manuscript to us.

  1. To submit fiction, please send the opening chapters, or the first two stories of your collection, novel, novella only. We want to see a maximum of 5000 words, all in Times New Roman, double spaced. Your name, the page number and the title of your work should appear in the header of every page.
  2. You will require a synopsis of your work (Fiction only). Please tell us the whole story, the beginning middle and the end. If this is a collection tell us about your theme and break down the progression for us.
  3. To submit poetry, the first five poems of your collection will be sufficient.
  4. We ask for a writer’s biography. We are only interested in your major publication history and information relevant to your writing career.
  5. We also ask you for an elevator pitch. This is your opportunity to sell your book, keep it factual and give us a reason to read on.
  6. In all cases we ask you to supply the name of your editor. If we find grammatical or spelling errors in the first few paragraphs of a submission, we are unlikely to accept it or even to read on. 

If you are unfamiliar with submitting to an agent or to independent book publishers, then we suggest you do some research in advance of sending in your submission.

If we accept your work

As small independent book publishers, staffed by volunteers it takes us some time to read submissions. However, we will do our best to get back to you within 4-6 weeks of submission of a manuscript. If we decide to publish your work, it is likely that we will need to do some work with you to shape the manuscript prior to publication. There may be some light editorial work involved. In the event a Blue Nib editor needs to work extensively on your manuscript then a charge will be applied, this will be payable in advance.

The Blue Nib will work with you on publishing, cover design, marketing and media and launching your book. The writer is expected to engage fully in this process. 


Poetry and literary fiction are a tight niche area, and most independent book publishers will not take them on. Marketing is paramount if you wish to make any impression with your book. We recommend that the writer build a strong social media presence across a multitude of platforms and build a website to drive their marketing campaign.

(The Blue Nib can provide help with this but the services are paid. For information on Social Media Management and website design email 
[email protected])

As a Blue Nib author, we will take care of costs associated with publishing your work under our imprint. The Blue Nib will sell your work through our website and a limited number of independent retailers. Your book will be available on Amazon in both print and ebook format. The author will receive 50% royalties on all sales once the breakeven cost of publication is achieved.

Sales at readings, signings, and other events are the writer’s main way of earning money from their work in the short term. The Blue Nib provides author copies at cost price (with a minimum order level of 20 books). Any profit made on sales of these are the author’s own.  

submit manuscript

[everest_form id=”30287″]

The Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife

Due September 2019

independent book publishers

Anne Walsh Donnelly

Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife is an impressive debut from Anne Walsh Donnelly. With her close observation of the human psyche, her razor-sharp pen delineates the world of murder, cruelty, control, with an eye that is sharp, unsettling and clearly demonstrates her lyrical talent. She shines a spotlight on the brokenness of life, the fear of silence and the desperate need for the characters to find someone to communicate with, whether it is with Iscariot or the Angel Gabriel. The voices are always true and convincing. I still cannot get the demise of the poor undertaker’s wife out of my head. That’s exactly what a good short story should do. 

Geraldine Mills, author and poet, co-author of The Other Side of Longing and author of Lick of the Lizard. 

the blue nib: chapbook four

Out June 15 -2019

independent book publishers

pat anthony, mike farren & sharon flynn

The fourth in our Chapbook Series with poets entering eight poems to compete for a share of the prize fund and publication in this unique series which gives emerging poets the opportunity to have their work reviewed by a prominent poet.

Place and people are inextricably linked in this evocative collection of poems. From the first I was intrigued and hooked by the strange confidence of the work. These poems feel like recipes, full of rich details and imperatives.

Helen Mort, autor of Division Street and Black Car Burning.

the ladies and gentlemen of the dead

Published march -2019

independent book publishers

dominic fisher

“This collection of poems explores ways the living and the dead meet – for lunch , in an artwork, on an allotment plot, in the city. We meet poets, artists and others engaged in the struggles and contradictions of their own times, and encounter challenges from our own.

This is an outstanding collection of 53 poems by a writer with a distinct, compelling voice. Fisher is clearly fascinated by how opposites are really so close to each other: the living and the dead, work and play, the rural and the urban, the ordinary everyday and the complex. 

Professor Richard Lance Keeble.