Bluemoose Books Manifesto

Welcome to Bluemoose Books.

We’re an independent publisher based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. We started publishing great stories a few years back because we were sick and tired of seeing celebrity books everywhere. I have nothing personal against members of the extended royal family putting pen to paper and telling me what the best way to dress a radish is or television presenters who, having finished their careers on the mid-morning sofa, then decide that we the deserving reader will benefit from their novel writing skills.

What I do have issue with is that you the reader, have very few chances to read new and exciting books by great new writers because most of the publishing pie is given over to orange headed celebrities. And don’t talk to me about advances! The advances given to them are in the gazillions, the marketing and advertising spend is also in the gazillion, and subsequently the slice of the pie for new writers just gets smaller and smaller. As one buyer for a major library supplier told me when I asked what the bigger publishers were doing these days, his reply:

‘They’re just publishing STUFF’.

At Bluemoose our aim is to publish cracking stories that engage and inspire.

The corporate and conglomerate nature of publishing these days means that the BIG publishers have different sensibilities in their approach to publishing. They have to satisfy the demands of the shareholder who requires double digit growth year on year. The only way they deem this possible is to get NAMES onto their books because NAMES receive more column inches and shelf space than new writers. Some of it works and they have bestsellers, most of it doesn’t, and they don’t. Why do they do this? Well, they have become so risk averse, they are merely following trends and aping what they think will work because it has worked before, for another publisher.

Literature is nothing if it doesn’t invest in new writing. When a book is published I personally drive our authors around to all of the library events and festivals our writers appear at. It is part of the Bluemoose ethos. We are a family of readers and writers. We nurture, encourage and promote our writers, because we don’t just invest money into their books, we invest time and energy making their stories the best they can possibly be, so that you, the reader receive the best book possible.

The Strokeability Test

We spend a lot of time on design and our production values matter because we want our books to be more than just objects. The jackets have to be striking and impart a dramatic question. A recent study by The Booksellers Association states that a book cover has a fifth of a second, that’s 0.2 of a second to catch the casual browsers eye. Jackets have to be dramatic. We have found that readers pick up our books, touch, feel and then stroke them too. If we pass the strokeability test, we know our designers have done their job and once they read the first page, hopefully they will be hooked enough to buy the book.

Independent Growth

Three of our authors, all debut novelists, Anna Chilvers, Mark A Radcliffe and Michael Stewart have had their books, FALLING THROUGH CLOUDS, GABRIEL’S ANGEL and KING CROW published in Russian.

FALLING THROUGH CLOUDS by Anna Chilvers was published by CENTERPOLYGRAPH of Moscow in October 2012. GABRIEL’S ANGEL by Mark A Radcliffe and KING CROW by Michael Stewart will see their books published this spring by AZBOOKA-­‐ATTICUS of St Petersburg, the Russian publishing arm of Alexander Mamut, the owner of WATERSTONES in the UK. We have just sold the rights of KING CROW to a Hungarian and a Bulgarian publisher too.

Two of our titles, NOD by ADRIAN BARNES, published November 2012 and PIG IRON by BENJAMIN MYERS, published May 2012, are being read by American and Australian publishers. And we have just sold the TV and Film rights to the biggest Independent film and TV producer in Europe, but you’ll have to report back soonish and find out which title that’s for. The ink has just dried on the contract and we will know soon enough when it is going to appear on our screens.

So you see, we may be small but our reach goes across borders into Lancashire down the M1 to London over the Caucuses to Moscow, Sofia and Budapest and over the seas to New York and Sydney. Great stories are transformative and we have lots of correspondence from readers who’ve loved our books.

This Deli Has Yummy Stuff

At Bluemoose we see ourselves as a delicatessen as opposed to a supermarket. We don’t stack them high and sell them cheap but put them at the front of the store with a big bow on each one because we’re passionate about what we’re doing and proud of what we’re publishing.

We hope that you will be too.


Kevin, Hetha, Lin, Leonora, Pippa and Jan
The Bluemoose family