Maida Vale, London, UK

FAQs & Editorial Policy


Black Spring is an established press, founded in 1984 and boasting an impressive catalogue; it also has an imprint called Dexter Haven. Last year we joined with the Eyewear Publishing company, to form a new larger press group. We now call ourselves THE BLACK SPRING PRESS GROUP.

We consider ourselves an indie small press. We reach above our weight because we have a strong distribution network, excellent editing, great design and beautiful printing.  We regularly send out dozens of review copies and bound proofs; enter books into numerous competitions; print good runs, not POD; and we also get books sold in shops in the UK, Ireland, the USA and beyond.

'The small press ecosystem'

We have been at the forefront of generating awareness of 'the small press ecosystem.' We call it this because this network of inter-relations is fragile, incredibly valuable and can only be sustained in the future if a point is made to nurture it in challenging conditions.  In our view, the small press ecosystem is endangered as never before in the digital age for a number of reasons.

When a small press does not have sufficient funding support and struggles for sales, it eventually closes. When many small presses close, options for authors to find good homes for their books dry up. 

We must work much more closely together, in a far less competitive way, to locate our shared interests: the common good that would have small publishers succeed; writers to be published; books to be sold in local, characterful shops. Unless we each actively budget to spend in indie bookshops every month, we cannot blame others when the local small press or shop closes: it is all our responsibility.

How long does a book take to be delivered once ordered?

We are  a small indie company, not a huge operation like Amazon. We do not use tracking for books and normally post first class via Royal Mail (UK). The usual delivery time from order to your door takes between 5–7 working days, but could be up to ten days. All our books are also sold in bookshops and online if you need them faster.

Where is my tracking number?

See above. 

Why are some books 'out of print'?

Many of our collections are still in print. If a book sells out and there is limited demand, then publishers often put the title out of print. In some instances we have reprinted, as paperbacks, a few popular out-of-print hardcover editions.

Our editorial policy

The Black Spring Press Group is a privately-funded company.

Its chief aim is literary – to discover, nurture and publish significant and interesting new and established writers and poets, across all languages and all genres. We do so by holding our editorial team to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity; and by ensuring our printing is environmentally sustainable. We actively seek diversity of representation and opinion, in our editorial choices and align ourselves with no one political party or movement.

We are on record as welcoming refugees to the UK. Our publications try to build bridges between cultures and continents and to support authors young and old. Despite, or because of, our views, we want our company to be a pluralistic platform, to paraphrase The Kenya Free Press. We will neither court offence for its own sake nor avoid controversial ideas or statements, if and when they serve a reasonably thought-through aesthetic purpose. As wide-ranging readers, we understand that the shock of the new, such as with Dadaism, can challenge societal values while contributing to greater cultural purposes. We will be fearless, tolerant, non-judgemental editors and publishers. 

We believe in outspoken, fair, kind and conscientious behaviour in a world too often driven by greed and cruelty.

Ultimately, publishing is about bringing something into the world that has not existed before – a book. We must side with those who would prefer to keep all books in a library rather than ever stoop to burn even the most inflammatory.In the end, judge us by ALL the books we managed to help create in a difficult financial and political era, at much cost and challenge to ourselves.

Does the group like to keep authors on its list?

Yes. Publishers generally build lists where authors are expected to feel they have a long-term home. Although we do not tie our authors down, we hope they will stay with us. We believe in nurturing talent.

Do you work with self-publishing authors?

Black Spring Press publishes books that are negotiated and signed according to a standard contract template, where the author receives industry-competitive royalties. Its prestigious Eyewear imprint does the same. However, as self-publishing and collaborative or hybrid publishing becomes more common, respectable and useful for some writers, we have begun to offer distinct and professional collaborative services under the MAIDA VALE PUBLISHING imprint.

Under this arrangement, authors invest in their own project in exchange for considerably higher royalties. See our COLLABORATIVE PUBLISHING page for details. 

In summary

We stand by our 35-year-record of publishing beautiful, important books by wonderful writers. Our books and commitment to publishing fearlessly speaks loud and clear.