Holidays on a Budget


Certain websites may be selling the newest Dan Brown novel for half price, but it’s not the best bargain out there this holiday season. A book published by an independent press and purchased from an independent bookseller supports two indie businesses and makes a more unique gift. Your loved ones will thank you. So will your community.

If your community is Southern California , you’re in luck. Our region is fertile ground for locally grown organic literature. Check out these presses and bookstores:

Southern California-based Presses:

  • Ammo Books ( one-of-a-kind titles featuring amazing design, thoughtful writing, and exquisite printing
  • Angel City Press ( nostalgic yet cool illustrated books
  • Arktoi Books ( poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that give lesbian writers access to “the conversation”
  • Beyond Baroque ( books by local, emerging, overlooked, and previously out-of-print poets
  • Cahuenga Press ( poetry that honors creative freedom and cooperation
  • Cloverfield Press ( books as visually beautiful as they are intellectually and emotionally stimulating
  • Dzanc Books ( literary fiction that falls outside the mainstream
  • Gorsky Press ( risk-taking books that encourage readers to re-examine society
  • Green Integer ( essays, manifestos, speeches, epistles, narratives, and more
  • Les Figues Press ( aesthetic conversations between readers, writers, and artists, with an avant-garde emphasis
  • Make Now Press ( contemporary works of constraint and conceptual literature
  • Otis Books/Seismicity ( contemporary fiction, poetry, essays, creative non-fiction and translation
  • Perceval Press ( art, critical writing, and poetry 
  • P S Books ( micro-press that publishes conceptually motivated series on a project by project basis
  • Red Hen Press ( works of literary excellence that have been overlooked by mainstream presses
  • San Diego City Works Press ( local, ethnic, political, and border writing
  • Santa Monica Press ( offbeat looks at pop culture, lively how-to books, film history, travel, and humor
  • Tebot Bach ( strengthening community and broadening the audience for poetry
  • Tsehai Publishers ( literary fiction and serious nonfiction, with an emphasis on first-time authors and writers from under-served communities
  • What Books Press ( books by L.A.-based writers whose work spans the full scope of the past quarter century

Independent Bookstores:

Book Soup, West Hollywood (

Beyond Baroque, Venice (

Chevalier’s Books, Larchmont Village (

Diesel, Brentwood and Malibu (

Equator Books, Venice (

Eso Won Books, Leimert Park (

Family, Fairfax District (

Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, La Cañada (

IMIX Bookstore, Eagle Rock (

Metropolis Books, Downtown (

Portrait of a Bookstore, Studio City (

Sierra Madre Books, Sierra Madre (

Skylight Books, Los Feliz (

Small World Books, Venice (

Stories, Echo Park (

Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore (

Village Books, Pacific Palisades (  

Village Bookshop, Glendora (

Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena (


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Happy holidays from the Future of Publishing Think Tank*!