Local, organic, artisanal literature

When the holiday season rolled around in 2008, the Future of Publishing Think Tank wanted to take action to encourage shoppers to spend their hard-earned money on independent books at local, independent bookstores. We distributed an email that was sent throughout the Southern California literary community and beyond, and picked up by several websites.

It may not be the holidays just now, but we still encourage you to think sometimes about literature the way you think about food - the local, homemade stuff is often the richest and most rewarding. And it can reduce your carbon footprint!

Everyone knows that the best-tasting holiday cookies are the ones made from scratch with fresh ingredients and a lot of love. The same goes for gifts. Southern California’s indie presses are cooking up unique, reasonably priced poetry and fiction appealing to almost every taste. Check them out online or visit an indie bookstore, and enjoy the warm holiday feeling that comes from knowing you supported local artists and businesses instead of overseas sweatshops and multi-national retail chains.

Here are a few presses and stores we recommend.

Southern California-based Presses:
  • Angel City Press: nostalgic yet cool illustrated books
  • 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
  • Red Hen Press: poetry and more by writers whose work has been marginalized
  • 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

Independent Bookstores:

Happy holidays from the Future of Publishing Think Tank