Holidays on a budget: think books, think indie

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”
  • 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
  • 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
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, Sylmar
Village Books, Pacific Palisades
Village Bookshop, Glendora
Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena

Please repost, tweet and email this widely to everyone interested in books and writing. Happy holidays from the Future of Publishing Think Tank*!

*The Future of Publishing Think Tank is an ad hoc group of writers and representatives of independent publishers and bookstores, nonprofit literary organizations, and community radio. Our task: to consider the changes occurring in publishing, distribution, and marketing of literary work and to envision new ways for writers to engage readers and build audiences for their work. Visit us to see the results of our reader survey and find more bookstores and literary activities in your area.

Reviews of these and many other independent bookstores can be found at

One response to “Holidays on a budget: think books, think indie

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Holidays on a budget: think books, think indie « GuerrillaReads --

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