I’ve created this site as a way to show people the wide variety of fantastic young adult books out there beyond the ‘big 5’ publishers of Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan.
As a long-time fan of young adult novels, over the last ten years I’ve loved seeing the amount of amazing YA releases from a wide variety of publishers. Despite this, I’ve found myself often reading books from those same five companies. I’m clearly not alone. Take a look at the books that get the most publicity, and the ones that hit the bestseller lists. With a few exceptions, they tend to be from an imprint of one of those five huge corporations.
This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with any of those publishers, of course. Over the last decade I’ve read dozens of books from each of them. I’ve worked with publicists at most of them for my other blog YA Yeah Yeah (now on hiatus). I know brilliant authors with books published by all of them.
Beyond the big 5, though, there are a host of other fantastic YA publishers of all sizes. A lot of them are releasing books that are just as superb as those from the bigger companies. From established publishers like Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and HMH, to relatively new ones like UCLan Publishing, Erewhon Books, and Interlude Press, the intention here is to showcase a host of these great YA novels, and their authors.
There’s far too many presses out there to list them all – or even just the ones I’m hoping to feature here! Rest assured, though, there’ll be lots of different publishers represented here. The idea is to open people’s eyes to wonderful books, authors and publishers they may not have been aware of.
To kick things off, I’ve created lists with books in various genres. These are a mixture of personal favourites and recommendations from people whose opinions I trust. (Oh, and a few that look really intriguing despite me not knowing much about them!)
Initially, there are genre lists available for contemporary, fantasy and historical fiction. Each of these has a North American publishers version, and a UK and Irish publishers version. Over the coming weeks, I’ll add other genres, and books looking at specific kinds of representation as well.
In addition, I’ll be running interviews, guest posts, and other features. I’m extremely excited to have an outstanding line-up of authors for my first two major features. Half of them will look back at their favourite indie YA books of the last decade. The other half will tell us what they’re most looking forward to in 2021!
I hope you enjoy everything I have lined up. If you have thoughts on what you’d like to see on the site, I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment, or tweet me @beyondthebig5.