Best Of

Best Indie Publisher


Akashic Books’ tagline is “reverse-gentrification of the literary world,” and the Brooklyn-based publisher describes the books it publishes as “urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream” or who have no interest in it. In 2011 Akashic had the guts and taste to publish Go the Fuck to Sleep — which, with the help of social media, landed atop the New York Times bestseller list. From poetry and fiction by musician Ryan Adams to Tales of the Out & the Gone, Home: Social Essays, and Black Music (three books by the late author/poet Amiri Bakara), Akashic releases the sort you’d find lining the shelves at the homes of your coolest intellectual friends. (The non-douchey ones.) Why? Because Johnny Temple. The publisher and editor-in-chief is a musician (Girls Against Boys), a journalist, and a thoughtful curator and publisher through his proudly indie (the Sub Pop of books?) house, now in its twentieth year. In addition to Akashic’s ongoing location-focused Noir series (New York, Memphis, Brooklyn, and dozens more), there’s also its new Edge of Sports imprint and a large list of Caribbean-interest titles. Akashic always manages to get it right, despite the breadth and sheer volume of its catalog. And, if you’re a member of the hopeful literati, get a foot in the door (or at least a story on the web) by writing a 750-word piece of flash fiction — no pay, but priceless glory.