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Spotlight On: Pepperback Press

By Hannah Emery, William Swift, and Elizabeth Haslam

A recent addition to the publishing scene, Pepperback Press was founded in 2023 and has made a name for itself as a woman-led, non-profit publishing company. With only a small number of titles to its name, Pepperback is a rising star in the publishing industry. Adventure, horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance are just some of the wide variety of genres published by this press alongside several non-fiction texts.

Pepperback’s aim to promote marginalised voices is clearly visible in its titles where women, queer, and young authors proudly dominate the list. What is more, this press prides itself on investing 100% of its profits back into the community of voices it champions. Pepperback Press is a growing enterprise with an important goal and clear agenda: to lift marginalised voices up and give them a place to be noticed. 

New Releases

Let’s Move to Europe by Michael Owens

It looks like Pepperback Press has discovered a gem in the author Michael Owens, who populates the publisher’s most recently published books. The most recent book from Owens’ is Let’s Move to Europe!. Published in September 2023, this novel is a poignant blend of memoir and guide that encapsulates the quintessentially American spirit of seeking a better life abroad. Fuelled by a bold determination to escape the deteriorating conditions in North America, the book follows a single mother who journeys from Washington, DC suburbs to the southern coast of Spain. This book is a compelling testament to the resilience of the human spirit and an inspiring call to embrace change for a brighter future across the Atlantic.

The Legend of The Big Tow by Michael Owens

The press’ second most recent release, also from Michael Owens, is named The Legend of The Big Tow. Following the story of Sal, this short story explores how one man transitioned from hauling equipment and supplies to being the owner of a successful neighbourhood diner. Although only a fifteen-minute read, the narrative weaves a captivating tale of evolution and adaptation. 

The Windless Sky by Michael Owens

The final new release from Pepperback Press is The Windless Sky, also written by Michael Owens. The book is set on a space station and follows Maisy, a farm girl whose mundane existence takes an unexpected turn amidst the cosmic expanse. Devoid of any interesting people or events, Maisy confronts the disappointing reality of station life. However, when the coalition government back on Earth abandons its duties of protecting the space station, all its inhabitants are left at the mercy of the corporation that owns the station. As safety erodes and dissenters vanish, Maisy and her fellow residents embark on a perilous escape, unravelling a web of intrigue and danger in the otherwise banal reaches of space.

Notable Releases: Sharptooth by Mika Horvath

Readers are sure to be drawn, if not by the unique content presented by Sharptooth, to the regular sales events and promotional activities by the press. Social media and the Pepperback website reflect the nonprofit’s desire to share literature with the world at large-running half off and free ebook sales.

In Sharptooth readers are promised a new voice in YA literature, one that embraces all that is gothic and queer. Is your young reader going to love Dauphin’s Rebecca, one day? Well, there’s no better place to start, than with Mika Horvath’s latest short-read. At only 158 pages, Horvath creates a universe without the unnecessary verbiage that limits the target audience of her work. Understanding those who truly appreciate gothic, Horvath sets an intense scene and spins the age-old haunted girl trope to become a queer story about friendship, haunting, and seizing your fate. 

To find gothic literature of an appropriate age is no easy task, and a parent or teacher may struggle to find the atmospheric novels a child wants to read, without exposing them to brutalities they are unprepared for. In this void, Pepperback’s voice shines brightest in their manuscript selection, this indie press publishes unique content with the added bonus of affordability, making Sharptooth a notable release not only at Pepperback, but in the literary world.


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