Tindal Street Press Sold

From the Birmingham Mail:

The last independent book publisher in Birmingham has been sold to a rival London company. After dozens of nominations for national awards in its 14 years, Digbeth-based Tindal Street Press is sold to Profile Books.

Four jobs will be lost at the prize-winning Tindal Street Press after the Custard Factory-based publisher was formed in Birmingham in 1998 and punched above its weight with dozens of nominations for national awards.

Alan Mahar, at Tindal Street Press, in Digbeth

Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall – shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2003 – was Tindal Street’s bestselling title and has been translated into 12 languages worldwide. Among Profile’s best sellers is Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.

Alan Mahar, publishing director at Tindal Street, said: “Profile are an independent publisher and part of The Independent Alliance which we were part of, so they were a natural fit. They’ve got a similar ethos to us. Our books planned for next year will be published by Serpent’s Tail but the Tindal Street name will live on and the books will live on.

“Tindal Street has built a reputation for quality literary fiction. We had a number of bestsellers on Kindle last year. But the market has changed even since then.”

Mr Mahar said: “Birmingham has not really been a city that has attracted publishers. Publishing is dominated by London and 99% of businesses will be based in London.

“We’ve had a reputation of having done so well outside of London. Birmingham City Council did support us for a while but we haven’t had funding for at least two years. But we’ve had support from Arts Council England in the West Midlands continuously.”

Mr Mahar added: “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved. We found new English writers and published them with conviction and flair, earning prize listings for the Man Booker, Orange and Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, a British Book Award and two Costa Prize winners.

“We built the Tindal Street name with a tiny, dedicated and talented publishing team and a voluntary board. We had a close connection with our authors, an independent ethos and a vision for our English regional list.

“It is genuinely a great comfort that Profile and Serpent’s Tail will be continuing our list and legacy.’’

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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