Eye Books has been named Small Press of the Year 2022 across the Midlands and continues to compete for Small Press of the Year and Independent Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards in London on May 23.
Dan Hiscocks, founder and publisher of Eye Books, said: “This is a huge deal for us.
“We’re tiny even by independent publishing standards and we’ve never entered these awards, called the Nibbies, before.
“We decided to do this to mark our 25th anniversary and we are delighted with this stunning result.
“In publishing non-fiction as Eye Books and fiction as Lightning Books, our mantra is to drive Minis like Ferraris, but getting our books into the hands of readers is always our most great fight, as is the case with everyone in independent publishing. We hope this recognition can make it a little easier.”
The company is also celebrating its biggest year of production and sales yet. As of 2021 he has published 25 books – his longest list ever.
And he’s heading for a record turnover of £250,000
“We think this is a great achievement for a micro-press without full-time staff or offices,” Mr Hiscocks said.
The company has made a specialty of picking up books the biggest publishers overlook, and Simon Edge’s satire The End of the World is Flat and previously self-published Nicola May were among the highlights of 2021.
Eye Books was founded in 1996, with the initial goal of publishing books about the extraordinary things everyday people have done, often with a strong travel or geographic element to their stories.
More recently it has branched out into more general non-fiction.
Mr Hiscocks added: “As a small publisher, we are able to make decisions quickly, not by committee.
“We are small and nimble enough to take risks.
“Our working relationship with our authors is collaborative, if they wish: we believe in giving authors as much information as possible about covers, pricing, promotions and marketing. We believe that it makes us more efficient, so everyone benefits.”
Among the hits is the comic novelist Simon Edge. Eye has published one novel by him a year since 2017, and all have been well received, but this year’s offering, a satire on gender ideology titled The End of the World Is Boring, was by far its biggest. seller, earning the No. 1 spot in Amazon’s Literary Satire Ranking.
In the last week of November, Eye published the first book by viral lockdown comedian Josh Berry.
Staggering Hubris, a fake Covid diary number 10 of 2020, is written in the guise of Boris Johnson’s most arrogant special adviser, Rafe Hubris.
Mr Hiscocks said: “We released it as a parody but, just two weeks after its launch, we realized the scenes of ministers and advisers partying during the pandemic were an unintended documentary.
“With very little media support, the book shot to #1 on Amazon’s political charts before it was even published and sold out from its first edition before its official release date.”
The company also discovered a new niche completely by accident.
Adrian Bleese spent 13 years flying police helicopters as one of the few civilian aerial spotters anywhere in the world.
Eye published their memoir Above the Law because they were thrilling and engaging, but it turned out there was a real appetite for such titles.
The book has been one of Eye’s best sellers this year, consistently staying in Amazon’s top 10 in both law enforcement and aviation biographies.