Five Leaves Publications (www.fiveleaves.co.uk) was set up in 1996 and has published around 200 literary, political, social history and other titles, including a strong Jewish list and books for young adults. In October 2013 we secured a lease on 14a Long Row and in November we opened a bookshop with a stock much wider than we publish, but with a strong emphasis on independent publishing.
Five Leaves has been involved with Lowdham Book Festival since its inauguration in partnership with The Bookcase in Lowdham. We jointly organise an annual celebration of indie publishing in Leicester – States of Independence – in association with the Creative Writing Team at De Montfort University. Five Leaves initiated the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, which now includes the Little Rebels Prize for books for children and the London Radical Book Fair.
We continue to publish, though the bookshop is now our main activity.
Five Leaves is a member of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, The Booksellers Association and the Inpress group of independent publishers. We are also members of Nottingham Writers Studio – the organisation of professional writers in the city.
We work in partnership with others, but we are completely independent. We pay our taxes and do not have headquarters in a tax haven!
What we sell
Five Leaves Bookshop stock is orientated towards independent presses, but we have a good representation of major publishing houses too. We like the reprint house Persephone, the art publisher Redstone, political publishers including Verso and Freedom, poetry publishers such as Carcanet and Bloodaxe, translation houses including Pierene and Pushkin Press, the landscape publisher Little Toller…
Our current best-selling sections include politics, landscape/cityscape, poetry and general fiction.
The sections in the shop include books about books, Jewish interest, The Beats, Roma, self-help, counselling and psychotherapy, creative writing, landscape/cityscape, music, young adult/teenage, spirituality, general and translated fiction, poetry, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, travel writing, politics, feminism, social history. We have a small children’s section. All Five Leaves titles are carried.
We also have some terrific greetings cards and postcards and, leading up to Christmas, a range of diaries, calendars and tea-towels! Some of our Christmas cards are exclusively designed for Five Leaves by Posy Simmonds. The bookshop also stocks a small amount of fairtrade goods including oil and olives from Palestine and Zapatista coffee from Mexico around Christmas.
Five Leaves sells 60-70 magazines covering the range of interests in the shop. In some cases we will be the only stockist in the region. In the case of Beat Scene, we are one of only two shops in the UK carrying the magazine.
Whilst smaller independents are our priority, many of our books are drawn from the output of big publishers. There is no conflict in this – a good book is a good book, regardless of the publisher.
Our independence means that we do our own buying and are not beholding to shareholders. The shop has to make a profit so that we can pay staff wages, rent, overheads and pay for the books, but beyond that our income will be used to develop the shop and our publishing side. We are radical in that the shop supports those who want to change the world for the better. This is reflected in the books we stock and the events we promote. It would be impossible to pay the rent if we ONLY stocked politically radical books… but radical is a broad word. Personal change, political change, understanding history, understanding the world we live in… anarchist, socialist, green… we are not prescriptive. Independent publishing, independent thinking, independent writing. That’s good enough for us.
Unless stated, all our events are held in the Bookshop. The shop has full disabled access.
Tickets are available on the door on a first come, first served basis. In some cases we will ask people to buy tickets in advance.
Events will also be circulated in our newsletter, on Facebook and Twitter.