Black-Owned Publishing Companies Statistics

Black-Owned Publishing Companies Statistics

  • As of 2023, Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press have released 1,815 titles, the most out of the listed black-owned publishers.
  • Third World Press released the second-largest number of titles, with 278 publications.
  • Black Classic Press released 161 titles, the third-largest number of titles out of the listed black-owned publishing companies.
  • African American Images specialize in Afrocentric books and are able to provide authors with a mailing list consisting of 125,000 customers.
  • Amber Communications Group is the largest African-American publisher of self-help books and music biographies in the US.
  • Of the listed US black-owned publishing companies, Broadside Lotus Press has the largest history, merging in 2015 out of Broadside Press (1965) and Lotus Press (1972).
  • In the UK, New Beacon Books is the oldest listed black-owned publisher, formed in 1966.
  • During 2020, Knights Of in partnership with Jacaranda Books raised more than £174,500 through a publishing campaign named #InclusiveIndies.
  • 80% of the money raised was shared between the two publishers.
  • The remaining 20% was shared with other diversity-led independent presses.

US black-owned publishing companies

  • As of 2023, Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press have released 1,815 titles.
  • This is the most out of the listed US black-owned publishers.
  • Of these 1,815 titles, paperback made up 70.58% and hardback made up 29.42%.
  • Third World Press released the second-largest number of titles, with 278 publications.
  • 161 titles were released by Black Classic Press who published the third-largest number of titles.
Year foundedPublisherPaperback titlesHardback titlesTotal titles
20112Leaf Press59261
1983/1985*Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press1,2815341,815
1980African American Images13411145
2017Amber Communications Group51051
1978Black Classic Press14219161
2017BlackGold Publishing25025
1965/1972**Broadside Lotus Press8919108
2015Cedar Grove Publishing12113
1987Just Us Books8831119
1967Third World Press22157278
*sister companies
**merged

A graph is given below to show black-owned US publishing companies by total books published:

2Leaf Press

  • 2Leaf Press is the first US publisher led by a black/brown woman to be marketed and distributed by the University of Chicago Press.
  • The publisher was established in 2011 to publish alternative fiction, non-fiction, poetry and bilingual works. 
  • The company looks to publish works by activists, academics, poets and authors alike.
  • They are also dedicated to making diversity and social justice publications accessible to the general public.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 61 titles by 2Leaf Press.
    • Paperback: 59 (96.72%)
    • Hardback: 2 (3.28%)

Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press

  • Africa World Press was formed in 1983 and produces nonfiction, poetry and photographic publications.
  • Its sister company, The Red Sea Press, was formed in 1985 to distribute the books of over 250 different publishing companies.
  • In 1987, The Red Sea Press published “Funu: The Unfinished Saga of East Timor” by Jose Ramos-Horta, who became a Nobel Peace Prize co-winner in 1996. 
  • The mission of the companies as a whole is to provide history and culture publications, with a focus on the content of Africa.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 1815 titles by Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press:
    • Paperback: 1281 (70.58%)
    • Hardback: 534 (29.42%)

African American Images

  • African American Images is a publishing company which aims to principally produce educational content, with a focus on children and young adults.
  • The publisher looks to publish Afrocentric books that promote values such as collectivity, liberation, skill development and positive self-esteem.
  • The owner of African American Images, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, has authored 40+ books which have included US national bestsellers.
  • African American Images look to provide authors with a mailing list that consists of 125,000 customers.
  • “Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys” sold more than 1 million copies.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 145 titles by African American Images:
    • Paperback: 134 (92.41%)
    • Hardback: 11 (7.59%)

Amber Communications Group

  • Amber Communications Group is the largest African-American publisher of self-help books and music biographies in the US.
  • The first African-American indie publisher to attain a multi-book, co-publishing/imprint agreement with a major publishing house (Wiley).
  • Amber Communications Group had 35 titles licensed through the Black Expressions Book Club and was also its first partnership.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 51 titles by Amber Communications group:
    • Paperback: 51 (100%)

Black Classic Press

  • Black Classic Press was founded in 1978 in Baltimore, Maryland and publishes rare and culturally significant works around people of African descent.
  • In the US, Black Classic Press is one of the oldest indie owned black publishing companies.
  • In 1997, the renowned American novelist Walter Mosley made a surprising decision to publish his “Gone Fishin’” manuscript with Black Classic Press.
  • He did this to demonstrate to other authors that it was possible to successfully publish a book outside of mainstream publishing houses.
  • Annually, the company looks to publish around 6 titles. 
  • Of these, the majority are historical, out-of-print publications which are re-introduced.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 161 titles by Black Classic Press:
    • Paperback: 142 (88.20%)
    • Hardback: 19 (11.80%)

BlackGold Publishing

  • The publisher was founded in 2017 to grow the visibility of black and ethnic publications.
  • BlackGold Publishing’s titles have won The Gavel Award (2017), Kindle’s Top 100 Award (2018) and the Indie Author Award twice (2017, 2019).
  • The publishing house looks to create inclusive, diverse opportunities for authors, editors, illustrators and additional staff.
  • As of 2023, BlackGold Publishing is a group with 75 members of staff.
  • Bookdepository also lists 29 titles by BlackGold Publishing as of the same year:
    • Paperback: 29 (100%)

Broadside Lotus Press

  • Broadside Press was formed in 1965 and Lotus Press was formed in 1972. The two publication houses merged in 2015.
  • Each of the publication houses were originally formed to produce African American poetry and literary publications.
  • Collectively since forming, Broadside Lotus Press has published 150+ books to raise awareness of the creativity and history behind African American culture.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 108 titles by Broadside Lotus Press:
    • Paperback: 89 (82.41%)
    • Hardback: 19 (17.59%)

Cedar Grove Publishing

  • Cedar Grove Publishing produces books to champion diversity and authenticity. They feature characters that overcome adversity to achieve success.
  • Their publications offer an outlet for underrepresented and diverse authors. 
  • The publisher targets various genres and niches by the use of words, pictures and technology within its products.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 13 titles by Cedar Grove Publishing:
    • Paperback: 12(92.31%)
    • Hardback: 1 (7.69%)

Just Us Books

  • Just Us Books was formed in 1987 by Wade and Cheryl Hudson and is now recognized as a leader in multicultural book publishing for children.
  • The publishing company has given many black writers, illustrators and other industry professionals their first opportunity within the children’s publishing market.
  • “Bright Eyes, Brown Skin” (1991) and “From a Child’s Heart” (1994) each received the Publishers Marketing Association’s Ben Franklin Award for Illustration.
  • The company was also named “Haki Madhubuti Publisher of the Year,” by the African American Pavilion in 2006.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 119 titles by Just Us Books:
    • Paperback: 88 (73.95%)
    • Hardback: 31 (26.05%)

Third World Press

  • In the United States, Third World Press is the largest independent press with a black owner.
  • Founded in 1967 by Haki R. Madhubuti, the company has focused on publishing fiction, nonfiction and poetry works with cultural and political themes.
  • “The Covenant with Black America” (2006) reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
  • “Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family in Transition” has sold more than 1 million copies.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 278 titles by Third World Press:
    • Paperback: 221 (79.50%)
    • Hardback: 57 (20.50%)

UK black-owned publishing companies

  • As of 2023, Jacaranda Books has released 132 titles, the most out of the featured UK black-owned publishing companies.
  • New Beacon Books released the second-largest number of titles, with 120.
  • This was followed by Knights Of who released 65 titles.
  • Knights Of and Jacaranda Booked co-raised more than £174,500 through a publishing campaign named #InclusiveIndies in 2020.
  • 80% of the money raised was shared between the two publishers, whilst the remaining 20% was shared with other diversity-led independent presses.
Year foundedPublisherPaperback titlesHardback titlesTotal titles
2003Ayebia34640
2017Hashtag Press41142
2014Jacaranda Books10329132
2017Knights Of501565
1966New Beacon Books7842120

A graph is given below to show black-owned UK publishing companies by total books published:

Ayebia

  • Based in Oxfordshire in the UK, Ayebia is an award-winning independent African and Caribbean independent publisher.
  • The publisher’s mission is to fight against negative stereotypes from the Western world by celebrating African and Caribbean history and culture.
  • Its owner, Nana Ayebia was awarded an Honorary MBE in 2011 for her services to the British publishing industry by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 40 titles by Ayebia:
    • Paperback: 34 (85.00%)
    • Hardback: 6 (15.00%)

Hashtag Press

  • An independent publishing house that has published bestselling and award-winning books.
  • The aim of the publisher is to make publishing fair, inclusive and representative.
  • In 2020, Hashtag Press won “Publisher of the Year” by The People’s Book Prize.
  • The publisher’s bestselling books have featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue and BBC Radio.
  • Hashtag Press also owns the imprint Hashtag Blak, which aims to give a platform to underrepresented voices.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 42 titles by Hashtag Press:
    • Paperback: 41 (97.62%)
    • Hardback: 1 (2.38%)

Jacaranda Books

  • Launched in 2014, Jacaranda Books have published titles from multiple award-winning authors such as Irenosen Okojie, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Bernice L. McFadden and Shola von Reinhold.
  • At the 2020 British Book Awards, Jacaranda was named “Small Press of the Year”.
  • The publisher launched #TwentyIn2020, an initiative to publish 20 titles by 20 black British writers within the year of 2020.
  • Additionally, in partnership with Knights Of, Jacaranda raised more than £174,500 through a publishing campaign named #InclusiveIndies in 2020.
  • 80% of the money raised was shared between Jacaranda Books and Knights Of.
  • The remaining 20% was shared with other diversity-led independent presses.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 132 titles by Jacaranda Books:
    • Paperback: 103 (78.03%)
    • Hardback: 29 (21.97%)

Knights Of

  • Knights Of is a publishing company led by women of color, to bring underrepresented authors to the fore within the commercial children’s publishing space.
  • In 2022, the publisher won Children’s Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards.
  • A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll was awarded both the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Best Story Book award.
  • Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds was awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 65 titles by Knights Of:
    • Paperback: 50 (76.92%)
    • Hardback: 15 (23.08%)

New Beacon Books

  • Founded in 1966, New Beacon Books was the UK’s first black publisher, international book distributor and specialist bookshop.
  • The publisher is widely recognized for having contributed to the Caribbean arts movement alongside black culture in Britain.
  • New Beacon Books was founded by the poet, writer and publisher John La Rose, who was also a political and cultural activist
  • He also co-founded the George Padmore Institute to archive materials relating to the lives of Caribbean, African and Asian communities in Britain.
  • As of 2023, Bookdepository lists 120 titles by New Beacon Books:
    • Paperback: 78 (65.00%)
    • Hardback: 42 (35.00%)

Best-selling books by black-owned companies

  • “The Covenant with Black America” (2006) published by Third World Press reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
  • Furthermore, its publication “Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family in Transition” has sold over 1 million copies.
  • Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu (owner of African American Images) authored “Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys” which sold more than 1 million copies.