Publishing News

The Do-Not Press logo

The Do-Not Press logo designed by Kirk Teasdale

Welcome to the official website of The Do-Not Press. The Do-Not Press was an independent publishing company, founded in London in 1994, by former music promoter and writer, Jim Driver. The first title was Rock Talk, published on 31st October 1994 and its last came out on 25th June, 2004. All in all, The Do-Not Press published over 100 titles over those ten years, mainly in the categories of cutting edge Mystery Fiction, Music and Erotica. This website is partly the archive of the original website, including title and author pages, and partly a Creative Writing resource.

Aside from archiving almost every article on the original websites, we hope to show you how to become a writer, by means of articles and videos such as Writing a Book and How to Publish a Book. Jim Driver’s aim when starting The Do-Not Press was to showcase exciting and innovative writing. He certainly managed that. The Do-Not Press published work by writers as diverse as Ken Bruen and Mick Farren, Maxim Jakubowski and Carol Anne Davis. Their non-fiction included a tasteful and iconic coffee-table book about strippers in East London and personalised biographies of Ike Turner and Gene Vincent. The motto was “Fiercely Independent Publishing”. Here is a rare web banner from 1999:

Fiercely Independent Publishing bannerThis is intended to serve as an overview of The Do-Not Press. A more detailed guide to The Early Years can be read by clicking the link. The Do-Not Press never had a runaway bestseller. It came close three times. One was the first book by British comedian and writer Mark Steel. The title of It’s Not A Runner Bean comes from when the leftwing Steel was heckled at a “corporate” event in 1987. As Mark told The Independent‘s James Rampton a decade later:

its_not_a_runner-2004One bloke came up and threw a runner bean at me. I lost it a bit and said to him, ‘That’s why people like you are hugely rich and nurses are paid nothing, because you enjoy throwing runner beans at people’. He replied, ‘It’s not a runner bean, it’s a mange tout.’

The second was a lavish and expensively-printed book about the culture of the last remaining strip pubs in the Shoreditch area of East London, called Baby Oil and Ice. This quickly sold out of its first printing of 2,000 and would have been reprinted if the bank account had held anything like the £10,000 needed to pay the printer. The third ‘almost bestseller’ was Judas Pig, a roman a clef written by a former London gang-member who used the pen-name “Horace Silver”. This came at the tail-end of the imprint’s life and its success could be summed up as “too little, too late”.

a dysfunctional success book coverSo, why did The Do-Not Press come to an end? It was simple matter of economics. Although it was lauded as a “ground-breaking” independent publisher, the critical acclaim never really translated itself into sales. Publisher Jim Driver says: “The decider for me was probably (Wreckless) Eric Goulden’s rather wonderful and extremely quirky autobiography, A Dysfunctional Success, which was chosen for a promotion in all Waterstones bookshops over the Christmas of 2003. This meant it would be stacked high on tables at the front of every one of their bookshops. This meant getting lots of expensive little hardback books printed.

“A few thousand copies of the book went out and almost the same number came back. I think we sold around 1,200 copies, which hardly paid for the printing, never mind all the transport and distribution costs. This was after a massive amount of press and radio.” Concludes Driver: “I knew if we couldn’t make money out of that book, chances were we couldn’t make money out of anything…”

At the bottom of this page is the last front page of The Do-Not Press website, first posted in 2004.

The Do-Not Press

The Do-Not Press is currently not looking for submissions. We have stopped publishing. Please do not send us your valuable manuscript; we do not have the resources to read it and it will be recycled unread.

Welcome to the The Do-Not Press, Europe’s most exciting independent publisher.

However broad your tastes – and ours stretch across noir, hardboiled, modern fiction, murder mystery, art, music, non-fiction and humour, to name but nine – we’ve probably got something you’ll enjoy. Please feel free to browse, read extracts and bone up on our authors. There is also an ever-growing number of articles on a variety of arts-related subjects at Bookclub, plus other pages hold details for prospective authors, journalists and booksellers, as well as the ability to buy online via secure server and links to Amazon.co.uk.

Happy reading.

The Last Books We Published:

crimeonthemove_small
Crime on the Move edited by Martin Edwards
masters_2small itsnot answerssmall-2 genevincent_small
einsteinfront_small
Masters of Mystery – Martin Radcliffe (ed) It’s Not A Runner Bean by Mark Steel Answers From The Grave by Mark Timlin Gene Vincent by Mick Farren
Einstein by Miles Gibson
london_revenant_small down&outsmall judaspigsmall justicefactorysmall
confessionssmall
London Revenant by Conrad Williams Down & Out in Shoreditch & Hoxton by Stewart Home Judas Pig by Horace Silver The Justice Factory by Paul Charles
Confessions of a Romantic… by Maxim Jakubowski
ikecoversmall
vixensmall
greenfordangersmall.
kissitaway
AME
Ike Turner: King of Rhythm by John Collis
Vixen by Ken Bruen
Kiss it Away by Carol Anne Davis
A Man’s Enemies by Bill James
dysfunctional
indispensable
endoftheline
grief
noonegets
The Indispensable Julian Rathbone
No One Gets Hurt
by Russell James

THE DO-NOT PRESS is on hold. We have no plans to publish any more books and our sales and distribution is currently being handled in house from October 1st, 2006. Books (when still available) can be bought online via this site and via Amazon, but increasingly not through bookshops.

AWARDS 2005: For a small independent publisher, The Do-Not Press has done very well at the Bouchercon Awards ceremonies held in Chicago in September 2005.
• EDWARD D HOCH wins Best Short Story in the Barry Awards for ‘The War in Wonderland’, which appeared in GREEN FOR DANGER; edited by Martin Edward; The Do-Not Press.
• KEN BRUEN wins Best Book in the Macavity Awards for ‘The Killing of the Tinkers’. (We’ve published eight of his other books, most of them are better!!)
Hearty congratulations to all concerned.

KEN BRUEN wins highly prestigious Shamus Award for Best Novel for ‘The Guards’ published by Ireland’s esteemed Brandon Books imprint. Ken Bruen’s books published by The Do-Not Press include VixenBlitzLondon BoulevardThe McDeadTaming the AlienA White Arrest and The Hackman Blues – most in groovy (and highly collectable) first editions.

JUDAS PIG a major news item in the ObserverCLICK HERE to read it and see what all the fuss it about.

babyoil80BABY OIL & ICE wins BEST BOOK category at 2002 EROTIC AWARDS!

Full Story