Mongrel Books is a small press based in Karachi, Pakistan, committed to publishing original voices and compelling stories.
- Is a small press different from a traditional publisher?
We mostly follow the traditional publishing model but on a much smaller, more intimate scale. If you are a writer looking for a publisher, we urge you to learn more about the different models of publishing in the market. There is a lot of information available online, such as here and here.
- How did Mongrel Books begin?
Our press, co-founded in 2016, is the realisation of an ambition to promote original fiction and non-fiction in Pakistan. While it’s possible for a society to have enough lawyers, bankers, digital strategists, political aides and artisanal bakers, one can never have enough writers and publishers. And we are far from facing such an oversupply locally. Writers need guidance, encouragement, support, and the option of publishers who are not driven by the bottom line. This can only happen by people making it happen. No substantial innovation ever came from committees, WhatsApp groups or panel discussions.
- What is the Mongrel Book of Voices?
The ‘Mongrel Book of Voices’ is an annual anthology, with a different theme every year. You can learn more about the first volume here. We will put out a call for submissions for the second volume soon. Follow us on Facebook for updates.
- What kind of challenges has Mongrel Books faced?
As a small press, we are facing the same issues as any small business starting out: affordable quality childcare for the working mother, financing, human resources, acquiring new skills. Being in Pakistan, there are heightened difficulties, such as making international payments. Being in publishing in Pakistan, the challenges are multiplied. For example, the options for paper are limited. Finding the right printer is challenging. And let’s not talk about the patronage politics entwined with every branch of the local publishing tree, and that readers are rarer than pacifists.
- What is a typical Mongrel Books book?
We have a clear idea of what constitutes good writing: it’s as simple as wanting to keep reading.
Mongrel Books’ focus in fiction is good storytelling, and in non-fiction work that challenges or enriches contemporary ways of looking and seeing
- Does Mongrel Books only publish in English?
We will publish original work in English as well as translations into English. Pakistan itself has a vast reservoir of stories in Sindhi, Punjabi, Hindko, Seraiki and other languages, and we hope to build relationships with translators to bring some of those to people who might not otherwise know them.
- Any advice for aspiring writers?
Writers should understand that their craft requires practice, dedication, hard work, and also nourishment. Reading and living are prerequisites for the actual writing.
- Any advice for aspiring writers wanting to submit to Mongrel Books?
We are not a vanity press or an academic publisher.
Queries should not be sent via FB, or texts, or in an overly casual manner. Please respect our submission guidelines. Research how to writer a query letter if you have never written one before.
- How can I contact you?
Please direct general queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on how to buy/stock our books email@example.com.