Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd is a fresh and exciting new independent publishing house based in London. We publish adult fiction and non-fiction, including illustrated books, which cross linguistic, racial, gender and cultural boundaries – books in many ways as cosmopolitan as our city.
Jacaranda Books is devoted to the long-term promotion and celebration of inclusivity and diversity in publishing. This goal is at the heart of the Jacaranda ethos and raison d’être, making us one of the few houses where this is a permanent and underlying basis rather than a short-term trend.
Through our authors and books, we aim to represent the cultural and ethnic diversity and heritage that can be found in London, with a particular interest in works related to Africa, the Caribbean, and the experiences of those peoples in the Diaspora. We also seek provocative, inspirational writing that shines a light on issues affecting ethnic minorities, women, and young people, and tackles contemporary social issues.
To date the company has published 30 titles by a raft of talented authors, including multiple award winners such as Irenosen Okojie (Butterfly Fish, Speak Gigantular), Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Tram 83), and Bernice L. McFadden (The Book of Harlan). Jacaranda has acquired some of the most important, controversial and relevant books of our current times, including Rest in Power: the Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, and Once Upon a Time in Shaolin by Cyrus Bozorgmehr which reveals the untold story behind the Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album of the same name. Challenging the perceived view of typical Black and BAME literature, Jacaranda has delved into commercial genre fiction, launching romance series From Pasta to Pigfoot by British-Ghanaian author and entrepreneur Frances Mensah Williams, which received a WH Smith Travel promotion, and a new Caribbean crime- fiction series beginning with Murder in Montego Bay, by Jamaican author Paula Lennon that has received industry praise.
At the heart of our publishing strategy is one core element – a love of outstanding, thought-provoking work. We believe that a wealth of unheard, under-represented voices exist globally and are ready to be discovered. It is our mission to create the space for those voices to be seen and heard by new readers.
Founder and Publisher
Valerie Brandes is the founder and publisher of Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd, and an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the book trade across the USA and UK. Valerie is a seasoned editor whose background includes bookselling for US book retailer Barnes and Noble, a MA in Publishing Studies from City University, and professional experience at Profile Books. She has been named on the Powerlist’s 100 Most Influential Black Britons for 2018 and identified as a “publishing game changer” by Spread the Word. Valerie is an ardent promoter of diversity and inclusivity in publishing, and a staunch supporter of social justice. She served on the committee for Equip and Fiction Uncovered, and is a regular public speaker, giving talks across the UK on publishing, inclusivity and female entrepreneurship. She also speaks at colleges and universities to inspire the next generation to consider a career in publishing and entrepreneurship.
Sales, Marketing & Publicity Manager
Jazzmine Breary manages Sales, Marketing and Publicity at Jacaranda Books, including the company’s website and social media channels and digital sales. She has been at Jacaranda since its launch, working closely with Valerie Brandes in multiple areas of the business. Jazzmine previously worked at Pan Macmillan, Profile Books, and with Facebook Marketing expert Geoff Hughes at Social Clay. As a freelancer her clients included the Publishers Licensing Society, Class Publishing and CompletelyNovel.com. She is a public speaker on issues of diversity, inclusivity and the challenges of promoting diverse books, and contributed to the 2015 Writing the Future report. She also served on the committee of Women in Publishing UK from 2012-2014 and is a judge in the 2018 Young Muslim Writers Awards.