Serpent's Tail

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Serpent's Tail
Parent companyProfile Books
Founded1986; 38 years ago (1986)
FounderPete Ayrton
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
DistributionThe Book Service (UK)
Consortium Book Sales & Distribution (USA)
Publication typesBooks

Serpent's Tail is London-based independent publishing firm founded in 1986 by Pete Ayrton. It specialises in publishing work in translation, particularly European crime fiction. In January 2007, it was bought by a British publisher Profile Books.


The firm publishes both fiction and non-fiction books. Boyd Tonkin, writing for The Independent, has described the publisher's list: "from hard-boiled noir to gems in translation and left-field cultural reportage – often defines the meaning of 'cool'."[1]

Noted writers[edit]

Noted debut novels[edit]

High Risk Books[edit]

High Risk Books was an imprint of Serpent's Tail that existed from 1993-1997. It was founded by Ira Silverberg and Amy Scholder and aimed to publish innovative, provocative, and progressive literature (such as Kathy Acker and William S. Burroughs), poetry (including Jayne Cortez), and non-fiction (including the collected journalism of Cookie Mueller).[2]


  1. ^ Tonkin, Boyd (20 May 2011). "Hot books for cool readers: Serpent's Tail at 25 is still the publisher with bite". The Independent.
  2. ^ High Risk: An Anthology of Forbidden Writings. Ira Silverberg, Amy Scholder. London: Serpent's Tail. 1991. ISBN 1-85242-231-9. OCLC 877279946.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]