Getting published as a new writer can be difficult. Most of us don’t have a history of past publication, and no legitimate, established presses look for unpublished authors.
To help your chances of landing a traditional publishing contract, it is a good idea to submit to literary journals. To help you out with this, the kind folks at Authors Publish have compiled a list of 40 publishers that have published several debut books before.
I will sum up the information below. (Also, some of the publishers are repeats from some of my earlier publishing opportunity posts.)
Where to Submit
The 40 publishers included in this list accept submissions from authors without a literary agent. Each press has good distribution and clear marketing strategies.
They are established publishing houses with good reputations. Some of them are even imprints of the “Big Five” publishers (I.e., Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Hachette). None of the “Big Five” accept submissions directly, but some of their imprints do.
All the publishers listed below are open to authors regardless of nationality. And most focus on publishing a particular genre(s).
1. Chronicle Books is a large independent San Francisco-based publisher of highly-acclaimed children’s books, bestselling cookbooks, gift books, and a variety of nonfiction. You can learn more about their submission guidelines here.
2. Tor/Forge publishes science fiction and fantasy books. The press is an imprint of Macmillan. Tor is one of the most established science fiction publishers. You can learn more about Tor/Forge here.
3. Shadow Mountain is an imprint of Deseret Books that primarily publishes fiction, including several New York Times bestselling books. Many of the authors and books they publish have nothing to do with Mormonism. You must query first and only submit a full manuscript upon request. You can learn more here.
4. Hard Case Crime is a well-respected and established niche publisher of hard-boiled crime novels. The publisher has been featured in numerous respected publications, including Time Magazine and The Stranger. To learn more, visit their website.
5. DAW is an imprint of Penguin books that publishes science fiction and fantasy books. They have published many bestselling books from authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny as well as Hugo Award-winning books. To learn more, visit their website here.
6. Turner Books publishes fiction and nonfiction in a variety of categories and formats. They publish mainly in print but have electronic options as well. They are a major independent publishing house and have many imprints. To learn their submissions guidelines, email address, and not much else, visit their website here.
7. Persea Books is a respected publisher of literary novels and short story collections, creative nonfiction, memoir, essays, biography, literary criticism, books on contemporary issues (multicultural, feminist, LGBTQI+), young adult (YA) novels, literary and multicultural anthologies, and poetry. They have good distribution, particularly in academic circles. To learn more about Persea or to submit, visit their submission guidelines here.
8. SourceBooks is a large independent publisher based out of Illinois. They are open to unsolicited submissions for a wide range of genres, from nonfiction to romance. To learn more about their submission guidelines, click here.
9. Baen is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels with a large number of bestsellers. Many well-respected science fiction and fantasy novelists regularly publish with them. To learn more or submit, visit their website here.
10. Seven Stories Press focuses on producing fiction and nonfiction books with a social conscience. They have published some big names and some bestsellers. To learn more about their submission process, visit the contact section.
11. Triangle Square is an imprint of Seven Stories Press that focuses on publishing YA novels and children’s books. They focus on publishing high-quality educational writing, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jared Diamond’s first science book for children, The Third Chimpanzee for Young People. You can visit their website for more information.
12. Coffee House Press (CHP) is a respected literary press with a great reputation. They are only open for short submission periods every year in March and September. CHP publishes emerging and mid-career authors. They do not focus on bestsellers, but their books are often taught in academic settings and available in libraries and independent bookstores. To learn more, check out their submission guidelines.
13. Flashlight Press is an award-winning publisher of illustrated children’s books. They publish two to four books every year that are aimed at four to eight-year-old. Their books are beautifully illustrated and have good international and national distribution. Click here to learn more.
14. Oneworld Publishing is an independent publisher that publishes around 100 works of nonfiction and literary fiction every year. They work with distributors and authors worldwide and are only open to unsolicited submissions of nonfiction. To learn more about Oneworld Publishing, click here.
15. Princeton Architectural Press is a small press that focuses on publishing books on architecture, design, photography, landscape, and visual culture. They also publish beautiful stationery and children’s books. In 2009, they were bought by the McEvoy Group, and is a sister company to Chronicle Books. To learn more or to submit, click here.
16. Black & White Publishing is one of the largest Scottish publishers with over 200 books in print. They have a good distributor and are starting to break into ebook publishing. They publish general nonfiction, biography, sport, and humor, as well as fiction — commercial women’s fiction (e.g., chick lit, saga, romance), general fiction, including historical, commercial literary and contemporary, crime and psychological thrillers, and YA fiction. You can view their submission guidelines here.
17. McSweeney’s publishes literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They started as publishing a literary magazine, and now they are responsible for several publications, online and off, as well as podcasts, and books. You can learn more about McSweeney’s here.
18. The Quarto Publishing Group is an international publishing house known for its illustrated books. They publish most of their work through many niche nonfiction imprints, each with their own focus. Hachette distributes all of Quarto’s US imprints. They publish a lot of cookbooks and gift books and have imprints covering many nonfiction topics, including children’s nonfiction, parenting, vehicles, and architecture. Their submission guidelines, which you can read here, are very specific, so review them carefully.
19. Holiday House is an established and reputable children’s book publisher. They publish picture books as well as books aimed at children in a variety of grade levels. They have published many well-known books and authors, including Kenneth Grahame. The books that they have published have won numerous respected awards and honors. To learn more, visit their website here.
20. Penny Candy Books focuses on children’s picture books. It is a newer company but has been interviewed by various established publications. They plan to publish five to eight books a year. Their submission guidelines are clear but brief.
21. Bookouture is a digital publisher that was purchased in 2017 by Hachette. They primarily publish women’s fiction, chick-lit, romance, and thrillers. Their website has a what we are looking for section, a submission guideline section, and a submit your manuscript section.
22. Chicago Review Press is an established independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. They also publish books for children (but not picture books). They are only accepting unsolicited nonfiction at this time. You can read their submission information here.
23. Peachtree Publishers is a well-respected independent publisher with good distribution. They specialize in publishing children’s and young adult books. To learn more, you can visit their website here.
24. Gibbs Smith is an established publisher with good distribution and a focus on cookbooks, interior design, architecture, and board books for children. They have published several bestsellers, including a board book version of Pride & Prejudice. Gibbs Smith has just entered the fiction market for adults and middle readers. Click here to learn more.
25. Entangled Publishing is an independent publisher of adult and YA romantic fiction. Entangled has published more than 970 titles. Some of their more famous books are The Marriage Bargain, and Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. To learn more, click here.
26. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company is an independent publisher of religious books. Not all of their books are overtly religious. Click here to read their complete submission guidelines.
27. Polis Books is an independent publisher of fiction and nonfiction that focuses on publishing new voices. The press was founded by Jason Pinter, who has over a decade of experience in editorial, marketing, and publicity for a variety of publishers, including Random House, St. Martin’s Press, and The Mysterious Press. You can submit here.
28. Quirk Books publishes 25 books a year in a range of genres, from children’s books to nonfiction to science fiction. Some of their bestsellers include The Last Policeman, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. To learn more, visit their submission guidelines.
29. Albert Whitman & Company publishes middle-grade fiction, picture books, and YA novels. Their best-known series is The Boxcar Children. They consider proposals and unsolicited manuscripts in all of these categories. Follow their submission guidelines carefully because they have specific instructions for each category. To read them in full, visit them here.
30. Page Street Publishing is a publisher of full color, mostly hardcover, gift books, cookbooks, craft books, children’s books, and YA fiction. They are distributed through Macmillan in every country but Canada. They publish around 60 titles a year. You can find their submission guidelines page here.
31. Parvus Press is a new digital-first publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels. The four books that they’ve published so far have received good reviews. They offer advances up to US$1,000. They have clear submission guidelines, so please read them before submitting your work.
32. Crooked Lane specializes in crime books. They publish a range of mysteries that lean towards the cozy and are not opposed to publishing a series of books. You can learn more about Crooked Lane here.
33. Ripple Grove Press is a family-run children’s book publisher that focuses on publishing original, beautifully illustrated children’s books. They publish books aimed at children between the ages of two and eight. To learn more, visit their submission guidelines.
34. Square One Publishers focuses on publishing adult nonfiction books. They are looking for books by authors that are experts in their field. Their books are focused on meeting the needs of niche audiences. Square One doesn’t publish bestsellers; they have specific markets that they cater to. You can visit their submissions page here.
35. Storey Publishing’s mission is to provide practical information that encourages independence in a way that is harmonious with the environment. They publish nonfiction on a variety of topics, such as home reference, crafts, beer & wine, raising animals, homesteading, and mind/body/spirit. To learn more, visit their guidelines here.
36. Versify is an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers and was founded by the Newberry Award-winning author Kwame Alexander, who you can learn more about here. The goal of Versify is to publish risky, unconventional books for children. They are looking for novels, nonfiction, picture books, and graphic novels. To learn more, visit their submission guidelines here.
37. Prometheus Books is a large established publisher that specializes in publishing nonfiction books that fall into the following categories: popular science, philosophy, atheism, humanism, and critical thinking. They are distributed worldwide by Penguin Random House. The authors they have published include Isaac Asimov, Tom Toles, S. T. Joshi, Philip J. Klass, and Julian Huxley. You can read their complete submission guidelines here.
38. Arcade Publishing is an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, a large independent publisher with several imprints. They publish fiction and nonfiction and have excellent distribution. To learn more, visit their website.
39. Text Publishing is an Australian press that has published a wide variety of bestsellers. They have won the Small Publisher of the Year Award three times. One of their biggest hits is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. To learn more, click here.
40. Microcosm specializes in nonfiction DIY goods that focus on the reader and teach self-empowerment. They are on Powell’s 24 of Our Favorite Small Presses list. The authors they publish must have expertise and lived experience in the subject area they write about. To review their submission guidelines, click here.
As always, good luck to those of you who submit!
Stay safe, everyone.
Until next time.