20 Publishers with Excellent Distribution That Accept Unsolicited Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone | April 9, 2018

All of the publishers on this list sell thousands of copies of physical books. All of them have books that are available not just at stores near you, but at libraries as well, because they have good distributors.

If you want your novel or book to have a good chance of being placed on bookshelves and you don’t have an agent, the following publishers are all good options. All of them publish print books (with digital options) and all of them have a good distribution system.

Not all of the publishers are open to submissions at all times, but most are. This list is in no particular order.

Quirk Books

This Philadelphia based press publishes just 25 books a year in a whole range of genres, from children’s books to nonfiction to science fiction. Unlike most publishers that tackle a large range of topics, Quirk books has a clear marketing plan and to a certain degree their books have a cohesive feel, because they all are quirky.

Bellevue Literary Press

Bellevue Literary Press publishes works of narrative nonfiction and literary fiction geared towards a general readership. They are open to unsolicited submissions of both kinds of work. The work they publish explores the intersection between arts and science. Many of the characters in the fictional work that they publish are doctors and scientists, but many of their books also focus on the natural world. They seem to publish about four novels for every work of nonfiction they publish.

Gibbs Smith

Gibbs Smith is an established publisher with good distribution and a focus on cook books, interior design and architecture books, and board books for children. They have published a number of bestsellers, including a board book version of Pride & Prejudice.

Harlequin

Harlequin is easily the most famous romance only publisher out there. In fact, their name was synonymous with romance novels when I was growing up. They have wide distribution, from grocery stores to bookstores. They are everywhere.

DAW

DAW is an imprint of Penguin that is open to manuscript submissions from authors without an agent. This is unusual and a great opportunity. DAW is a highly respected publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy. They have published authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny, as well as many bestselling books and Hugo award winning books. They are respected and popular.

Triangle Square

Triangle Square is an imprint of Seven Stories Press that focuses on publishing young adult novels and children’s books. Their books are distributed by Random House. Triangle Square focuses on publishing high quality writing that is educational.

Seven Stories

Seven Stories Press is an independent publisher that has been around for over twenty years. They have published a number of highly respected books. Their books are distributed by Random House. They take their name from the seven authors whose work has influenced and impacted Seven Stories Press the most.

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

Founded in 1911 and located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company is an independent publisher of religious books. They have a large range, including academic books and reference works in theology, biblical studies, and religious history to popular titles in spirituality, social and cultural criticism, as well as literature. They are primarily a print publisher with excellent distribution. My local independent bookstore regularly carries a number of their titles.

Holiday House

Holiday House is an established and reputable children’s book publisher. Holiday House has been around for over 75 years. They publish picture books and books aimed at children in grades 1-3, grades 4-6, and grades 7 and up. They are based out of New York City. 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.

Charlesbridge

Charlesbridge publishes high quality books for children and young adults with the goal of creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners. In 2010 Charlesbridge acquired Imagine Publishing, which expanded what they were able to offer. They now have extensive audio offerings. They also publish adult nonfiction, cookbooks, and puzzle books.

Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books is a reputable publishing house that publishes many wonderful books. However for the sake of this list, I am just focusing on their children’s line. They have published a number of books that have been nominated for the Caldecott, the most prestigious children’s book award. They publish a large number of children’s books every year and have excellent distributors.

Free Spirit Publishing

Free Spirit Publishing is an established publisher with good distribution. They publish primarily nonfiction, mostly curriculum based books, where they have a number of niche focuses.

They do publish fiction but only in the form of board books (aimed at infants to 4 year olds) and picture books (for ages 4 to 8) that focus on social skills and getting along, early learning, character education, self-esteem, and other topics related to positive early childhood development.

Barron’s Educational Services

Most people who have studied for a test like the SAT or the GRE own a book published by Barron’s, if only because they bought one of their many test prep books. That is what Barron’s Educational Services is best known for and the reason it was founded in 1939. However, in recent years they have expanded and they also publish a wide variety of other genres, including fiction.

Baen

Baen is one of the best known publishers of Science Fiction and Fantasy books. They have published many of the classic genre novels. They have excellent distribution, their books are found in libraries and bookstores everywhere.

Arthur A. Levine Books

An imprint of Scholastic Inc., Arthur A. Levine Books  was founded in 1996. They publish hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children and teenagers (and discerning adults). They have published many award winning and nominated books, as well as a number of very well known and respected authors (including J.K. Rowling).

Chicago Review Press

Chicago Review Press was founded over 40 years ago. They are an established independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction and memoir. They also publish books for children (but not picture books). They were founded by Curt Matthews and his wife, Linda Matthews.

Omnific

Omnific Publishing is romance publishing company that started out publishing digital books. However, they have turned into a successful publishing company, regularly landing books on the Kindle bestsellers lists. In July 2014, Gallery Books entered a co-publishing agreement with Omnific Publishing. Because of that agreement the Gallery Books and Pocket Books imprints co-publish with Omnific a select number of titles in print and electronic formats. Simon & Schuster now serve as the exclusive distributor of all other Omnific titles.

Tor/Forge

Tor/Forge publishes science fiction and fantasy books. Run by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, Tor/Forge is an imprint of Macmillan, one of the big five publishers. Tor is one of the most established science fiction publishers and they have won the Locus Award for best SF publisher 27 years in a row. They offer advances.

Prometheus Books

Prometheus Books is a large established publisher of what they like to call “intelligent non-fiction.” They specialize in publishing nonfiction books that fall into the following categories: popular science, philosophy, atheism, humanism, and critical thinking. They are distributed by Random House.

Hard Case Crime

Hard Case Crime is a well respected and established niche publisher of hard boiled crime novels. The publisher has been featured in a number of respected publications including Time Magazine and The Stranger. They are distributed by Random House.

Bio: Emily Harstone is the pen name of an author whose work has been published internationally by a number of respected journals. She is a professional submissions adviser. You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/emilyharstone/