28 Traditional Publishers Seeking Children’s Books

Written by Emily Harstone | January 30, 2017

All of the publishers on this list publish children’s books. Some just publish picture books, some publish only middle-grade fiction, and some publish a wide variety of genres aimed at adults as well. Some are looking for educational work, others are open to anything. A number of these publishers are large and established. Others are small and just starting out.

The majority are currently open to submissions, but not all of them are. For this article, we have written a brief review of every publisher, focusing on the essentials. However, if you click on the heading with their name you will be able to read the full review of the company. The publishers are listed in no particular order.

If you are focused on publishing a novel aimed at young adults this list of Y.A. publishers  for you.

None of the publishers we review require agents or previous publications.

Little Pickle Press

Little Pickle Press is a publisher in the process of re-branding to become March 4th, INC. This name change might have something to do with the fact that they are growing their business outside of publishing and are working in other media as well now. They specialize in publishing environmentally friendly children’s books.

Dial Books

Dial Books For Young Readers publishes hardcover books aimed at children of all ages, including young adults. They are an imprint of Penguin that accepts unsolicited submissions. The catch? They do not respond to unsolicited submissions unless they are interested in the book. That means don’t expect a rejection from Dial, personal or otherwise.

Boyds Mill Press

Boyds Mill Press is owned by Highlights for Children. They are an award winning publisher of children’s books.

The best way to get a feeling for what they publish is by reviewing their catalog. If you are considering submitting a picture book review the picture books. If you are considering submitting a book of poetry, review their poetry selection. Their catalog is organized by category. I would also encourage you to check a book or two of theirs out from your local library.

Flashlight Books

Flashlight is an award winning publisher of illustrated Children’s Books. They publish books aimed at 4-8 year-olds. They only publish 2-4 books every year, so they are very selective. The books they publish are beautifully illustrated. They also have good distribution internationally and nationally. The theme of the book must be universal, and the book should focus on family and/or social situations.

Peachtree Publishers

Peachtree Publishers is a well respected independent publisher with good distribution. They are based out of Atlanta Georgia and they specialize in publishing children’s books, young adult books, self help titles for parents and educators and guides to the American South.

Hotkey Books

Hotkey is a UK based publisher of books for children ages 8-18. They are interested in publishing a wide variety of books that cover a number of genres and age groups. They do not focus on publishing books that are particularly educational. They have published some very famous authors including Garth Nix. The director of the company is very experienced. They are a newer press, but they have good distribution, are part of a much larger company, and have already published a number of successful books.

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.

Free Spirit Publishing

Free Spirit Publishing is an established publisher with good distribution. They publish primarily non-fiction, mostly curriculum based, 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.

Turner Books

Turner publishes books in a wide range of categories and formats—fiction and non-fiction. They publish mainly in print but have electronic options as well. They are a major independent publishing house that has a number of imprints. They publish children’s books under their imprint Ramesy & Todd.

Chicago Review Press

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

Triangle Square

Triangle Square is an imprint of Seven Stories Press that focuses on publishing young adult novels and children’s books. Seven Stories Press is an independent publisher that is well respected and has been around for twenty years. Their books are distributed by Random House. Triangle Square focuses on publishing high quality writing that is educational.

Fat Fox Books

Fat Fox publishes picture books as well as Young Fiction (6-9 approx), Fiction (9-12) and Young Adult Fiction (12-14)  They are also looking for illustrators.

Tilbury House

Tilbury House publishes adult books too (only non-fiction), but they mainly focus on publishing children’s books with a social message. Most focus on the environment, cultural diversity, nature, and social justice. They have published a number of award winning  books that are greatly respected. They focus on getting these books into schools. The books they publish are for children between the ages of 7-12.

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.

Paulist Press

Paulist Press is an established press that has been around for 150 years.  Paulist Press publishes Christian books in a wide variety of sub-genres, including children’s books. They have excellent distribution and sales within that market.

ABDO Books

ABDO Books is a publisher that focuses exclusively on educational books for children 4-12 years old. They sell many books to schools and appear to be rather good at niche marketing.

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).

Pajama Press

Pajama Press is a publisher of books for children and young adults. They focus on publishing literary works. They publish books that fall into a wide range of categories including: picture books, board books for the very young, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, and non-fiction for all juvenile categories.

Skypony Publishing

Skypony Publishing is a division of Skyhorse Publishing. Skypony is the division of Skyhorse that focuses on publishing work for children, they are also open to publishing Young Adult work as long as it intersects with other areas of interest for the publisher such as ecology, farm living, wilderness living, recycling, and other “green” topics.

Speaking Volumes

Speaking Volumes is an independent publisher based out of Naples, Florida. They started out just publishing Audio books, but now they also publish eBooks and paperbacks. At their About Us page, you can learn more about the company and the current staff. Their books are widely available and they publish a number of established authors.

According to their website they are interested in “Fiction, Non-Fiction, Novels, Novellas, and collections of Short Stories in the following genres: Science Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Action Adventure, Horror, Young-Adult, Children’s, Folklore, Poetry and Scholarly works.”

Dancing With Bear

Dancing with Bear is a print and e-book publisher that publishes exclusively Christian manuscripts. They publish books for adults but they also have a children’s line. They are currently open to submissions in all categories and are eager to receive quality work.

Hohm Press

A small print publisher based out of Arizona, Hohm has been around for many years. They are a respected press that has published a number of well known authors. The publish a wide variety of genres, including poetry, non-fiction, and children’s books. They generally focus on eastern religion and spirituality. They are not interested in fiction or short story collections.

Eifrig Publishing

Eifrig Publishing is a small independent publishing company that focuses on publishing children’s books. They also publish family psychology books, some non-fiction for adults, and books on education. They publish some eBooks. Their motto is “good for our kids, good for our environment, and our good for our communities.” .

Jollyfish Press

JollyFish Press was started in 2012. They are based out of Provo, Utah. Jollyfish has a major distributor and a large staff for a relatively new press. Their authors have won numerous awards. Jollyfish publishes commercial and literary fiction, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, humor, horror, thriller, middle-grade, and young adult. They also publish motivational non-fiction, self-help, biography, and memoir.

Holiday House

Holiday House is an established and reputable children’s book publishers. Holiday House has been around for over 75 years. They publish picture books as well as books aimed at children 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 Press

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.

Albert Whitman & Company

Albert Whitman & Company has been around since 1919. I grew up reading a series the best-known series that they have published The Boxcar Children. Over the past few years they have started to focus on publishing a larger number of books each year. Their goal is to be publishing 150 new books a year by 2020.

Sterling Publishing

Sterling Publishing is owned by Barnes and Noble.  They also have a large crafting imprint named Lark. Sterling has been publishing books for over 60 years. They publish children’s books.


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/