48 Traditional Publishers Seeking Children’s Books

Written by Emily Harstone | April 16, 2018

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  is for you.

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

Flying Eye

Nobrow Press is a respected publisher of graphic novels and Flying Eye is their children’s book imprint. Flying Eye publishes both fiction and nonfiction picture books. Nobrow Press and Flying Eye are both different from what we normally review because they are looking for either an author/illustrator or an already formed author-illustrator pair with a book to pitch. They do seem to make exceptions, but for the most part they are not interested in matching illustrators with authors.

Little Pickle Press
Little Pickle Press is a publisher in the process of re-branding to become March 4th, INC. They seem to be taking their time at the re-branding because both names are used througout the site in an inconsistent way, even though they are years into the process. 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.

Sleeping Bear Press

Sleeping Bear Press is a well regarded publisher of board books, picture books, middle grade readers, and young adult fiction. They offer advances to some authors. They have good regional distribution in the Midwest and ok distribution in North America. Their books have won a wide variety of awards, all of them are listed here.

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.

Ripple Grove Press

Ripple Grove Press is a newer family-run children’s book publisher based out of Portland. They focus on publishing original, beautifully illustrated children’s books. Their website is clear and transparent. It lists their distributor and their literary agent for other publishers interested in translating their work.

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.

Pelican Publishing Company

Pelican Publishing Company is a publisher based out of New Orleans. They have been around for the a long time and they published William Faulkner’s first trade paperback book. They have a back list of over 2,500 titles. They publish between 40 to 70 new titles yearly. They focus on publishing art/architecture books, cooking/cookbooks, motivational, popular history (especially Louisiana/regional), children’s books (illustrated and otherwise), and social commentary. They also add that “We will consider almost any well-written work by an author who understands promotion.”

Mighty Media Press

Mighty Media Press publishes children’s books, mostly picture books but also those aimed at middle grade readers. Their books have beautiful illustrations.

Mighty Media Press’ website is not like most book publishers. It does not focus on promoting a catalog or trying to recruit new authors, in fact it took me a little bit to figure out that they were a book publisher at all, although their logo looked rather familiar to me from the start.

Penny Candy Books

Penny Candy Books is a publishing company focused on children’s picture books that was founded in 2015 by two poets who met in graduate school. It is a newer company but they seem off to a good start with interviews in various established publications and by publishing eight books, most to positive reviews by places like Kirkus. Their plan from here on out is to publish 5 to 8 books a year.

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 sense 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 to 8 year olds. They only publish 2 to 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.

Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow is a UK-based publisher of children’s books and apps aimed at children. They accept international submissions from all over, but everyone outside of the UK must submit via email (which is their preferred method of submission). They have wide distribution within the UK. The books they published are aimed at children up to the age of 14, although the bulk of what they publish is for children under the age of 12. The young adult books that they do publish are not issue-based, and should not involve drugs, sex, or violence. Most of the apps they publish are aimed at kids between the ages of 2 to 7.

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.

Hot Key Books

Hot Key is a UK based publisher of books for children ages 8 to 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 nonfiction, 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.

MB Publishing

MB Publishing is a small press based out of Bethesda, Maryland. They focus on publishing children’s books and Judiaca (things pertaining to Jewish life and customs) also largely aimed at children. MB Publishing was founded over 5 years ago by Margie Blumberg as more or less a self-publishing operation. She still continues to publish her own work through MB Publishing. There is an old interview about the details of that here.

Turner Books

Turner publishes books in a wide range of categories and formats—fiction and nonfiction. 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, nonfiction 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.

Maverick Children’s Books

Maverick Children’s Books is a UK based publisher of children’s books. Their books generally have wonderful covers and illustrations, and are quirky. They publish a variety of books for children but only appear to be open to submissions in the picture book category. You can learn more about the team behind Maverick here.

Tilbury House

Tilbury House publishes adult books too (only nonfiction), 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 to 12.

WorthyKids/Ideals

WorthyKids/Ideals publishes fiction and nonfiction board books, novelty books, and picture books for children from birth through the age of eight. The subjects they are interested in publishing are primarily inspiration/faith, relationships and values, general fiction, American patriotism, and holidays, particularly Easter and Christmas.

The Quarto Publishing Group

The Quarto Publishing Group is an international publishing house known for its illustrated books. They publish most of their work through a number of niche imprints each with their own focus. All of their US imprints are distributed by Hachette.

Immedium

Immedium was founded in 2004 and is led by experienced professionals, who have written critically acclaimed books, marketed print and digital media, and sold #1 nationwide best-sellers. Aquanauts, a series of books they published, was turned into a successful TV show for children.

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 to 12 years old. They sell many books to schools and appear to be rather good at niche marketing.

Blue Marlin Publications

Blue Marlin Publications is a small publisher of children’s books based out of West Bay Shore in New York State. The editorial team has published some of their own books but they seem to focus now on primarily publishing the works of others. But this is a very small press, so do keep that in mind.

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.

They are currently interested in children and young adult fiction and nonfiction books, foreign language learning books, New Age books, cookbooks, business and financial advice books, parenting advice books, art instruction books, sports, fashion, crafts, and study guides.

August House

August House was established in 1978, originally it focused on publishing poetry but in the 80’s their focus switched to folklore and after that, to storytelling. They no longer publish poetry, instead they focus on publishing children’s books, although many of these are influenced by folklore. They currently publish children’s folktales, picture books, early-grade chapter books, and storytelling resource materials.

Kane Miller

Kane Miller is an award winning publisher of educational children’s books. Their most famous book to date is the children’s classic Everyone Poops, the English translation of Minna Unchi, a Japanese children’s book written by Taro Gomi. They have good distribution, there books are widely available at libraries, and they generally do an excellent job.

LEE & LOW BOOKS

LEE & LOW BOOKS’ motto is “About Everyone. For Everyone”. They focus on publishing multicultural children’s books. They are the largest multicultural book publisher in the United States. The books they publish largely have an educational element and they offer books for readers starting at the age of 4 and going all the way up to age 18. They are an independent publisher that has published hundreds of books and been around for twenty five years. In 2014 they were named “Indie Publisher of the Year“.

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).

Arbordale Publishing

This children’s publisher focuses on science and math books that parents and children read together, meaning they offer family focused rather than school focused learning.

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 nonfiction for all juvenile categories.

Dawn Publications

Dawn Publications is a boutique print press focused on publishing books connecting children and nature. They usually just publish six books a year. Their niche focus really seems to pay off; their books have gone on to win a wide variety of awards. Dawn was founded in 1979. The Our Mission Page, although a little tricky to find without a direct link, is well worth the read.

Skypony Publishing

Skypony Publishing is a division of Skyhorse Publishing. This division focuses on publishing work for children, and 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.

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, nonfiction, 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 nonfiction 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.” .

Jolly Fish Press

Jolly Fish Press was started in 2012. They are based out of Provo, Utah. Jolly Fish has a major distributor and a large staff for a relatively new press. Their authors have won numerous awards. They publish commercial and literary fiction, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, humor, horror, thriller, middle-grade, and young adult. They also publish motivational nonfiction, self-help, biography, and memoir. They are going through ownership changes at this time, so approach with caution.

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 as well as books aimed at children grades 1 to 3, grades 4 to 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.

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.

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 and 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/