Chronicle Books: Now Accepting Book Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone | May 7, 2014

Chronicle is an established and respected publisher of children’s books, cookbooks, gift books,  anthologies, and various other books, most containing a strong visual element. They are based out of San Francisco. Their books receive a lot of positive attention and acclaim. This year one of the Children’s books they published, Flora and the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle, was a 2014 Caldecott honor winner. Many of the top cookbooks in the past five years have been published by them, including Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and the Tartine Cookbook. If you look through your own bookshelf, there are high odds that you own at least one book published by Chronicle.

Chronicle is one of the most established independent publishers and it is unusual that they consider unsolicited manuscript submissions without an agent. There is a slight catch of course, they do not actually respond to these proposals unless they are interested in accepting the book as a whole. So don’t expect a rejection letter, although know that if they have not responded within three months they are most likely not interested in your book.

Perhaps this is for the best, because a number of years ago Chronicle Books got into trouble for referring people whose proposals were rejected to an assisted publishing company.  An assisted publishing company charges people to publish their work and Chronicle is a traditional publisher, it pays their authors. Part of an added complication to this whole situation was that Chronicle appeared to have been receiving money from the assisted publishers for this referral. The only reason that we are only reviewing and recommending Chronicle as a potential publisher because of the fact that this practice no longer takes place and has not for years.

Before submitting to them, browse through their catalog online or go to a local bookstore and find a couple of their books to peruse. This is a good way to see if your work might fit well with their catalog.

Make sure to review their submission guidelines carefully before submitting your work. They have separate guidelines for children’s books, so make sure you are reviewing the correct guidelines for your manuscript. They accept manuscripts aimed at adults submitted electronically or through the mail. They only consider manuscripts aimed at children if they are submitted via post. They consider simultaneous submissions as long as you alert them to the fact that you are submitting it elsewhere.

If you are considering submitting to them, please read their submission children’s submission guidelines in order to learn more. Adult guidelines can be found here.