McFarland: Now Seeking Non-Fiction Book Submissions

Written by Erica Secor | June 8, 2016

McFarland is an independent publisher based in North Carolina with a fair and clear compensation policy found here. They welcome un-agented authors and do not charge reading fees.

One of my favorite aspects of McFarland is that they welcome edited collections of essays and have a helpful guide sheet for anyone interested in curating such a collection. Find the “Editors of Multicontributor” guidelines here.

I had the pleasure of speaking with two McFarland representatives at the 2015 ConCarolinas convention in Charlotte, NC. Not only was I impressed with their professionalism and approachability, but their collection of scholarly and pop-culture themed pieces was incredible.

As we talked shop, I couldn’t help but thumb through their titles. The most memorable of which included: “The Literary Haunted House” and “Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century” because Oh. My. Goodness. How could I not? The reps were incredibly knowledgeable and more than willing to spend nearly an hour fielding my questions about their publishing process and how they choose and work with their authors. What I learned there and from their website has rekindled my own interest in academic writing.

GENRES ACCEPTED: McFarland invites submissions in the following NON-FICTION genres:

  • Popular culture
  • Performing arts
  • Military History
  • International studies
  • Health topics
  • Sports, especially:
  • Automotive, especially:
  • Literary studies especially
  • Medieval studies
  • Mythology
  • Folklore
  • Women’s studies
  • Gender studies
  • Edited collections
  • Multi-contributor manuscripts

SUBMITTING: Everything you need to know about becoming a McFarland author can be found here.

EDITORIAL PROCESS: While the page is not exhaustive, McFarland’s “After Delivery” section provides thorough details about what may be one of the most efficient editorial processes in the non-fiction sector. To learn what happens after a manuscript is accepted and delivered to McFarland, read here.

AUTHOR FAQ: Another helpful page is McFarland’s “Author FAQ” which is a quick way to link back to any and all of the above information, but also some parts were simply an interesting read. Again, I must admit, this page alone has given me a few seedling ideas. But even if you are not yet ready to submit to McFarland, I highly recommend bookmarking to this FAQ page found here.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Not only is McFarland’s website user-friendly, but it is fun to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. In addition to the image-heavy “Browse Books” page, I went weak in the knees for their family history and local lore. If you do too, you will enjoy the “Company History” page. Check out that gem here. McFarland publishes nearly 400 new titles each year. Perhaps the family history roots are a clue as to how and why an independent publisher inspires such variety in the nonfiction writer’s game.


BIO: Erica Davis Secor earned her Ed.M. in English Education from SUNY Buffalo. She lives with her husband and dogs in South Carolina. When she’s not teaching college English, she writes (and was a) middle grade horror. Erica welcomes connections on Twitter @TheDavisGirl.