Quirk Books: Now Seeking Book Manuscripts

Written by Emily Harstone | September 8, 2016

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.

They have published a wide variety of best sellers and they have excellent distribution. Some of their bestsellers include The Last Policeman, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  You probably recognize more of the books they have published, you might even own a few.

Their covers are excellent. Their website is well organized. Even better, from a potential submitters perspective, their submission guidelines are clear. They also make it very obvious which editor you should submit to, based on your topic. For example below is one of the editor’s profiles.

Blair Thornburgh (Editor) is interested in high-concept fiction and non-fiction for teens and adults with a humorous, geeky, and/or feminist bent. In YA fiction, she’s seeking manuscripts with a strong, preferably comedic voice and a fresh premise (no dystopias, please). In adult fiction, she’s looking for next-gen chick lit, genre fiction that’s light and accessible to mainstream readers, and anything with a playful high concept. In non-fiction, she’s looking for projects involving women and feminism, geeky stuff and pop culture, or anything that will appeal to quote-unquote millennials. She is actively seeking authors from diverse backgrounds. Definitely query her if you have:

  1. High-concept YA with a strong voice—think geeky Meg Cabot
  2. Fiction (adult or YA) that incorporates lots of voices or stylistic devices (à la Dear Committee Members or Where’d You Go, Bernadette)
  3. A love story with an unusual narrative form, like Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments, Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, or Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up
  4. Genre fiction that’s self-aware, like Galaxy Quest or Cabin in the Woods in book form
  5. Any novel that plays with narrative form, especially involving the internet—a “TTYL” for the next generation

All of the editors have their email address posted at the bottom of their profile. They used to be quick in terms of response times. However, for the last year or so they appear to have only responded to queries they are interested in learning more about. So if you do not hear from them, keep that in mind. Only query one editor at a time. They ask that you do not follow up if you do not hear from them.

To learn more, visit their submission guidelines here.