The Top 20 Publishers for New Authors

Written by Emily Harstone | May 8, 2015

Updated April 26th 2017

If you are a new author with very little previous publication experience the writing market can seem overwhelming.  It is important to note that no legitimate established presses specifically look for unpublished authors. The presses on this list were chosen because they have published a number of debut books before. Also the publishers on this list they do not require literary agents. You can submit to these publishers directly.

These publishers all have good distribution and clear marketing strategies. They are not vanity presses or self-publishers. They are established publishing houses with good reputations.

Some of the publishers listed below are imprints of the “Big 5” publishers. None of the “Big 5” Publishers accept submissions directly, but some of their imprints do. Others are independent companies, some based in the United States and others based in the UK or elsewhere. However, all the publishers listed below are open to authors regardless of nationality. Most of the publishers focus on publishing a particular genre or genres of books. The publishers are listed in no particular order.

Our full reviews of the publishers include more detailed submission information and links to the publishing companies websites and submission guidelines. Not all of them are open submissions at this time, but many are. It is good to bookmark the websites of publishers you are interested in that are not currently open to submissions, and to check back regularly, if they do not overtly state when they will re-open to submissions.

1. Chronicle Books
Chronicle is a large independent San Francisco based publisher that publishes highly acclaimed children’s books, bestselling cook books, gift books, and a variety of non-fiction. Most have a strong visual element. Their books are beautifully made. To learn more, read our full review here.

2. Love Swept & Flirt

Loveswept and Flirt are Random House’s digital only imprints focused on romance and women’s fiction. They are accepting queries for submissions in contemporary romance, erotica, historical romance, paranormal romance, women’s fiction, and new adult. Read our full review here.

3. DAW
DAW is an imprint of Penguin books. They publish science fiction and fantasy books. DAW has published authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny. DAW has published many bestselling books and they have published Hugo award winning books. Read the full review here. .

4. Black Inc. Books
Black Inc. Books is a respected independent publisher based out of Australia. Their books are distributed through Penguin Australia. They publish primarily non-fiction and fiction. They have published many well known authors from a wide variety of backgrounds including Diablo Cody, Hamish McDonald, Diane Keaton, and Raj Patel. To learn more, read our full review.

5. Persea Books
A respected publisher of fiction, non-fiction, poetry manuscripts, and literary young adult novels. The work they publish receives good distribution, particularly in academic circles. To learn more read our full review here.

6. BelleBooks/BelleBridge
BelleBooks/BelleBridge is a respected independent publisher that was founded in 1999. Initially they focused on publishing works of Southern fiction before creating the now substantial imprint BelleBridge, which is open to a wide variety of genres including, cozy mysteries, women’s fiction, romance, fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, horror, fantasy, young adult, mystery, suspense, and thrillers. Read the full review here.

7. HotKey Books
Hotkey is a UK based publisher of books for children ages 9-19. 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. Read the full review here.

8. Baen
Baen is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels. They have managed to publish a large number of best sellers and many of the most respected science fiction and fantasy novelists regularly publish with them. To learn more read our review of Baen.

9. Seven Stories Press
They focus on producing books that have a social conscience. They have published some big names and some bestsellers. They publish literary fiction and non fiction. To learn more read our full review here.

10. 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. You can read the full review here.

11. Flashlight Books
Flashlight is an award winning publisher of illustrated Children 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. Read the full review here.

12. Oneworld Publishing
An independent publisher founded in 1986, they now publish around 100 works of non-fiction and literary fiction every year. They work with distributors and authors worldwide.
Read the full review here.

13. Alloy Entertainment

Alloy Entertainment is a large company that has been responsible for a number of successful books, including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the Gossip Girl series. They publish largely young adult fiction aimed at girls, and chick lit. Our full review of the company is available here.

14. Black & White Publishing
Black & White Publishing was founded in 1995 and is now one of the largest Scottish publishers. They currently have over 200 books in print. They have good distributor and are starting to break into the eBook publishing world. They publish general non-fiction, biography, sport, and humor, as well as selected fiction, Young Adult, and Children’s books. Read our full review here.

15. Angry Robot
Angry Robot is a respected science fiction and fantasy publisher that occasionally dips into related genres (such as urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror). Angry Robot was originally funded by HarperCollins. They are now part of Watkins Media Ltd. They offer advances and good royalty rates. Read our full review here.

16. Dzanc Books
Dzanc is a respected publisher of literary fiction, they publish novels and collections of short fiction.  They are also the publishing house behind the respected literary journal the Collagist. To learn more read the full review here.

17. Evernight
Evernight is an eBook publisher of romance and erotica novels. They also publish print versions of some books. A number of the books they have published have been on the Amazon Bestseller list. The books they publish are all romance and erotica but they are open to sub-genres within these genres. Read our full review here.

18. Absey & Company
Absey & Company has published many award winning books in the last decade. They are an established small press that publishes full length works of poetry and prose. To learn more read the full review.

19. Felony & Mayham

A respected publisher of literary mystery novels. They publish great books and have good distribution. To learn more read our review here.

20. Adams Media
Adams is a larger press and they publish mostly print books, although they also have some eBooks. They publish a wide variety of books including cookbooks, self-help books, romance novels, young adult fiction, and the well known “everything” series. To learn more read our full review here.

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/