Updated April 10th 2017
The writing market can seem overwhelming, especially for new authors who do not have a history of past publication. It is important to note that no legitimate established presses specifically look for unpublished authors.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.
It is worth noting that it is always helpful to create a history of previous publications of short fiction or poetry by submitting to literary journals. To learn more about submitting to literary journals, you can download our free ebook on the subject here.
All 25 of these manuscript publishers all have good distribution and clear marketing strategies. They are not vanity presses, self-publishers, or brand new presses. 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 are based in the United States and others are based in the UK or elsewhere.
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 company’s 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 cookbooks, 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.
Tor/Forge publishes science fiction and fantasy books. Run by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, Tor/Forge is an imprint of Macmillan, one of the big five publishers. Tor is one of the most established science fiction publishers and they have won the Locus Award for best SF publisher 26 years in a row. To learn more read our full review here.
3. Avon Impulse
Avon Romance is a romance imprint of HarperCollins. Avon Impulse is their digital first imprint and they publish primarily new authors because of this. If your book does well in terms of digital sales and it is over 25,000 words in length it will receive a print run and receive good distribution. Books that receive a print run are officially published by Avon Romance for the print edition (and not Impulse). To learn more read our full review here.
4. Hard Case Crime
Hard Case Crime is a well respected and established niche publisher of hard boiled crime novels. The publisher has been featured in a number of respected publications including Time Magazine and The Stranger. To learn more read our full review here.
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. .
6. Turner Books
Turner publishes books in a wide range of categories and formats—fiction and non-fiction. They publish mainly in print but have electronic options as well. They are a major independent publishing house that has a number of imprints. Read the full review here.
7. 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.
8. Source Books
A large independent publisher based out of Illinois, they also have offices in Connecticut and New York. They are open to unsolicited submissions of a wide range non fiction manuscripts and to romance manuscripts.Read our full review here.
9. 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.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
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.
20. 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.
21. Felony & Mayham
A respected publisher of literary mystery novels. They publish great books and have good distribution. To learn more read our review here.
22. Chicago Review Press
Chicago Review Press was founded over 40 years ago. They are an established independent publisher of literary fiction, non-fiction and memoir. They also publish books for children (but not picture books). They were founded by Curt Matthews and his wife, Linda Matthews. Curt was the former editor of the literary journal the Chicago Review. To learn more read the full review here.
23. 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. They also publish books on gardening and cookbooks, but usually only with a southern focus. To learn more read our full review here.
24. Witness Impulse
WITNESS Impulse is a digital first imprint of Harper Collins. They publish a wide variety of mystery novels, including digital editions by some of the most famous mystery writers of all time, including my personal favorite Agatha Christie. However, they also publish new and emerging authors. It is important to note that usually publish print editions of their books. However they always publish the digital version first. To learn more read our full review here.
25. Entangled Publishing
Entangled Publishing is an independent publisher of adult and young adult romantic fiction. Since its first release in July 2011, Entangled has published more than 970 titles. This number includes 14 titles that have made it onto the New York Times Bestsellers list and 42 titles that have placed on the USA Today Bestsellers list. Some of their more famous books are The Marriage Bargain, and Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout which has been slated to become a major motion picture to begin production in the Spring of 2017. You can 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/