The Top 35 Publishers for New Authors

Written by Emily Harstone | September 10, 2018

The writing market can be overwhelming, particularly 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 It is important to note that no legitimate established presses specifically look for unpublished authors.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 do not require literary agents. You can submit to these publishers directly.

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 35 of these manuscript publishers 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” accept submissions directly, but some of their imprints do. Others are independent companies, some are based in the US 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 nonfiction. Most have a strong visual element. Their books are beautifully made. To learn more, read our full review here.

2. Tor/Forge
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. 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. If your book does well in terms of digital sales and is over 25,000 words in length, it will receive a print run and have 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.

5. DAW
DAW is an imprint of Penguin books. They publish science fiction and fantasy books, and have published authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny. DAW has published many bestselling books and has 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 nonfiction. They publish mainly in print but have electronic options as well. They are a major independent publishing house and have a number of imprints. Read the full review here.

7. Persea Books
This is a respected publisher of fiction, nonfiction, 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. SourceBooks
A large independent publisher based out of Illinois, they also have offices in Connecticut and New York. They are open to unsolicited submissions for a wide range of genres, from nonfiction to romance. Read our full review here.

9. Baen
Baen is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels. They have published a large number of bestsellers, and many of the most respected science fiction and fantasy novelists regularly publish with them. To learn more, read our review of Baen.

10. 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 nonfiction. To learn more read our full review here.

11. Triangle Square
Triangle Square is an imprint of Seven Stories Press that focuses on publishing young adult novels and children’s books. They focus on publishing high quality writing that is educational, and published Pulitzer Prize winner Jared Diamond’s first science book for children, The Third Chimpanzee for Young People.  Our full review is here.

12. Coffee House Prsss
Coffee House Press  (CHP) is a respected literary press with a great reputation. They are only open for short submission periods every year in March and September. These periods are capped at 300 submissions, so submit early. During the last open period, they had reached 300 submissions on the third day. Coffee House Press publishes emerging and midcareer authors. They do not focus on bestsellers, but their books are often taught in academic settings and available in libraries and independent bookstores. Read our full review here.

13. Flashlight Press
Flashlight is an award winning publisher of illustrated children’s books. They publish books aimed at 4-8-year-olds. They only publish 2-4 books every year, so they are very selective. Their books are beautifully illustrated, and also receive 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 nonfiction and literary fiction every year. They work with distributors and authors worldwide, although they are only open to unsolicited submissions of nonfiction. Read the full review here.

15.  Cobblestone Press
A small  print on demand and romance ePublisher with an attention to detail. They publish sensual & erotic romance stories and short story erotica.  They have different guidelines and expectations for each of these categories. They release five to eight titles a month in a variety of eFormats. They are open to most subgenres and have a full list on their site that includes BDSM, Futuristic, and steampunk. They estimate their acceptance rate to be approximately 5%. Read our full review 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 nonfiction, 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. The Quarto Publishing Group
The Quarto Publishing Group is an international publishing house known for its illustrated books. They publish most of their work through a number of niche imprints, each with their own focus. All of their US imprints are distributed by Hachette. Their imprints are all nonfiction. They publish a lot of cookbooks and gift books. They also have imprints covering almost any nonfiction topic you can think of, including children’s nonfiction, parenting, vehicles and architecture. To learn more, read our full review here.

19. 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.

20. Penny Candy Books
Penny Candy Books is a publishing company focused on children’s picture books that was founded in 2015 by two poets who met in graduate school. It is a newer company but they seem off to a good start with interviews in various established publications and by publishing ten books, most to positive reviews by places like Kirkus. Their plan from here on out is to publish 5-8 books a year. Read our full review here.

21. Felony & Mayhem

This is 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, nonfiction 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 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. Gibbs Smith
Gibbs Smith is an established publisher with good distribution and a focus on cookbooks, interior design and architecture books, and board books for children. They have published a number of bestsellers, including a board book version of Pride & Prejudice. Gibbs Smith is primarily a nonfiction publisher which is just now entering the fiction market for adults and middle readers. 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. Some of their more famous books are The Marriage Bargain, and Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. You can read our full review here.

26. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Founded in 1911 and located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company is an independent publisher of religious books. They have a large range, including academic books and reference works in theology, biblical studies, and religious history to popular titles in spirituality, social and cultural criticism, as well as literature. Not all of their books, particularly their children’s books, are overtly religious. To learn more, read our full review here.

27. Barron’s Educational Services
Most people who have studied for a test like the SAT or the GRE own a book published by Barron’s, if only because they bought one of their many test prep books. That is what Barron’s Educational Services is best known for and the reason it was founded in 1939. However, in recent years they have expanded and they also publish a wide variety of other genres, including fiction. To learn more, read our full review here.

28. Quirk Books
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 many 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. To learn more, read our full review here.

29. Albert Whitman & Company
Albert Whitman & Company has been around since 1919. Their best-known series is The Boxcar Children. Over the past few years they have started to focus on publishing a larger number of books each year. Their goal is to be publishing 150 new books a year by 2020. They publish middle-grade fiction, picture books, and young adult novels. They consider proposals and unsolicited manuscripts in all of these categories. They publish fiction and nonfiction picture books. To learn more, read our full review here.

30. Page Street Publishing
Page Street Publishing is a publisher of full color, mostly hardcover, gift books, cookbooks, and craft books. Most of them have an important visual component. To get a good feel for what they have published in the past, you can go here. They are distributed through Macmillan in every country but Canada (where they have a different distributor). They publish around 60 titles a year. To learn more, read our full review here.

31. Parvus Press
Parvus Press is a new digital-first publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels. They have been around for over two years now. The first book they published one book sold over 4,000 copies. They have now published four books, all four have received good reviews. They offer advances up to 1,500 (USD). To learn more, read our full review here.

32. Crooked Lane
Crooked Lane was established in 2014 as a press specializing in crime books. They have an experienced staff and have managed to publish some well known authors already. They publish a range of mysteries that lean towards the cozy, and they are not opposed to publishing a series of books. To learn more, read our full review here.

33. Ripple Grove Press
Ripple Grove Press is a newer family-run children’s book publisher based out of Portland. They focus on publishing original, beautifully illustrated children’s books. Their website is clear and transparent. It lists their distributor and their literary agent for other publishers interested in translating their work. Read our full review here.

34. Square One Publishers
Square One Publishers focuses on publishing adult nonfiction books. They are looking for books by authors that are experts in their field. Their books are focused on meeting the needs of niche audiences. They are not a publisher of bestsellers, they have a specific market/markets and they cater to them. Read our full review here.

35. Storey Publishing
The mission of Storey Publishing is to provide practical information that encourages independence in a way that is harmonious with the environment. The books they publish encourage and instruct readers of all ages of ways to enrich their lives through hands-on activities and experiences. All of what they publish is nonfiction and they covered such varied topics as home reference, crafts, beer & wine, raising animals, homesteading, and mind/body/spirit. 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/