13 Non-Fiction Manuscript Publishers. No Agent Required.

Written by Emily Harstone | January 13, 2016

The following publishers all focus on publishing non-fiction books. Most focus in on one or two aspect of non-fiction, such as history books, memoir, or cookbooks. Some are more broad in their interests. All of them are open to unsolicited submissions directly from authors. No agent required.

Almost all of these publishers open to proposals, which means that you do not need a completed manuscript in order to approach them. Most publishers of non-fiction require an outline of an incomplete manuscript. The details involved in what they expect in the proposal is generally included in our review of the publisher, or on the publishers website.

Most are currently open to submissions.

Cengage Learning

Cengage Learning, focuses on publishing work aimed at community college and university students. They have published textbooks on a vast number of subjects from automotive technology to family law. They publish both academic books and books aimed at specific trades.

They are currently looking for new textbooks, media projects, or fully online learning materials. Learn more here.

Andrews McMeel

Andrews McMeel is a large publishing house that publishes up to 300 books a year. They are one of the largest publishers that will read proposals by authors that have not been previously published and do not have an agent.

Andrews McMeel Publishing is a leading publisher of general non-fiction trade books, gift books and humor books. Their company’s core publication categories are: cookbooks, comics & humor, and puzzles & games. They are open to some other categories as well; looking through their web catalog is the best way to get a feel for what kinds of books they publish. Learn more here.

Parenting Press

Parenting Press is a publisher that has been around for 35 years. They have good distribution and they focus on publishing work in a specific, niche market that they know well. The goal of Parenting Press is to publish books that teach practical skills to parents, children, and people who take care of children. Learn more here.

Duke University Press

Duke University Press is a respected academic press. Like most academic presses, they publish well researched books on a wide variety of subjects.

The list of subjects they publish book on include:

Latin American Studies, Social Movements, Gender Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Postcolonial Theory, Lesbian and Gay Studies, Construction of Race, Gender and National Identity, Social Studies of Science, New Media, Literary Criticism, Film and Television, Popular Music, Visual Studies Political Theory, Sociology and Social Theory, Geography, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, American Studies, Literary Theory and Criticism, Asian American Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Food Studies, Religion, Women’s Studies, World History, and Humanities.

Learn more here.

Paulist Press

Paulist Press is an established press that has been around for 150 years. Paulist Press publishes Christian books in a wide variety of sub-genres, they have excellent distribution and sales within that market.

They have four primary categories of books that they publish: Academic Books, Children’s Books, Popular Books, Professional or Clergy Books. Learn more here.

Barricade Books

Barricade Books is an independent print publisher of non-fiction manuscripts.  They are based out of New Jersey. They state explicitly on their site that they prefer books with a controversial element. Although that is not always the case, two of the recent books they published were Conversations with A Pedophile and I’ll Do My Own Damn Killin’. However, they also published a number of books about the history of America and memoirs by holocaust survivors. Learn more here.

Melville House

The non-fiction books they tend to publish lean towards the political or current events. The following titles should give you a better idea of the range of work that they publish, Is Journalism Worth Dying For?, The People Reloaded, Havana Real, Wild Food From Land And Sea, and The Silence Delusion. Learn more here.

Seven Stories Press

Seven Stories Press is an independent publisher that has been around for twenty years. They have published a number of highly respected books. Their books are distributed by Random House. They are most interested in publishing work that focuses on social justice issues. Learn more here.

Ulysses Press

Ulysses Press is an independent publisher that has been around for almost a decade. They focus on publishing non-fiction books aimed at niche markets.  It is a good idea to go through their catalog before submitting to see if your work is a good fit for their press.

They are looking for books on the forefront of emerging trends, books that have a unique angle on an established topic, or books that fill a demonstrated niche in the trade book market.

Genres they publish include Cleanse, Arts and Crafts, Coloring, Gifty Grabs, Fashion and Beauty, Healthy Eating, Krav Maga, Mmm Bites, Pop Culture, Prepping (for the apocalypse), Fitness, Special Diets, Trivia, Working Out, Rehab and Injury Prevention.

Learn more here.

Chronicle Books

An independent San Fransisco based publisher, they publish a wide variety of genres. When it comes to non-fiction they primarily focus on cookbooks and gift books. Learn more here.

BenBella Books

BenBella is a niche publishing company run by Glen Yeffeth. Yeffeth has a marketing background but he is also a lover of books. They have a good distributor and are a marketing oriented company.  The editors receive high praise for their ability to edit books.  They only publish works of non-fiction. They publish between 30-40 books a year. Fourteen of their books have been number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list.The books they publish cover a range of topics, including cookbooks for herbivores, self-help books, and books about pop culture. By focusing on niche topics they are able to successfully market books to the right audiences. Learn more here.

Arcadia Publishing

Arcadia only publishes books about America, and they publish photo books, local history books, books about crime, books about sports, and local history books about specific locations. On their website you can search their back list by state, theme, or title. Their books are sold in museums, gift stores, and local bookstores, among other places. They have a focused promotion team that works on getting their books into the right hands. Learn more here.

Skyhorse Publishing

Skyhorse has published a number of well known best selling books within the non-fiction genre. They have wide distribution and you often see Skyhorse books on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles. The books range from serious research based non-fiction, to diet books, to books written by “celebrities.”

It is easy to sift through their back catalog to see if your book might fit. Learn more here.