18 Major Book Publishers Always Open to Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone

Some publishers open and close their doors to submissions on a routine basis. It can be hard to determine if they are open or shut to submissions, and when you should submit.

The following 18 publishers, however, are always open to submissions from writers without agents or previous publishing experience. They are all respected publishers with good reputations, and are listed here in no particular order. All of our reviews link to the publishers’ submission guidelines.

Please let us know if one of these publishers closes to submissions. (support@authorspublish.com)

Harlequin

Many famous romance writers got their start at Harlequin. They were acquired by Harper Collins a number of years ago. Their submission process is very user friendly. To read our full review, go here.

Page Street Publishing

Page Street Publishing is a publisher of full color, mostly hardcover, gift books, cookbooks, and craft books, as well as children’s and young adult books. Most of them have an important visual component. They are distributed through Macmillan in every country but Canada (where they have a different distributor). They publish around sixty titles a year. To learn more go here.

Workman Publishing 

Workman Publishing is a large independent publishing company that now includes a number of separate imprints. The imprints include large established companies like Algonquin Books (which unfortunately does not allow unsolicited submissions). The original Workman imprint is open to un-agented submissions. They focus on publishing exclusively nonfiction books for children and adults, as well as calendars. They do not accept unsolicited picture book submissions. To learn more, go here.

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, as well as popular titles in spirituality, social and cultural criticism, and as literature. They also have an imprint for young readers. They are primarily a print publisher with excellent distribution. My local independent bookstore regularly carries a number of their titles. To learn more, go here.

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. To learn more, go here.

Dalkey Archive Press

Dalkey Archive Press specializes in the publication and re-publication of avant-garde works of poetry, fiction and translation. They are not interested in traditional prose or poetry, their focus is on publishing literary fiction of a modernist or post modernist bent. Read our full review here.

Text Publishing

Text Publishing in an Australian press that has published a wide variety of best sellers. They have won the small publisher of the year award three times. You can get a feel for what they publish here. One of their biggest hits in recent years is the internationally bestselling novel The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion (the first in a series of Rosie novels). Read our full review here.

Lyrical Press

Lyrical Press is an electronic only imprint of Kensington, a large independent publisher. Kensington and Lyrical both publish mainstream novels and seem to put a fair amount of pressure on the authors to promote their books. They publish a large number of books per year. To learn more, read our full review here.

Persea Books

This is a respected publisher of fiction, nonfiction and poetry manuscripts, and literary young adults novels. The work they publish receives good distribution, particularly in academic circles. To learn more, read our full review here.

Andrews McMeel

Andrews McMeel is a large publishing house that publishes up to150 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. To learn more, read our review here.

Haymarket Books

Haymarket Books is an established nonfiction publisher with excellent distribution. They are interested in publishing manuscripts that are accessible to a wide range of progressive and radical political activists. These books should also be useful to an academic audience. They do not publish dissertations. To learn more go here.

Baen Books

Baen is one of the best known publishers of science fiction and fantasy. They are an independent company with good distribution. To learn more, read the full review.

ABDO Books

ABDO Books is a publisher that focuses exclusively on educational books for children between ages 4-12. They sell a lot of books to schools and appear to be rather good at niche marketing. To learn more, read the full review.

Shadow Mountain

Shadow Mountain is an imprint of Deseret Books. Both publishers are Mormon, but  Deseret Books focuses more on producing faith-based content. Shadow Mountain publishes primarily fiction and they have published a number of New York Times bestselling books. Because the company is Mormon run, books have to be approved by in-house censors in order to be published. They are very firm about publishing “clean books only”. However, the authors need not be Mormon. Read our full review here.

Holiday House

Holiday House is an established and reputable children’s book publisher. Holiday House has been around for over 75 years. They publish picture books as well as books aimed at children grades 1-3, grades 4-6, and grades 7 and up. They are based out of New York City. They have published many well known books and authors, including Kenneth Grahame. The books that they have published have won numerous respected awards and honors. Read our full review here.

Timber Press

Timber Press was founded in 1978 and publishes work about the natural world by experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. They were bought by the Workman Publishing Company in 2006. Timber Press is recognized internationally as a leading gardening publisher and their books have received awards from the American Horticultural Society, the Garden Writers of America, the Garden Media Guild, and the National Garden Club of America. They have published a number of bestsellers, including Marta McDowell’s Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. They are based out of Portland, Oregon. To learn more go here.

Skyhorse Publishing

Skyhorse Publishing is one of the largest small presses in the United States. They were founded in 2006.  Over the past couple of years they have started to acquire other small presses. Skyhorse started out focused on publishing nonfiction and that is still their primary interest. However they have imprints that are interested in publishing work in other genres that you can see on their site. Read our full review here.

Familius

Familius is a newer publisher, established in the last few years, but the head editor is established and has a good track record of working at other publishing companies. The books they publish cover a wide range of topics and are for varied audiences. They publish nonfiction for adults, often aimed at healthy eating, and family values. They also publish fiction and nonfiction for children of all ages including young adults. To learn more go here.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2020 Guide to Manuscript Publishers.

She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish.

You can follow her on Facebook here.

 

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