25 Publishers with Excellent Distribution That Accept Unsolicited Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone

All of the publishers on this list sell thousands of copies of physical books. All of them have books that are available not just at stores near you, but at libraries as well, because they have good distributors.

If you want your novel or book to have a good chance of being placed on bookshelves and you don’t have an agent, the following publishers are all good options. All of them publish print books (with digital options) and all of them have a good distribution system.

Not all of the publishers are open to submissions at all times, but most are. This list is in no particular order.

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 most 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.

Bellevue Literary Press

Bellevue Literary Press publishes works of narrative nonfiction and literary fiction geared towards a general readership. They are open to unsolicited submissions of both kinds of work. The work they publish explores the intersection between arts and science. Many of the characters in the fictional work that they publish are doctors and scientists, but many of their books also focus on the natural world. They seem to publish about four novels for every work of nonfiction they publish.

Gibbs Smith

Gibbs Smith is an established publisher with good distribution and a focus on cook books, 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.

Harlequin

Harlequin is easily the most famous romance only publisher out there. In fact, their name was synonymous with romance novels when I was growing up. They have wide distribution, from grocery stores to bookstores. They are everywhere.

DAW

DAW is an imprint of Penguin that is open to manuscript submissions from authors without an agent. This is unusual and a great opportunity. DAW is a highly respected publisher of science fiction and fantasy. They have published authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny, as well as many bestselling books and Hugo award winning books. They are respected and popular.

Triangle Square

Triangle Square is an imprint of Seven Stories Press that focuses on publishing young adult novels and children’s books. Their books are distributed by Random House. Triangle Square focuses on publishing high quality writing that is educational.

Seven Stories Press

Seven Stories Press is an independent publisher that has been around for over twenty years. They have published a number of highly respected books. Their books are distributed by Random House. They take their name from the seven authors whose work has influenced and impacted Seven Stories Press the most.

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. They are primarily a print publisher with excellent distribution. My local independent bookstore regularly carries a number of their titles.

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 and books aimed at children in 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.

Charlesbridge

Charlesbridge publishes high quality books for children and young adults with the goal of creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners. In 2010 Charlesbridge acquired Imagine Publishing, which expanded what they were able to offer. They now have extensive audio offerings. They also publish adult nonfiction, cookbooks, and puzzle books.

Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books is a reputable publishing house that publishes many wonderful books. However for the sake of this list, I am just focusing on their children’s line. They have published a number of books that have been nominated for the Caldecott, the most prestigious children’s book award. They publish a large number of children’s books every year and have excellent distributors.

Free Spirit Publishing

Free Spirit Publishing is an established publisher with good distribution. They publish primarily nonfiction, mostly curriculum based books, where they have a number of niche focuses.

They do publish fiction but only in the form of board books (aimed at infants to 4-year-olds) and picture books (for ages 4 to 8) that focus on social skills and getting along, early learning, character education, self-esteem, and other topics related to positive early childhood development.

Baen

Baen is one of the best known publishers of science fiction and fantasy books. They have published many of the classic genre novels. They have excellent distribution, their books are found in libraries and bookstores everywhere.

Arthur A. Levine Books

An imprint of Scholastic Inc., Arthur A. Levine Books  was founded in 1996. They publish hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children and teenagers (and discerning adults). They have published many award winning and nominated books, as well as a number of very well known and respected authors (including J.K. Rowling).

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.

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. They offer advances

Prometheus Books

Prometheus Books is a large established publisher of what they like to call “intelligent non-fiction.” They specialize in publishing nonfiction books that fall into the following categories: popular science, philosophy, atheism, humanism, and critical thinking. They are distributed by Random House.

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. They are distributed by Random House.

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. The National Book Critics Circle has awarded many of their authors and translators over the years, and in 2011, the Press itself was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NBCC.

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.

Skypony Publishing

Skypony is the division of Skyhorse that focuses on publishing work for children, they are also open to publishing Young Adult work as long as it intersects with other areas of interest for the publisher such as ecology, farm living, wilderness living, recycling, and other “green” topics. They are currently open to submissions of picture books, books aimed at early readers, young adult novels with a “green” focus, midgrade novels, and informational books for children and young adults.

Workman Publishing

Workman Publishing is a large independent publishing company that now includes a number of separate imprints (most started out as their own companies and were purchased by Workman). The imprints include large established companies like Algonquin Books (which is no longer open to unaganted submissions). The original Workman imprint is open to unagented submissions. They focus on publishing exclusively nonfiction books for children and adults, as well as calendars. They do not accept unsolicited picture book submissions.

Artisan Books

Artisan focuses on publishing visual-heavy nonfiction books. The visuals themselves vary between photography, illustration, or graphic design, but the idea is that these books communicate ideas and lessons because of their strong visual components. Most of the books, including Artisan’s first bestseller The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, include all three components.

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.

McSweeney’s

McSweeney’s is one of my personal favorite publishers. They publish literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I own a large number of the books they have published in the last decade. McSweeney’s was founded in 1998 by Dave Eggers. They originally started out publishing a literary magazine, and now they are responsible for a number of publications, online and off, as well as podcasts, and books. They are based out of San Fransisco.


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.

 

We Send You Publishers Seeking Submissions.

Sign up for our free e-magazine and we will send you reviews of publishers seeking short stories, poetry, essays, and books.

Plus get a free copy of our book, The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript Submissions.

Enter Your Email Address: