28 Traditional Publishers Seeking Children’s Books

Written by Emily Harstone

Updated Dec 12th, 2019 Our updated and expanded 2018 list of traditional children’s book publishers is available here. All of the publishers on this list publish children’s books. Some just publish picture books, some publish only middle-grade fiction, and some publish a wide variety of genres aimed at adults as well. Some are looking for educational work, others are open to anything. A number of these publishers are large and established. Others are small and just starting out. The majority are currently open to submissions, but not all of them are. For this article, we have written a brief review of every publisher, focusing on the essentials. However, if you click on the heading with their name you will be able to read the full review of the company. The publishers are listed in no particular order. If you are focused on publishing a novel aimed at young adults this list of Y.A. publishers  for you. None of the publishers we review require agents or previous publications. Flying Eye Nobrow Press is a respected publisher of graphic novels and Flying Eye is their children’s book imprint. Flying Eye publishes both fiction and nonfiction picture books. Nobrow Press and Flying Eye are both different from what we normally review because they are looking for either an author/illustrator or an already formed author-illustrator pair with a book to pitch. They do seem to make exceptions, but for the most part they are not interested in matching illustrators with authors. Allen & Unwin Allen & Unwin is a large independent Australian Press that is open to submissions on a wide range of topics. They have won a number of Australian publisher awards. They accept based on pitches, and have a system known as the “Friday Pitch” which ensures that at least one editor reviews each unsolicited pitch. Sleeping Bear Press Sleeping Bear Press is a well regarded publisher of board books, picture books, middle grade readers, and young adult fiction. They offer advances to some authors. They have good regional distribution in the Midwest and ok distribution in North America. Their books have won a wide variety of awards, all of them are listed here. 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. 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. Mighty Media Press Mighty Media Press publishes children’s books, mostly picture books but also those aimed at middle grade readers. Their books have beautiful illustrations. Mighty Media Press’ website is not like most book publishers. It does not focus on promoting a catalog or trying to recruit new authors, in fact it took me a little bit to figure out that they were a book publisher at all, although Flashlight Books Flashlight is an award winning publisher of illustrated Children’s Books. They publish books aimed at 4 to 8 year olds. They only publish 2 to 4 books every year, so they are very selective. The books they publish are beautifully illustrated. They also have good distribution internationally and nationally. The theme of the book must be universal, and the book should focus on family and/or social situations. Andersen Press Andersen Press is a British book publishing company that specializes in Children’s books. They also have an American branch. It was founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge, and was named after Hans Christian Andersen. Random House has a holding in the company and has a strong association with Andersen. Artisan 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. Bedazzled Ink They are a small press that focuses on publishing women and women identifying authors. The books they publish on female protagonists and the female perspective. Black & White 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 are based in Scotland but they are open to publishing work by authors of any nationality or current geographic location. Histria Books Histria Books was founded in 1997 as an academic press, it has since become an independent one. It is now based out of Palm Beach and Las Vegas. They publish general interest books, fiction and literature, and children’s books, as well as scholarly books in broad range of categories John Blake Books John Blake Books has been publishing bestselling books since 1991. They focus on non-fiction, particularly on on mass-market autobiographies/memoirs. They also have a music imprint, a children’s Dinosuar imprint and an imprint dedicated to history, art, humor and gift books. Persea Books Persea Books is an independent book publisher based out of New York that was established in the 1970s. Since then, they have gained a reputation for publishing thoughtful books in a variety of literary genres. Piccadilly Press Piccadilly Press is an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, one of the biggest publishers in the UK. They focus on publishing work for kids between the ages of 8-12. Most of their imprints are not open to unsolicited submissions, but Piccadilly is. Blue Moon Blue Moon is a boutique Canadian Publisher. They focus on publishing Literary Fiction and Women’s Fiction, as well as Young Adult and Middle Grade works. The stories they publish span various genres including contemporary, historical, mystery, science fiction, and fantasy. Princeton Architectural Press Princeton Architectural Press is a small press that focuses on publishing books on architecture, design, photography, landscape, and visual culture. They also publish beautiful stationary and children’s books. They are based in New York. In 2009 they were bought by McEvoy Group. They are now a sister company to Chronicle Books. 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. 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). They don’t publish picture books or early readers. They do publish middle grade readers and books aimed at young adults. 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. Duopress duopress is a publisher of innovative non-fiction books and gift books. They publish a large variety of non-traditionally formatted books for children, including board books that fold out, flash cards, and sticker books. They also publish more traditional books for children, including local books (such as Portland Baby). Most of what they publish is aimed at the very young (two and under). Nosy Crow Nosy Crow is a UK-based publisher of children’s books and apps aimed at children. They accept international submissions from all over, but everyone outside of the UK must submit via email (which is their preferred method of submission). They have wide distribution within the UK. The books they published are aimed at children up to the age of 14, although the bulk of what they publish is for children under the age of 12. The young adult books that they do publish are not issue-based, and should not involve drugs, sex, or violence. Most of the apps they publish are aimed at kids between the ages of 2 to 7. 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. Hot Key Books Hot Key is a UK based publisher of books for children ages 8 to 18. 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. The director of the company is very experienced. They are a newer press, but they have good distribution, are part of a much larger company, and have already published a number of successful books. 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. Free Spirit Publishing Free Spirit Publishing is an established publisher with good distribution. They publish primarily nonfiction, mostly curriculum based, 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. MB Publishing MB Publishing is a small press based out of Bethesda, Maryland. They focus on publishing children’s books and Judiaca (things pertaining to Jewish life and customs) also largely aimed at children. MB Publishing was founded over 5 years ago by Margie Blumberg as more or less a self-publishing operation. She still continues to publish her own work through MB Publishing. There is an old interview about the details of that here. 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 that has a number of imprints. They publish children’s books under their imprint Ramesy & Todd.

 

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