The Top 20 Publishers for New Authors

Written by Emily Harstone

Updated January 30th, 2019

If you are a new author with very little previous publication experience the writing market can seem overwhelming.  It is important to note that no legitimate established presses specifically look for unpublished authors.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 they do not require literary agents. You can submit to these publishers directly.

These publishers all have good distribution and clear marketing strategies. They are not vanity presses or self-publishers. 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” Publishers accept submissions directly, but some of their imprints do. Others are independent companies, some based in the United States and others based in the UK or elsewhere. However, 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 companies 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.

A longer version of this article containing 30 Publishers name is accessible here.

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. McSweeney’s

McSweeney’s was founded in 1998 by Dave Eggers. They publish literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. 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. Learn more 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.

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/

 

 

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: