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The Top 25 Publishers for New Authors

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Rachel Dearth
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« on: May 31, 2017, 10:13:47 am »

The Top 25 Publishers for New Authors

Written by Emily Harstone | June 20, 2016


Updated April 10th 2017

The writing market can seem overwhelming, especially for new authors who do not have a history of past publication. It is important to note that no legitimate established presses specifically look for unpublished authors.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.

It is worth noting that it is always helpful to create a history of previous publications of short fiction or poetry by submitting to literary journals. To learn more about submitting to literary journals, you can download our free ebook on the subject here.

All 25 of these manuscript publishers all have good distribution and clear marketing strategies. They are not vanity presses, self-publishers, or brand new presses. 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 are based in the United States and others are based in the UK or elsewhere.

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 company’s 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.

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 non-fiction. 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 and they have won the Locus Award for best SF publisher 26 years in a row. 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 because of this. If your book does well in terms of digital sales and it is over 25,000 words in length it will receive a print run and receive 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. DAW has published authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny. DAW has published many bestselling books and they have 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 non-fiction. They publish mainly in print but have electronic options as well. They are a major independent publishing house that has a number of imprints. Read the full review here.

7. Persea Books
 A respected publisher of fiction, non-fiction, 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. Source Books
 A large independent publisher based out of Illinois, they also have offices in Connecticut and New York. They are open to unsolicited submissions of a wide range non fiction manuscripts and to romance manuscripts.Read our full review here.

9. HotKey Books
 Hotkey is a UK based publisher of books for children ages 9-19. 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. Read the full review here.

10. Baen
 Baen is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy novels. They have managed to publish a large number of best sellers and many of the most respected science fiction and fantasy novelists regularly publish with them. To learn more read our review of Baen.

11. 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 non fiction. To learn more read our full review here.

12. Jollyfish Press
 JollyFish Press was started in 2012. They are based out of Provo, Utah. Jollyfish has a major distributor and a large staff for a relatively new press. Their authors have won numerous awards. Jollyfish publishes commercial and literary fiction, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, humor, horror, thriller, middle-grade, and young adult. They also publish motivational non-fiction, self-help, biography, and memoir. You can read the full review here.

13. Flashlight Books
 Flashlight is an award winning publisher of illustrated Children Books. They publish books aimed at 4-8 year olds. They only publish 2-4 books every year, so they are very selective. The books they publish are beautifully illustrated. They also have 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 non-fiction and literary fiction every year. They work with distributors and authors worldwide.
Read the full review here.

 15. Alloy Entertainment
 Alloy Entertainment is a large company that has been responsible for a number of successful books, including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the Gossip Girl series. They publish largely young adult fiction aimed at girls, and chick lit. Our full review of the company is available 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 non-fiction, biography, sport, and humor, as well as selected fiction, Young Adult, and Children’s books. Read our full review here.

17. Angry Robot
 Angry Robot is a respected science fiction and fantasy publisher that occasionally dips into related genres (such as urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror). Angry Robot was originally funded by HarperCollins. They are now part of Watkins Media Ltd. They offer advances and good royalty rates. Read our full review here.

18. Dzanc Books
 Dzanc is a respected publisher of literary fiction, they publish novels and collections of short fiction.  They are also the publishing house behind the respected literary journal the Collagist. To learn more read the 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. Absey & Company
Absey & Company has published many award winning books in the last decade. They are an established small press that publishes full length works of poetry and prose. To learn more read the full review.

 21. Felony & Mayham
 A respected publisher of literary mystery novels. They publish great books and have good distribution. To learn more read our review here.

22. Chicago Review Press
Chicago Review Press was founded over 40 years ago. They are an established independent publisher of literary fiction, non-fiction and memoir. They also publish books for children (but not picture books). They were founded by Curt Matthews and his wife, Linda Matthews. Curt was the former editor of the literary journal the Chicago Review. To learn more read the full review here.

23. 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. They also publish books on gardening and cookbooks, but usually only with a southern focus. To learn more read our full review here.

 24. Witness Impulse
 WITNESS Impulse is a digital first imprint of Harper Collins. They publish a wide variety of mystery novels, including digital editions by some of the most famous mystery writers of all time, including my personal favorite Agatha Christie. However, they also publish new and emerging authors. It is important to note that usually publish print editions of their books. However they always publish the digital version first. To learn more read our full review here.

 25. Entangled Publishing
 Entangled Publishing is an independent publisher of adult and young adult romantic fiction. Since its first release in July 2011, Entangled has published more than 970 titles. This number includes 14 titles that have made it onto the New York Times Bestsellers list and 42 titles that have placed on the USA Today Bestsellers list. Some of their more famous books are The Marriage Bargain, and Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout which has been slated to become a major motion picture to begin production in the Spring of 2017. You can 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:
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In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 01:16:22 pm »

6 Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts from Writers - No Agent Needed


These publishers accept manuscripts directly from writers. As is the case with most publishers that don't require an agent, they have a narrow focus. But, if your work falls into the categories they publish, you will have a good chance of having your proposal read.

 As always, go to the website, look at their other publications to see if yours will be a good fit, and follow all of their submission guidelines carefully.

 If you are looking for publishers in specialized genres, click on these links.

4 Romance Publishers Looking for Writers - No Agent Needed

4 Major Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

 17 US Children's Book Publishers Accepting Manuscripts Directly From Writers

 21 UK Children's Book Publishers Accepting Manuscripts Directly from Writers

 7 Graphic Novel Publishers Accepting Manuscripts Directly From Writers

 5 Horror and Dark Fiction Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

 22 Cookbook and Nonfiction Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

Small Beer Press

Small Beer Press was founded in 2000 and is run by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link. It publishes books as Small Beer Press, Big Mouth House, and Peapod Classics, and occasionally chapbooks and a zine - on recycled paper.

They also have an ebooksite for indie presses: Weightless Books.

Generally, they publish 6-10 books per year. They pay a small advance and standard royalties. Their ebook royalty rate is 40% of net receipts. While their catalog is not extensive, they do have two short story collections by Ursula LeGuin.

What they are looking for: Fiction (leaning toward the speculative), both short story collections and novels. No poetry.

How to submit: Print format by post only.

Please send a query with the first 10-20 pages of the book (not the full manuscript) in standard manuscript format, and an SASE (with a Forever Stamp or an international reply coupon) by mail to:

Small Beer Press
 150 Pleasant St., #306
 Easthampton, MA 01027
 Phone: 413.203.1636
 Email: info at

Read full guidelines HERE.

Allworth Press

Allworth Press publishes business and self-help information for the general public and creative professionals.  They share distribution with Skyhorse Publishing, using W. W. Norton in the United States. Allworth Press titles are now distributed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Southern Africa, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Books from Allworth Press have been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Japanese. Allworth Press currently has 300 titles in print.

What they are looking for: Graphic Design, Business, Performing Arts, Interior Design, Art, Theater, Web Design, Book Arts, Photography, Crafts.

How to submit: Prospective authors should submit a book proposal that includes a query letter, synopsis (1-2 pages), annotated chapter outline, market analysis, sample chapter (or two), bio, and SASE.

Send all submissions to: allworthsubmissions If they are interested, they will get back to you within 4-6 weeks

Read full guidelines HERE.


City Lights

City Lights Publishers is famous for launching several poets, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, but this press also specializes in literary fiction and nonfiction. City Lights publishes 12 books a year. 

From the website: For over fifty years, City Lights has been a champion of progressive thinking, fighting against the forces of conservatism and censorship. We are committed to publishing works of social responsibility, and to maintaining a tradition of bringing renegade literature from other parts of the world into English. In our function of discovery, we will continue to publish cutting-edge contemporary literature and brilliant new non-fiction.

What they are looking for: Fiction, essays, memoirs, translations, poetry, and books on social and political issues. They do not publish New Age, self-help, children’s literature, how-to guides, or genre works such as romance, westerns, or science fiction.

How to submit: City Lights does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but they do accept proposals.

 Prospective authors should submit the following: 
•A one to two-page letter that describes your book and includes your resumé, with a list of any prior publications and information about your relevant writing and professional experience.
•A sample (10–20 pages maximum) of your work.
•An additional outline and table of contents for a nonfiction work.

To receive a response, you must enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). You will receive a reply from our staff within six months letting you know if they want to see a complete manuscript. Telephoning or e-mailing will not speed up the review process.

 City Lights takes no responsibility for the loss or damage of submitted materials. Please do not submit irreplaceable materials.

 They do not accept proposals by e-mail or at the front desk at City Lights Bookstore.

 Please mail proposals to:

 Editorial Department
 City Lights Publishers
 261 Columbus Avenue
 San Francisco CA 94133

Read full guidelines HERE.

Chicago Review Press

Academy Chicago Publishers is one of the oldest publishing houses in Chicago. They publish both fiction and nonfiction and have more than two hundred published titles on their list. Academy Chicago publishes about 60 new titles yearly under five imprints: Chicago Review Press, Lawrence Hill Books, Ball Publishing, Zephyr Press, and Academy Chicago.

What they are looking for: Chicago Review Press publishes general nonfiction on a wide range of subjects including history, popular science, music, film, biography, autobiography, DIY, craft, and travel, as well as an award-winning line of children's activity books and young adult biographies. Lawrence Hill Books publishes nonfiction on topics of African American interest, progressive politics, Middle Eastern studies, and feminism. Ball Publishing specializes in gardening books, and Zephyr Press publishes professional development titles for teachers. Academy Chicago publishes memoirs, mysteries, and other exciting, new, and well-crafted fiction and nonfiction.

How to submit: For non-fiction send:
•A brief synopsis of your proposed book in 1–2 paragraphs
•The estimated word count of the final manuscript
•The estimated completion date
•Author biography or resume specifying credentials and publication credits, where appropriate
•Approximate sales of previous books published, if any
•A complete table of contents and/or a complete outline of the proposed chapters
•1–2 sample chapters

For children's activity books, include a few sample activities and list the others
•Any information regarding photographs or artwork for the book
•A description of the target audience and any information about the market
•A list of competing and comparable titles and how your book differs—be sure to tell us what makes your book unique

Please e-mail your proposal to

Their turnaround time on reviewing proposals is about 4–6 weeks.

Read full guidelines HERE.


Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books  "We're always looking for the new and unusual." Chronicle Books publishes 90 titles per year.

What they are looking for: Art and design, art, craft, graphic design, interior design, photography, food and drink, kids and teens, literature, lifestyle, pop culture. No adult fiction.

How to submit: They review all proposals. However, they do not personally respond to unsolicited proposals unless they are interested in pursuing the project. Chronicle accepts submissions by mail or e-mail. Please allow three months for the editors to review a proposal.

What to Include in Your Proposal:
• Include a one-page cover letter giving a brief description of the project, why you think Chronicle should publish it, what's included in the package, and your contact information.
• If your proposal is a simultaneous submission, please indicate this in your cover letter.
• Include an outline, introduction, sample illustrations or photographs, sample captions, sample recipes (if cookbook) or projects (if craft book), and text/sample chapters.
• When submitting artwork, either as a part of a project or as samples for review, please do not send original art, as it will not be returned. Anything from photocopies to tear sheets will do.
• Include a market analysis of the potential readership for the book. Who is the reader? What trends does the title speak to? Include a list of similar titles including the publisher, date of publication, and a brief explanation of how your book differs what's currently available.
• Include author/illustrator/photographer biography that includes publishing credits and credentials in the field.
• If you would like confirmation of receipt, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard for the editor to put in the mail upon receiving your proposal.

Please send submissions to:

 Chronicle Books; Submissions Editor
 680 Second Street
 San Francisco, California 94107

Read full guidelines HERE.


Lee & Low Books

Lee & Low Books  is a children’s and young adult book publisher focusing on diversity. As of 2012, Lee & Low Books has published more than 650 titles in hardcover, paperback, lift-the-flap, and board book formats. Many titles have also been adapted for Spanish editions. They publish 12-14 titles per year.

What they are looking for: Lee & Low focuses on titles for readers age 5-12. Tu Publishing is an independent imprint publishing diverse fantasy, science fiction, and mystery for middle grade and young adult readers. Children's Book Press (CBP) publishes bilingual books.

How to submit: Manuscripts should be typed doubled-spaced and accompanied by a cover letter that includes a brief biography of the author, including publishing history. The letter should also state if the manuscript is a simultaneous or an exclusive submission. They will respond to a submission only if they are interested in the manuscript. If you do not hear from them within six months, you may assume that your work does not fit their needs. Only submissions sent through regular post will be considered.
• Picture book manuscripts should be no longer than 1500 words for fiction and 3000 words for nonfiction. Please send the complete manuscript. Do not include illustrations unless you are a professional illustrator. Do not send irreplaceable materials.
• For middle grade manuscripts of more than 10,000 words, please send a query letter with story synopsis and chapter outline. Do not send the complete manuscript.


Submissions Editor


95 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10016

Read full guidelines HERE.

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In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 01:16:58 pm »
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In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 01:17:11 pm »
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