These 25 featured publishers are always open to submissions from writers without agents or previous publishing experience. All of them are respected publishers with good reputations. They are listed in no particular order.
1. Quirk Books This Philadelphia-based press publishes 25 books a year in a whole range of genres, including children’s books, nonfiction, and science fiction. Unlike most publishers that tackle a large range of topics, Quirk Books has a clear marketing plan for all of their books. To a certain degree, their books have a cohesive feel because they all are quirky.
2. Baen Baen is one of the best-known publishers of science fiction and fantasy books. They are one of the few established publishers that will accept full-length manuscripts from authors who do not have an agent. They do not need to see any history of publication either. As long as your book is science fiction or fantasy, they will consider publishing it.
3. 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. Curt was the former editor of the literary journal Chicago Review.
4. Dial Books for Young Readers Dial Books for Young Readers publishes hardcover books aimed at children of all ages, including young adults. They are an imprint of Penguin and accept unsolicited submissions. The catch? They do not respond to unsolicited submissions unless they are interested in the book. That means don’t expect a rejection from Dial, personal or otherwise.
5. Seven Stories Press They focus on producing books that have a social conscience. They have published some big-name authors and bestselling books. They publish literary fiction and nonfiction.
6. Chronicle Books Chronicle is an established and respected publisher of children’s books, cookbooks, gift books, anthologies, and various other books, most containing a strong visual element. They are based out of San Francisco. Their books receive a lot of positive attention and acclaim.
7. Workman Publishing They publish nonfiction books for children and adults. Some of the famous books they have published in the past (they have been around a long time) include he “What to Expect” series, best known for the Book What to Expect When you are Expecting.
8. Persea Books This is a respected publisher of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literary young adults novels. The work they publish receives a good distribution, particularly in academic circles.
9. 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, including nonfiction and romance manuscripts.
10. 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.
11. ABDO Books ABDO Books is a publisher that focuses exclusively on educational books for children between the ages of 4 and 12. They sell a lot of books to schools and appear to be rather good at niche marketing. They are currently open only to fiction submissions.
12. Black & White Publishing Black & White Publishing was founded in 1995 and is a Scottish publisher with good distribution. They currently have over 200 books in print. They have a 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.
13. 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 27 years in a row. They offer advances.
14. 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 author to promote their books. They publish a large number of books per year.
15. The Totally Entwined Group The Totally Entwined Group is a romance eBook and print publisher that was successful in its own right, before being purchased by the Bonnier Publishing group. There have been some shifts in focus since Bonnier purchased it in 2015, but the group still has a good reputation and its focus is still on its two flagship established imprints – Pride and Totally Bound.
16. 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.
17. Lee & Low Books Lee & Low Books’ motto is “About Everyone” They focus on publishing multicultural children’s books. They are the largest multicultural book publisher in the U.S. The books they publish largely have an educational element and they offer books for readers starting at the age of 4 and going all the way up to age 18. They are an independent publisher, have published hundreds of books, and have been around for 25 years.
18. Barron’s Educational Services Most people who have studied for a test like the SAT or the GRE own a book published by Barron’s, if only because they bought one of their many test prep books. That is what Barron’s Educational Services is best known for and the reason it was founded in 1939. However, in recent years they have expanded and they also publish a wide variety of other genres, including fiction.
19. 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.
20. Kane Miller Publishing Kane Miller is an award-winning publisher of educational children’s books. They have good distribution, their books are widely available at libraries, and they generally do an excellent job.
21. The Experiment The Experiment was an independent publisher launched in 2008. Since 2011 they have been an imprint of Workman Publishing. They publish a range of nonfiction, focusing on practical things such as food (one of the bestsellers they have published is the Forks Over Knives cookbook), health and fitness, psychology and personal development, parenting, relationships, sexuality, and nature.
22. Harlequin Harlequin is easily the most famous romance-only publisher out there. In fact, their name was synonymous with romance novel when I was growing up. They have wide distribution, from grocery stores to bookstores. They are everywhere.
23. 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 non-fiction they publish.
24. Holiday House Holiday House is an established and reputable children’s book publishers. 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.
25. 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.
Authors Without Borders is providing links to web sites that you can visit for a variety of information. These include: review sites; sites for authors; various resources and much more. Authors Without Borders has utilized, individually or as a group, the resources listed below. More web sites will be added in the future.
Contact your local newspapers and offer your book for review. Follow up with phone calls (e-mails are easily deleted and are impersonal) and politely ask if the individual assigned to the book review section is interested. There are many individuals/web sites eager to review your book. Remember that fees will be charged for a variety of services associated with a review. Alwayscheck with the Better Business Bureau- if there is a red flag about a service it will more than likely pop up there.