A list of 25 publishers who welcome unsolicited submissions.
You’ve got a great nonfiction book proposal in hand, or maybe a finished novel plus proposal, and you’re eager to see it published. Unfortunately, not a single literary agent has agreed to represent you. if you are not willing to self-publish, is this the end of the world?
Not necessarily. It’s true that the major traditional publishers do not accept unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. Many smaller publishers do, including a modest number of imprints of major publishers. (An imprint is a “division” of a larger publisher.)
To help you find them, I’ve put together a list of 25 publishers who accept unsolicited submissions. For each, you’ll find a link to the contact page on their websites, as well as a brief description of the types of manuscripts they are looking for. As much as possible, all information I’ve included is quoted from the websites.
Some of these publishers only publish in digital form, while others publish “physical” books, as well. Some are traditional, royalty-based publishers, while others offer add-on services in addition to traditional publishing. Be sure to read a publisher’s website carefully before contacting them. (And please note that I am not a publisher.)
Good luck with your submissions!
Note: This information is current as of August, 2022 but can change at any time. I am not recommending any of these publishers, just providing information. Be sure to check a publisher’s current information to make sure that they are truly a standard publisher and have not recently switched to hybrid or self-publishing models.
Albert Whitman & Company
What they are looking for: “Albert Whitman & Company currently has an open submissions policy. We will read and review un-agented manuscripts and proposals for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels.”
Andrews McMeel Publishing
What they are looking for: “Andrews McMeel Publishing is a leading publisher of poetry, inspiration, humor, and children’s book and licensed, popular calendars. We publish as many as 150 books and 200 calendars annually. We are happy to consider submissions from creators and literary agents…”
“We’re always looking for new authors and new book and calendar ideas.”
What they are looking for: “We publish only science fiction and fantasy. Writers familiar with what we have published in the past will know what sort of material we are most likely to publish in the future: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the sine qua non for consideration for science fiction submissions. As for fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality.”
What they are looking for: “We publish trade fiction and non-fiction, and we publish what we like…. From classical literature to political memoirs, from illustrated picture books to gripping suspense thrillers – the key is in the quality…. We look forward to reading your submission!”
Celsea Green Publishing
What they are looking for: Books “that promote the “politics and practice of sustainable living.”
Chicago Review Press
What they are looking for: “…high-quality nonfiction that will sell year after year. We look for books with a well-defined, passionate target audience. Chicago Review Press and its imprints publish general nonfiction on a wide range of subjects….music, film, pop culture, history, feminism, LGBTQ+ interest, true crime, outdoor and nature, African American history and the Black experience, parenting, children’s and YA history, science, literature, and art.” As of September, 2022, Chicago Review Press is not accepting new fiction proposals.
What they are looking for: “To encourage submissions from a wide range of potential authors, Chronicle Books has an open submissions policy. We accept unagented submissions of any projects suited to our list, from brilliant books to innovative gift products.
“Chronicle Books publishes a wide range of nonfiction books on our adult trade list, in categories such as cooking, fine art, design, photography, pop culture, fashion, beauty, home décor, personal relationships, and more. We also publish innovative formats, such as interactive journals, decks, games, stationery, and much, much more. Please note: We do not acquire adult fiction.”
“Chronicle Books publishes an eclectic mixture of traditional and innovative children’s books. We are looking for projects that have a unique bent—be it in subject matter, writing style, or illustrative technique—and that will lend our list a distinctive flair. We are interested in fiction and nonfiction books for children of all ages, as well as board books, decks, activity kits, and other unusual or novelty formats.”
Dreaming Big Publishing
What they are looking for: “Now accepting short story submissions for a horror collection featuring stories about clowns and dolls. Someone asked if mannequins are okay. Probably! Show me what you got! Prefer stories between 6,000 words and 10,000+ words.”
What they are looking for: “Flashpoint Publications is interested in stories relating to the LGBTQIA+ community. We’re open to reviewing manuscripts in any genre, from romance to nonfiction.”
What they are looking for: “NONFICITON – Our main emphasis is on interior design, architecture, children’s, and cookbooks. Additionally, we accept submissions in the following subjects: arts and crafts, western humor with general appeal, general humor, and gift books.
“CHILDREN’S – We accept submissions for children’s activity books, board books, and picture books.
“WE DO NOT ACCEPT – We are NOT accepting poetry submissions at this time. We are NOT accepting fiction submissions at this time.”
What they are looking for: “Harlequin is always on the lookout for talented writers—from established authors to those just starting their writing careers. We publish a wide range of stories and welcome writers from all backgrounds, cultures and communities to submit to the romance line best suited to their unique voice and story.
“Harlequin Series (sometimes known as “Category Romance”) and Carina Press accept unagented submissions from authors.”
Hydra (part of Random House)
What they are looking for: “Hydra Publications’ main imprint is currently open for submissions, especially LitRPG submissions. If your submission is LitRPG, please say so in the subject line…Speculative fiction genres are all desired and include thriller, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, dystopian, and all reasonable sub-genres thereof.”
Joffe Books (UK)
“We accept submissions from agents, previously published authors (including self-published authors) with long backlists, first-time writers with only one book under their belt, and anyone in between.”
What they are looking for: “Joffe Books is one of the UK’s leading independent publishers of excellent commercial fiction, especially crime and mystery fiction…Our favourite genres are crime fiction, mysteries, psychological thrillers, cosy crime, police procedurals, chillers, suspense and domestic noir. We also love women’s fiction, historical fiction and romance novels, including WWII romances and sagas.”
What they are looking for: A broad range of fiction and nonfiction.
The company publishes “works of fiction and non-fiction in most genres.”
“A Light Messages traditional publishing contract may be offered to an experienced author with a strong sales record of widely respected work.
“We only award a handful of highly selective traditional publishing contracts each year. A number of those go to authors for whom we are already publishing. This option is limited but is always considered for every submission.”
NOTE: Be aware that the firm also offers hybrid publishing and author publishing deals, which are the the same as standard publishing.
Loveswept and Flirt (both are part of Random House)
What they are looking for: “Loveswept and Flirt invites queries for submissions in contemporary romance, erotica, historical romance, paranormal romance, women’s fiction, and new adult.”
What they are looking for: “NCM Publishing is soliciting manuscripts in all genres of fiction, non-fiction, self-help and young adult fiction.”
Pants On Fire Press
“Pants On Fire Press is a book publisher that accepts unsolicited manuscripts from authors.”
What they are looking for: “We are acquiring Middle-Grade, Young Adult and Fiction for adults. We are looking for strong writers who are excited about marketing their stories and building a following of readers.”
What they are looking for: “We are open to receiving submissions for proposed books in the following categories:
- Sports (Team and Individual)
- Outdoor Sport (Hunting, Fishing, and Camping)
- Adventure and Travel
- Health and Fitness
- House and Home
- Military History
- Games and Gambling
- Pets and Animals
- Nature and Science
- Food and Wine
- True Crime
- Current Events
Stone Pier Press
What they are looking for: “We’re looking for good books about good food. Books that inspire support for climate-friendly, agriculturally sustainable, and good-for-us eating. We tilt toward stories that feature solutions and problem-solvers. Our focus is on helping people make sounder choices around the way we grow, eat, and dispose of food.
“We are accepting books in the following categories: narrative nonfiction, memoirs, guidebooks, biographies, young adult fiction, and literary fiction. We will consider cookbooks as well.
“(For what it’s worth, books we’d love to have published –– and who wouldn’t? –– include Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White (because why not). If you’ve got the vegan version of Kitchen Confidential let us know!)”
Storey Publishing (part of Workman Publishing, which is part of Hachette)
What they are looking for: – “The mission of Storey Publishing is to serve our customers by publishing practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment. The books we select to carry out this mission include nonfiction titles for adults and children on gardening, home reference, crafts, cooking, beer & wine, nature, raising animals, horses, building, farming, homesteading, and mind/body/spirit. We are always pleased to review new proposals on these topics directly from authors and from agents. (Note: no fiction, poetry, or children’s picture books, please.)”
Timber Press (part of Workman Publishing, which is part of Hachette)
What they are looking for: – “Timber Press is devoted to sharing the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. Our list includes gardening how-to, garden design, popular science, nature, garden literature, and both regional and national field guides. We consider new book ideas from authors and agents.”
Weiser Books (including New Page Books, Hampton Roads Publishing, Career Press, and Turning Stone Press)
What they are looking for: “We accept unsolicited submissions and agented and un-agented submissions…Our goal is to publish ‘books to live by.’ We adhere to no dogma, no practice, or ideology. We want to publish books that open people’s eyes to looking at the world in different ways, that give them tools for improving their lives, that inspire or instruct them.”
If you wish to submit to publishers who do not accept unsolicited submissions, you’ll need to work with a literary agent. Here’s a list of 100 agents to help you get started in your agent search, if that’s the approach you’re taking. (Please note that I am not a publisher and not a literary agent.)
IF YOU’D LIKE HELP WRITING YOUR BOOK …
Contact us! We’re Barry Fox and Nadine Taylor, professional ghostwriters and authors with a long list of satisfied clients and editors at major publishing houses.
You can learn about our ghostwriting work and credentials on our ghostwriting page.
For more information, call us at 818-917-5362 or use the contact form below to send us a message. We’d love to talk to you about your exciting book idea!
Although based in Los Angeles, California, we often travel to work with our clients.