15 Fabulous Publishers For Debut Authors

15 (or so) Fabulous Publishers For Debut Authors


Writing a book is hard. Finding a publisher is harder. However, if you have written a book and you’re looking for a traditional publisher, we’ve put together a list of publishing houses that accept debut novelists’ submissions.

The publishers listed below are open to authors of any nationality. Some focus on publishing a particular genre. The publishers are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Avon Impulse

Avon is looking for big, high concept historical and contemporary romances. They want inclusive and diverse romances that reflect our world–all sexualities, races, ethnicities, religions, genders, body types, disabilities, and ages!

Submission guidelines

2. Baen Books

Baen Books is an American publishing house for science fiction and fantasy. In science fiction, it emphasises space opera, hard science fiction, and military science fiction. “We prefer to see complete manuscripts accompanied by a synopsis. We prefer not to see simultaneous submissions.”

Submission guidelines

3. Black & White Publishing

What they publish:

  • commercial women’s fiction (chick lit, saga, romance)
  • crime and psychological thriller
  • children’s fiction and Young Adult
  • celebrity memoirs
  • sport (UK and Ireland in particular)
  • humour, gift and activity books
  • food and drink

Submission guidelines

4. Coffee House Press

Coffee House Press publishes emerging and midcareer authors. Nearly all CHP authors have had works published in literary magazines or other publications (a résumé including a list of prior publications can strengthen your submission). Although prior publications are important, they are not a requirement; part of our mission is to present promising debut authors alongside those who have been previously published.

Submission guidelines

5. Chicago Review Press

“We are interested in publishing high-quality nonfiction that will sell year after year. We look for books with a well-defined, passionate target audience.”

Submission guidelines

6. Chronicle Books

“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.

On the Adult Trade side, we publish a wide range of books, stationery, kits, calendars, and novelty formats. Our list includes cookbooks, fine art, design, photography, pop culture, craft, fashion, beauty, home décor, relationships, lifestyle, and innovative formats such as interactive journals, kits, decks, stationery, and much, much more.”

Submission guidelines

7. DAW

DAW is an imprint of Penguin that is open to manuscript submissions from authors without an agent. DAW Books was the first publishing company ever devoted exclusively to science fiction and fantasy. “DAW Books seeks to publish a wide range of voices and stories, because we believe that it is the duty of the science fiction and fantasy genres to be inclusive and representative of as many diverse viewpoints as possible.” DAW accepts unsolicited submissions of science fiction and fantasy novels.

Submission guidelines

8. Entangled Publishing

Entangled Publishing is a romance publisher committed to acquiring diverse books and books written by diverse authors.

Submission guidelines

9. Felony & Mayhem Press

Felony & Mayhem publish mystery fiction for adults.

Submission guidelines

10. Hard Case Crime

“Hard Case Crime brings you the best in hard-boiled crime fiction, ranging from lost noir masterpieces to new novels by today’s most powerful writers, featuring stunning original cover art in the grand pulp style.”

Submission guidelines

11. Quirk Books

“We’re always on the lookout for strikingly unconventional manuscripts and book proposals. A well-written novel with an off-the-wall editorial premise? That’s Quirk. A playful cookbook or craft book with cool photography or crazy illustrations? That’s Quirk, too. We publish across a broad range of categories—always with the goal of delivering innovative books to discerning readers.

Put more simply, we publish books that are smart, original, cool, and fun.”

Submission guidelines

12. Seven Stories Press

“Seven Stories publishes works of the human imagination—sometimes in the form of fiction and literature, sometimes in the form of political nonfiction and sometimes in a hybrid form that has elements of both.”

Submission guidelines

13. Source Books – Casablanca Imprint

“​We are actively acquiring agented and unagented Romance fiction for our Casablanca imprint. We look for strong writers who are excited about marketing their books and building their community of readers, and whose books have something fresh to offer in the genre of Romance.”

Submission guidelines

14. Tor/Forge

Tor Books is the most successful science fiction and fantasy publisher in the world. It is an imprint of Macmillan. It is the winner of the Locus Award for best SF publisher 20 years in a row.

The Forge imprint publishes a wide range of fiction, including a strong line of historical novels and thrillers, plus mysteries, women’s fiction, and a variety of nonfiction titles.

Tor/Forge has also become the leading modern publisher of American westerns.

Submission guidelines

15. Turner Publishing

Turner publishes books in a wide range of categories and formats—fiction and non-fiction. “Our capabilities include title acquisition and development, editorial, design, promotion, sales, warehousing, and distribution. Our reach is from coast to coast with some international distribution.”

Submission guidelines

And we have another one to add to the list:

Erewhon Books

This new, independent, speculative fiction publisher opened in June 2018.

‘We are primarily considering novel-length works in any speculative fiction genre including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other sub-genres, but we’re also open to other works of interest to the community of SF&F readers.’

Submission guidelines

If you want to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

 by Amanda Patterson

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