33 Specialized Manuscript Publishers that Accept Direct Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone

All of the presses on this list meet all of our guiding principles, but most of them have such a specific focus that we cannot justify writing a full review and sending it to our full list of subscribers. But they are still good publishers.

Instead, we have compiled this list of mini-reviews. I have also added a few links to reviews of some of the specialized publishing companies we have reviewed in the past.

There is no particular organization to this list. Not all of the publishers on this list are currently open to submissions.

SmartPop is “actively looking for smart, quirky, engaging non-fiction titles on television, books, and film.” They are open to anthologies, as well as single author titles. The work could be an official, authorized guide, or an unofficial one.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP) focuses on publishing high quality books for professional and general readers on a variety of subjects. They are best known for their books on the autism spectrum, social work, arts therapies, mental health, counseling, palliative care, practical theology and gender diversity. They also publish graphic novels that cover these subject areas, and books for children, on issues including depression and anger.  

aunt lute is a multicultural women’s press. Their priority is to publish work by women, both transgender and cisgender, particularly women of color.

Gill Books is one of Ireland’s leading publishers of content in terms of both the Primary and Secondary schools market, but they also publish nonfiction for adults. They accept proposals for adult nonfiction and children’s books.

Cune Press publishes work with roots in the Middle East but also West Coast authors, and works with a social conscience.

Chelsea Green is a nonfiction publisher that focuses on publishing books that promote the “politics and practice of sustainable living.” Chelsea Green was founded in 1984.

Eraserhead Press is a small publisher based out of Portland, Oregon that focuses on publishing Bizarro fiction. Be sure you are familiar with the genre before submitting. They are not interested in any work cannot be categorized as Bizarro. They are a print and e-Book publisher. They did not open to submissions this April because of the pandemic, but hope to do so at a later date.

Timber Press is an established and respected publisher of gardening and natural history books. They are an imprint of Workman Publishing.

Microcosm Publishing is a Portland-based publisher that focuses on nonfiction DIY (Do-It-Yourself) goods that focus on the reader and teach self-empowerment. The work they publish ranges from Magick how-to to Punx.

Sophia Institute Press is a nonprofit institution that publishes nonfiction books of spirituality, theology, and philosophy that help  readers understand the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Torrey House Press is interested in well-crafted work with environmental, natural history, or natural landscape themes, and writing which explores the value of well-managed public lands and the transformative power of wilderness focusing on the inter-mountain west. See their short nonfiction submission call, and more, here

Kaya Press publishes literature being produced throughout the Asia Pacific Diaspora.

Haymarket Books publishes manuscripts that connect with progressive and radical political activists, while being useful to an academic audience.

Versify is an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books and their goal is to publish risky, unconventional books for children. They are currently closed to submissions due to COVID-19, but to plan to reopen to general submissions.

Inanna Publications and Education Inc. is a Canadian feminist press that was founded in 1978 and is open to international submissions. They publish fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and essay collections.

Uproar Books only publishes epic fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, and they are only interested in publishing series of books (although only the first one needs to be completed when you submit). They are temporarily closed to submissions from unagented authors at the time of publishing, but are open to submissions by invited authors, including those they encounter during PITMAD.

Third World Press is an African-centered press that is focused on publishing work that is “life-giving and life-saving to the community, and other communities on the Diaspora”. They were founded over forty years ago and are the largest Black-owned press in the United States.

duopress is a publisher of innovative nonfiction books and gift books. They publish a large variety of non-traditionally formatted books for children, including board books that fold out, flash cards, and sticker books.

The Feminist Press was established as an independent nonprofit literary publisher in 1970. The Feminist Press is the oldest women’s publishing house in the world. They are open to submission from female/female identifying, and non-binary authors.

Veritas is Ireland’s leading religious publisher. They also are a retailer, with stores across Ireland. They publish over 40 books each year in the areas of theology, scripture, prayer, spirituality, parenting, counselling, children’s issues, social commentary, and liturgical resources. They also publish religious educational text for use in Irish schools.

PM Press is an independent, radical publisher of books and media to educate, entertain, and inspire. They have a lot of books planned for the next two years, but they are still open to considering the right manuscript.

Black Scat Books is a small press based in San Francisco. They are an independent press focused on publishing books of sublime art & literature — absurdist fiction, Dada, surrealism, pataphysics, erotica, and works in translation. The submission guidelines for the press as a whole are only available when they are open to submissions.

Llewellyn is the oldest and largest publisher specializing in books for body, mind, and spirit. They were founded in 1901.

Small Town Girl, an imprint from Brother Mockingbird Press, only publishes fiction and nonfiction that takes place in or is about the 80’s.

Islandport Press does not have strict geographic limitations but the vast majority of what they publish for adults, and all of what they publish for children is centred in New England sensibilities, and they prefer to work with authors and illustrators who are connected to New England or the Northeast United States. They are a wonderful small press that was founded in 2000.

Down on the Shore is a small publisher established in 1984, that specializes in beach and coastal subjects, largely in terms of New Jersey and the Jersey shore.

Cinco Puntos Press focuses on the U.S. / Mexico border region, the Southwest and Mexico. They publish some books outside of this focus, as well, but they have a very different querying process. Before you submit you must call their editor. Their books have gorgeous covers.

Aggadah Try It is an imprint of Madness Heart Press, that focuses on publishing Jewish speculative fiction including Science Fiction Fantasy, and Horror. It only accepts Jewish stories written by Jewish authors.

Oceanview Publishing is less of a specialized press, they primarily publish mystery and thrillers, but they are on this list because they only accept work by unagented and unsolicited authors who have traditionally published a previous book, and Severn River Press operates on the same principle but publishes historical fiction, as well as mysteries and thrillers.

BearManor Media publishes books on movies, television, Old Time Radio, theater, animation, and previously unpublished scripts. 

Rockpool publishes spiritual books as well as Tarot, Oracle and Affirmation cards. 

Peepal Tree Press
Peepal Tree Press only publishes international writing from the Caribbean, it’s diasporas, and Black British writers. is the world’s leading publisher of Caribbean and Black British writing. They publish around 15 titles a year, and have published many respected books over the years.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2021 Guide to Manuscript Publishers.

She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.

 

 

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