Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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

Updated 10/15/17

If you are a children's or young adult author, you have the option of submitting your work directly to a number of publishers without needing a middleman. While most of these are small to mid-range publishers, some are big names in the industry.

As always, go to the publisher's website and read their list to see if your work would be a good fit. Read their submission requirements very carefully. If you don't follow their submission guidelines to the letter, they will not read your manuscript.

Be forewarned that if you submit your work directly to a publisher, and are rejected, you can't backtrack later and submit it again through an agent. Most agents will not represent works that have been previously "shopped" to publishers.
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Albert Whitman & Company

Albert Whitman & Company has been publishing award-winning children’s books since 1919. Albert Whitman’s special interest titles address subjects such as disease, bullying, and disabilities. Submissions: Albert Whitman and Company currently has an open submissions policy. They read and review unagented manuscripts and proposals for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. Email submissions only. Note: They will not review any submissions that do not follow their submission guidelines.



Arthur A. Levine Books

Arthur A. Levine Books was founded in 1996 as an imprint of Scholastic Press. Since then, they have produced more than one hundred seventy-nine works of hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children, teenagers, and adults. Submissions: Picture Books: Query letter + the full text; Novels: Query letter + the first two chapters + synopsis; Other: Query letter + five page samples (five poems, five nonfiction pages, etc.); Illustration: Three sample illustrations via attachment, and links to online portfolios. Do not send full manuscripts.






August House


August House focuses on world folktales and the art and uses of storytelling. Submissions are by regular post only. Please review their guidelines before contacting them about publishing your work. They do not respond unless they are interested.




Boyds Mills Press 

Boyds Mills Press is the trade division of Highlights for Children, Inc. Submissions: Picture Books: Please submit the entire manuscript of your picture book; Middle Grade Fiction: Please submit the first three chapters (do not include chapters from the middle of the book) and a plot summary; Nonfiction: Include a detailed bibliography with your submission and a detailed explanation of the books in the marketplace that are similar to yours. Regular mail only. They publish their books under five imprints.

Capstone

Capstone publishes both fiction and nonfiction books for struggling and reluctant readers. They have four imprints and three separate divisions with over 3,000 books in print. Submissions: Most of Capstone's books are produced in-house, but they are also interested in receiving writers’ manuscripts and reviewing artists' portfolios. Fiction submissions should be sent via email, nonfiction by regular post only. They respond only if they are interested.



Charlesbridge

Charlesbridge publishes both picture books and transitional “bridge books” (books ranging from early readers to middle-grade chapter books). Nonfiction books focus on nature, science, social studies, and multicultural topics. Fiction titles include lively, plot-driven stories with strong, engaging characters. Submissions: Please submit only one or two manuscript(s) at a time. For picture books and books, please send a complete manuscript. For fiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed plot synopsis, a chapter outline, and three chapters of text. For nonfiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed proposal, a chapter outline, and one to three chapters of text. Regular mail only. No simultaneous submissions. Read guidelines here.

Dial Books

Dial Books for Young Readers is a hardcover division publishing approximately 70 titles per year for children of all ages, from preschool through young adult. It is currently a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. Submissions: Dial accepts entire picture book manuscripts, and for longer books a maximum of 10 pages.When submitting a portion of a longer work, please provide an accompanying cover letter that briefly describes your manuscript's plot, genre (i.e. easy-to-read, middle grade or YA novel), the intended age group, and your publishing credits, if any. Regular mail only.


Free Spirit

Free Spirit publishes nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people. With the exception of board books for early readers, they do not publish fiction. Submissions: Proposals to be considered must be sent by mail (not by fax or email). Include the following: A cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience (including age ranges), and your relevant expertise; A current résumé; A detailed chapter-by-chapter outline; At least two sample chapters. (If a full manuscript is available, you may send it.); A market analysis with a comprehensive listing of similar titles and detailed explanation of how your project differs from available products; A description of your personal promotion plan for the proposed book (including both in-person and social media outreach). Read guidelines here.


Holiday House

Holiday House specializes in hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction for ages four and up. They do not publish mass market books, including pop-ups, activity books, sticker books, coloring books, or licensed books. Submissions: Holiday House only responds if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please send the entire manuscript, whether submitting a picture book or novel. All submissions should be directed to the Editorial Department, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. They do not accept submissions by email or fax.






Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers are the oldest publishers in the world. Submissions: They do not respond unless they are interested in publishing your work. Response time is twelve weeks. Manuscripts should be typed and submitted via regular mail. They do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax. For picture books and novels, please send the entire manuscript. For nonfiction, submit a synopsis and sample chapters. Please submit exclusively to one HMH imprint only. They publish a range of fiction and non fiction books for adults and children. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers and Clarion Books are hardcover imprints.



Just Us Books

Just Us Books publishes children’s books that celebrate the diversity of Black history, culture and experiences. Submissions: Just Us Books is currently accepting queries for chapter books and middle reader titles only. Please send a query letter pitching us your manuscript, 1-2 page synopsis of your manuscript, 3-5 sample pages of your manuscript, a brief author bio that includes any previously published work, self-addressed stamped envelope. (Submission guidelines are located on Contact page.)






Kane Miller

Kane Miller is expanding its picture book, chapter book, and middle-grade fiction lists. They are interested in all genres (mystery, fantasy, adventure, historical, etc.), especially those with particularly American subjects. Submissions: Please send either the complete picture book manuscript, or a synopsis and two sample chapters of your fiction work. Electronic submissions accepted.

Lerner Publishing Group

Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independently owned children’s publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. Their Jewish-themed imprint, Kar-Ben, is the only division accepting submissions. Submissions: (Scroll down page for PDF submission guidelines.) Kar-Ben accepts unsolicited manuscripts by regular post only.



OnStage Publishing

OnStage Publishing publishes chapter books, middle grade novels and young adult novels. Submissions Fiction: If under 100 pages, submit the completed, double-spaced manuscript. If over 100 pages, submit the first three chapters and a plot summary. Cover letter with market analysis is required. Submissions may be sent via regular mail or email. Please read author guidelines here. Note: They do not publish picture books, short stories or poetry. Query first for non-fiction. They only publish fiction books for ages 8 to 18.



Pants On Fire Press

Pants On Fire Press, located in Winter Garden, Florida, publishes picture, middle-grade and young adult books. They are always on the lookout for Action, Adventure, Animals, Comedic, Dramatic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Supernatural and Suspense stories. Submissions: Pants on Fire is acquiring Chapter Books, Middle-grade and Young Adult fiction. Please read complete author guidelines here.








Ripple Grove Press

"We are looking for something unique, that has not been done before; an interesting story that captures a moment with a timeless feel. We are looking for picture driven stories for children ages 2-6. Please do not send early readers, middle grade, or YA manuscripts. No religious or holiday themed stories. Please do not submit your story with page breaks or illustration notes. Do not submit a story with doodles or personal photographs. Do not send your “idea” for a story, send your story in manuscript form.

We are not looking for:  Lullaby stories or stories about how much I love you. Or my younger brother annoys me. Or there’s a new baby in the house. Or there’s a monster under my bed. Or I want to turn my sister into a monster. Or you’re the star in my heaven. Please read complete author guidelines HERE.

Little Pickle Stories

All of the manuscripts that they select involve conveying meaningful messages to children or youth that catalyze conversations between parents and children, teachers and students, about the topics that matter most to the generation of children we are shaping today. The manuscripts are thought-provoking, progressive, fresh, distinctive, and, if a picture book, lend themselves well to not only illustration but also to extrapolation into other mediums, such as interactive eBooks, book apps, and animated shorts.

Some of the themes they are looking for are:
  • Kindness—the power of it
  • Dare To Be Different
  • Choices: It’s Not All Black And White; Most of Life is Gray
  • Racism—the deleterious effects of it
  • Refugees
  • Adoption
  • Complex Family Structures
  • Anti-Princess Themes
  • Creativity—the importance of it, fostering it, etc.
Please see their guidelines here.



Quirk Books

Quirk is a Philadelphia-based company that publishes just 25 books per year. Their titles are distributed through Random House. They are 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."

 Read submission guidelines here.


Tilbury House 

Tilbury House is an independent publishing company founded forty years ago as the Harpswell Press, publishing Maine books. They publish children’s picture books about cultural diversity, social justice, nature, and the environment. Their primary emphasis is on nonfiction picture books that appeal to children (ages 5 – 10). They also consider nonfiction chapter books and graphic nonfiction for early readers (ages 8 – 13), and nonfiction for young adult readers (YA, age 12+).

Read their submission guidelines here.



Pajama Press

Pajama Press publishes picture books—both for the very young and for school-aged readers, as well as early chapter books, novels for middle grade readers, and contemporary or historical fiction for young adults aged 12+. Our nonfiction titles typically contain a strong narrative element. Pajama Press is also looking for manuscripts from authors of diverse backgrounds. Stories about immigrants are of special interest.

See their submission guidelines here.

Skypony Press

Sky Pony Press is the children's book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. They publish picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction and nonfiction. "We’re open to any genre and style, and we’re always looking for something new and different. We love original concepts, fresh voices, and writing that knocks us off our feet."

See their submission guidelines here.


Jolly Fish Press

Jolly Fish Press is an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc., based in Minnesota. They publish trade fiction and select nonfiction books in the national and international market. Right now they are seeking middle grade and young adult titles in science fiction and fantasy with an epic and visual scope; thrillers with strong, carefully crafted characters and a unique voice; and unconventional love stories.

See their submission guidelines here.

Sasquatch Books

Sasquatch Books publishes 30 titles per year in a variety of genres and have a Little Bigfoot children’s imprint. The editors say, “Sasquatch Books publishes books for and from the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and California is the nation’s premier regional press. Sasquatch Books’ publishing program is a veritable celebration of regionally written words. Undeterred by political or geographical borders, Sasquatch defines its region as the magnificent area that stretches from the Brooks Range to the Gulf of California and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.”

How to submit: Potential authors can submit a query, proposal, full manuscript, or a combination of all three. See their submission guidelines here.






Flashlight Press

Flashlight Press publishes fictional children’s picture books for 4–8 year olds. Their titles are distributed in the U.S. through IPG (Independent Publishers Group), and internationally. Manuscripts must be under 1000 words, have a universal theme and deal with family or social situations.

Read their submission guidelines here.

20 comments:

  1. Bookmarked this post for future reference.. :)

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  2. Great post! Thanks for all the helpful info. in one place.

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  3. Thanks! This helps a gazillion for a newbie like me 😀

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    Replies
    1. Love your name "GS Free" .... sounds like a world renowned author!!

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  4. So nice of you to do this. Thanks so much.

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  5. Just getting started and appreciate your advice ~ waterflybooks.com

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  6. all i can say is thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! :)

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  7. Thanks a bunch for the very helpful links. I was under the impression that NO ONE took manuscripts anymore.

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  8. This, in a word, is awesome. 😊

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  9. Thanks for doing this. It's always helpful to find information already distilled in this way. I really appreciate the tips. John Bishop

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  10. Cuts down on the research time, thanks A TON!!:)

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  11. This was great! I appreciate the work! (and me not having to research!)

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  12. I love writing childrens stories, but don't have the money to publish them.
    can anyone tell me how to get them published.

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    1. Your best bet is to submit, submit, submit to as many independent publishers as you can find names for, like from lists similar to this one. Make sure they're currently accepting submissions and always follow their guidelines to the letter. Some will require single spaced, others double-spaced, if it doesn't meet all of their particular specs at a glance then it's immediately discarded before it ever reaches anyone's eyes. And you'll find that every publisher's submission guidelines vary from one to the other. It's a grueling process but you can't get discouraged or lose hope because rejection is pretty much the policy these days. Every rejection takes you one step closer to publication. Good luck and happy Hunting, I'm in your same boat. Oh, and if a publisher asks for any amount of money upfront, politely inform them that you are no longer interested and you would like your information erased from their database. Be firm because they're relentless. Well I hope this was helpful; again, good luck to you!

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  13. thank you for believing in the potential of other writers...i found this information to be a guidelight on my path

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