For a first time writer, it can be nerve wracking wondering how to get published. Famous publishing companies seem unreachable and there is always the risk of rejection.
If you are a struggling writer, then finding a literary agent to represent you can be difficult.
The good news is that in the Australian book industry, there are book publishers who are ready to read manuscripts from first time writers without an agent, or the need for an introduction through another means.
If you are a student, housewife, cook, professional or any dreamer with the dream of becoming a published author, we are here to help you. We have compiled a list of 21 top Australian publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts from writers.
Established in 1914 in UK initially, the Australian arm of Allen & Unwin was formed in 1976 by Patrick Gallagher. Though they only started printing fiction in 1981, they have won ‘Publisher of the Year’ thirteen times. In July 1990, they became fully independent and now own the Allen & Unwin imprint globally. With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, they publish 250 titles annually. Allen & Unwin also distribute Bloomsbury books in Australia and New Zealand. Writers of fiction, commercial fiction, children’s books, young adult fiction and non-fiction can consider submitting their manuscripts to them. They have different guidelines for different genres so you can read more on this page.
A book division of Text Media, Text Publishing was launched in 1990. It has won the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Small Publisher of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Located in Melbourne, this small, independent publisher prints a varied range of fiction and non-fiction. As a first time writer, you should consider them as they are welcoming of new genres and the opportunity to explore new territories. Another interesting aspect is that a lot of their books are designed with care, which means if you want beautiful layouts and stunning covers then you should work with Text. Text hosts an Annual Text Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing that closes 2nd February 2018. You can find more details on this page. Writers of fiction, children’s books, young adult and non-fiction can read the submission guidelines here.
A traditional publisher, Tenth Street Press prints anything but traditional books. Edgy, relevant and funny style of writing is something they prefer. Non-fiction, erotica, humor, psychology and history are some genres they publish. All their books are converted into digital formats and available in all major online stores. Writers can send their unsolicited manuscripts to this Melbourne based publisher after reading the submission guidelines here.
A small press situated in Margaret River and Perth, Margaret River Press works closely with its writers and believes in encouraging them through writing, development, editing, marketing and promotion. The advantage of working with a boutique press is the writer gets attention and support in the creative process, especially if it’s their first time publishing a book. They do not publish romance, graphic novels or science fiction. Non-fiction, crime fiction and short story collections can be submitted to them. Writers can find detailed submission instructions here.
Henry Rosenbloom started Scribe in 1976 to print non-fiction and create high quality books that can engage and involve readers on a universal basis. The award winning publisher has offices in London and New York too. They publish 65 titles in Australia yearly, 60 in UK and around 30 in US. While they accept unsolicited manuscripts, they have windows for submissions which are 1st January-31st March and 1st July-3oth September. Writers not represented by agents need to be previously published in journals or magazines. Non-fiction about important topics and serious fiction are topics they publish. You can find guidelines and information about the Victoria based company on this page.
An independent non-fiction publisher located in Newport, Big Sky Publishing chooses to print corporate products also. The range of topics they print is varied and extensive, including genres such as health, lifestyle, entertainment, guides, humor, business, history, self-help and career. Writers can consider sending their manuscripts of non-fiction, biography and children’s books after reading the instructions here.
IP is a Queensland based publisher who chooses to be exclusive and prints only 20 titles in a year. They are one of the new age publishers who pay royalties in the traditional method, but they also offer self-publishing opportunities to authors. They have four imprints –Interactive Press, Glass House Books, IP Kidz and Digital Publishing Centre. As first time writers, it is fair you get to try various options so you can read all the services they offer on this page.
David Vernon launched Stringybark Stories in 2010 in Canberra because he noticed a lack of short stories and anthologies by Australian writers in the market. Deciding to go against the traditional route of waiting for manuscripts, Stringybark Stories hosts an Annual Stringybark Open-Themed Short Story Award which is open till 18th March 2018. Don’t worry; they have different themed competitions through the year which means struggling writers have a chance at getting published annually. Read more about the other competitions here.
To think global, act local. For writers based in Western Australia, it would create a tight, supportive and nuanced partnership if the publisher is also from the same region. Writers who want to work with local publishers will do best to approach Fremantle Press, a not-for-profit publishing company founded in 1976. Situated in North Fremantle, they prefer writers residing in West Australia or if the writer is non-resident, then for the story to have a connection to West Australia. The genres they are interested in include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, illustrated books and children’s books. Find submission guidelines for all genres over here.
10. Pantera Press
Alison Green started Pantera Press in 2008 with the intent to print, produce and promote Australian talent globally. They have been shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry’s Small Publisher of the Year Award twice and Australian Book Industry’s Innovation Award as well. Pantera has an imprint called Lost the Plot for the new generation of readers, providing them with exciting and fresh content from the millennial perspective. Read submission guidelines on this page. The Neutral Bay located company accepts only fiction and non-fiction books.
Formed in 1995 in Artarmon, Giramondo actively seeks works of literature that is edgy, unconventional and niche. They print a book length literary journal called HEAT which showcases translated works and creative writing. In 2002, they started publishing literary works by authors in Giramondo book imprint. A lot of their titles have won Australian prizes. Writers can submit fiction, non-fiction and poetry manuscripts after reading the submission details here.
12. Aurora House
Linda Lycett established Aurora House to use publishing as a tool to create better books and spread the passion of reading across the world. Based in Bowral, they offer traditional publishing and self-publishing, digital books and POD (print-on-demand), editing, design and distribution. They accept a wide range of genres in fiction and non-fiction. You can find the full list of genres and submission guidelines on this page.
Established in 1922, Melbourne University Publishing publishes some of the country’s crucial and best non-fiction writing. They have various imprints like Miegunyah Press which publishes illustrated books of photography and history, MUP Academic for peer reviewed academic articles and literary journal Meanjin. Located in Melbourne, this is Australia’s original university press. You need to peruse through their imprints before you submit your manuscript for consideration along with submission guidelines which you can find here.
14. Echo Publishing
Formed upon the foundation provided by its sister company Five Mile, a children’s book publisher, Echo expanded in 2015 to include new genres such as crime fiction. Echo is a part of Bonnier Publishing Australia and is situated in Richmond, Victoria. They want to enrich local culture by using stories about Australia, non-fiction, photography and crime fiction. Interested writers can send their manuscript after reading the guidelines here.
15. Federation Press
A publisher with a specific focus on only non-fiction, mainly law and related fields, Federation Press was launched in 1987 by Diane Young, Katherine Fitzhenry and Christopher Holt. Choosing to print legal, academic and serious non-fiction, Federation Press is a small publisher in Annandale. They print 40-50 books annually and are an environmentally conscious publisher using 100% post-consumer-waste-paper. Writers can send their manuscripts after carefully reading the submission guidelines on this page.
16. Black Inc.
An award winning non-fiction publisher, Black Inc. was formed in 2000 in Carlton. A champion of new ideas and writers, they primarily print non-fiction, poetry and fiction. They have four imprints namely Nero, La Trobe University Press, Australian Foreign Affairs and the Quarterly Essay journal. They have been awarded Australian Small Publisher of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2015 because of their interesting mix of work in genres such as history, politics, social issues and biography. They are part of the Schwartz Media Group. Only Australian writers are eligible to send manuscripts. Aspiring authors can find submission guidelines here.
Launched in 1991, Papyrus is a publisher with the mission to print and promote Australian authors of various cultural backgrounds. Some of their authors have been Arabic, Australian, Chinese, Czech and German. While they accept unsolicited submissions of fiction and non-fiction only once a year, the closing date is 31st March 2018. Three times a year they accept short stories, articles and poetry for their journal Australian Multi-Cultural Book Review which was formed in 1993. Situated in Smythsedale, you can read submission guidelines here.
An independent publisher based in Port Adelaide, Ginninderra Press was started originally in Ginninderra in 1996. They moved shop in 2008 and continue to print emerging authors who write on subjects that do not conform to the traditional and conventional. Stephen Matthews, the founder of the Press has received a Centenary Medal in 2003 for his contribution to the writing community. Authors of non-fiction, poetry and chapbooks should read their specific guidelines before submitting their manuscript.
19. UWA Publishing
Launched in 1935, University of Western Australia (UWA) Publishing prints quality books of non-fiction, poetry, fiction and art. Having over 800 books in print, they also have two imprints which are UWAP Scholarly and UWAP Poetry. UWA in Perth has a Custom full-service division that offers editing, marketing and distribution. Before submitting a manuscript, you need to pitch a proposal. Read the submission guidelines and details here.
20. Harlequin Books
A voracious reader will have no trouble recognizing the name of one of the most famous publishers for women in the world. Harlequin has 1200 authors worldwide and is constantly looking for the fresh new voice in the world of romance, fantasy, young adult, fiction and non-fiction. First-time writers can have the benefit of having a universally recognized company, with nearly 4 books per second sold and 130 million books sold worldwide annually. Harlequin Enterprises Australia has 8 imprints- Harlequin MIRA, HQ Fiction, HQ Non Fiction, Love Inspired, Kirmani Press, Escape Publishing, Mills & Boon and HQ Young Adult. The traditional publisher in Sydney is currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts for two of their imprints. You can find information and details on this page.
Another publishing giant, Pan Macmillan Australia was established in Australia in 1904. Macmillan is the hardback and trade paperback imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Pan is the paperback imprint, while their other imprints are Picador Australia, Plum, Momentum and the Macquarie Dictionary. The famous publisher with offices in Sydney and Melbourne prints a list of topics like fiction, non-fiction, crime, children’s books, romance, thriller and romance. They only accept unsolicited submissions on the first Monday of every month called the Manuscript Monday. Read what they are looking for in manuscripts here.
That’s our list of 21 top book publishers in Australia accepting unsolicited manuscripts. As a writer sending your manuscript, it is imperative you do your research and know what the publisher accepts. It is easy to get rejected due to a technical mistake like not knowing the word limit or genre they prefer. Be prepared, do your homework and send your manuscript to the publisher that feels the best for you and your book.
21 Top Australian Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts is an article from Writing Tips Oasis.
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Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.