Massachusetts is a place full of literary history.
It is home to Boston which boasts of many prominent universities.
From 2010, Boston has held ‘One City One Story’, an event where the city prints and distributes a short story to the entire city, promoting literature and reading.
Emerging talent has been drawn to Massachusetts over the years and it has helped shape the culture. Be it fiction, non-fiction, poetry or spoken word, there is a genre for every writer and author in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts also promotes literary talent inclination with organizations like Bookbuilders of Boston a non-profit organization that involves publishing professionals to share their knowledge with others, find new talent and provide scholarships to students.
The next step after finishing or even just having started your manuscript is to look for a publisher. Massachusetts has a varied group of publishers seeking to publish the next bestseller. Traditional and self-publishing houses work in harmony to provide writers with all the tools and guidance required to finally get their work published.
If you feel confused and want to know which publisher to approach, we have a handy list of 22 top book publishing companies in Massachusetts for you.
Massachusetts or specifically Boston’s publishing history starts with Little, Brown and Company founded in 1837 by Charles Little and James Brown. Hachette Book Group acquired Little, Brown and Company in 2006 but it maintains an office in Boston. The author list at Little, Brown and Company right from its early days reads like a who’s who of the literary world with greats like J.D. Salinger, Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Kate Atkinson and James Patterson. They are interested in fiction, poetry, thriller, crime, romance, mystery, politics, history and memoirs. They do not accept unsolicited submissions so you can send your manuscripts through a literary agent.
2. Beacon Press
An independent publisher with a mission, Beacon Press was launched in 1854 in Boston to uphold and discuss fundamental issues. In its 150 years of business, they have published books on history, politics, gender studies, family, race and religion. With its focus on serious non-fiction, Beacon Press has won awards like National Book Awards, Trade Publisher of the Year and New England Publisher of the Year. They are currently accepting only email queries regarding submissions in non-fiction to this address.
Started in 2006, By Light Unseen Media has a specific genre that it prints and promotes which is vampire folklore. Fiction or non-fiction authors that can utilize the vampire as a protagonist or a motif through their stories can approach this house with their manuscripts. As a small press based in Winchendon, they treat their authors as a member of their team and push their books strongly to benefit both the publisher and the writer. Read their extensive submission guidelines for fiction and non-fiction before submitting a manuscript query.
Located in Watertown, Charlesbridge is a children’s publisher. Using books as tools to aid in learning and fun, Charlesbridge publishes children’s books, illustrated storybooks and young adult novels. The topics they have published so far span history, travel, literature, science, culture, nature, languages, stories and health. Interested writers can read the submission guidelines and find contact details on this page.
Established in 2000 by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link, Small Beer Press is a small press publishing print and digital books. Based out of Easthampton, the genres they have so far published include fiction and anthologies. First time writers can submit their ideas as they are always on the lookout for new talent. They also seek female writers and writers of color. Read the submission guidelines carefully before submitting your manuscript.
This unique publishing house was established in 1992 by Cecilia Tan in Cambridge. Specializing in science fiction erotica, Circlet has published women centric science fiction erotica, which has managed to combine science fiction and fantasy helping create a new genre altogether. The genre may seem limited but it covers various themes like paranormal, steam punk, urban, fantasy and fairytale. Their books have also been nominated for the Lambda Literary Award. They are currently seeking submissions and you can find the guidelines here.
Launched in 2001, Fair Winds Press is a publisher of non-fiction. Topics of its books include health, nutrition, skincare, food, beauty, medicine, personal care, food and fitness. It is currently an imprint of the Quarto Publishing Group. You can look up submission guidelines and contact details on this page.
From 1972, Hackett has operated out of Indianapolis and Cambridge, publishing high quality books in arts and sciences. It acquired an imprint called Focus Publishing in 2014 which helped expand its repertoire. Genres like history, arts, culture, writing, literature, languages, politics, religion, media and gender studies have been published by Hackett over the years. You can read the book proposal guidelines on this page and mail the same to this address.
Founded in 1987 in Northampton, Interlink Publishing is an independent publishing house. Publishing almost 50 titles annually, Interlink has five imprints that cover various topics. Children’s books, guides, travel, history, arts, fiction, gender studies, religion, cooking and academia are some of the themes they prefer. They recommend reading their books before submitting a proposal to understand if your manuscript fits their requirements. You can find more guidelines and information on this page.
10. Paris Press
Concentrating on literature written by women, Paris Press is a nonprofit organization based in Ashfield. Poetry, short stories, prose, anthologies, fiction and non-fiction written by women and about women are encouraged and published by Paris Press. They also hold conferences, seminars, workshops and readings with their authors where they discuss real issues affecting women globally. They are currently seeking manuscripts for creative non-fiction, short stories and poetry via Submittable.
Started in 2002, Page Street Publishing believes in high quality content that is created by turning expert advice and tips into guides and how-to books. Food, crafts, arts, decor, health, science and nature are a few of the topics they print books about. They also are interested in young adult fiction. Located in Salem, this publishing house also prints picture books. Submission guidelines and details can be found on this page.
Launched in 1983 in Woods Hole by Donald Jones and Arthur Bartlett, Jones & Bartlett Learning is a publisher specializing in educational content. Now located in Burlington, it helps provide students and education professionals with relevant, engaging methods and technology in the form of guides and books. Field experts and teachers can use their experience and collaborate with Jones & Bartlett to create print and digital books. Primarily interested in non-fiction educational material, they advise contacting an appropriate acquiring editor if you’re interested in submitting a manuscript. Contact details for subject specific editors are provided here.
Academic Studies Press as its name suggests prints and publishes scholarly works in art, culture, media, gender studies, film, history, philosophy and religion. Based in Brighton, they have also previously printed translations and discourses that shape and discuss social, political and regional narrative. Writers interested in writing academic content or serious non-fiction can consider submitting their proposal to Academic Studies Press. They provide editing, sales, marketing and distribution services too. You can find the submission guidelines on this page.
From 2003, Silver Leaf Books has been in the publishing business in Massachusetts. It is a small press interested in genres like fiction, science, action, fantasy fiction, crime, murder mystery and thriller. They offer traditional and self-publishing services so you can choose what suits you best. Situated in Holliston, writers of fiction, short stories and thriller genre can find submission details here.
Deborah Shine decided to start Star Bright Books in 1994 with the aim of making meaningful, interesting content available for children. Nearly 20 years later, they have published books and artwork that has won awards and become a favorite with educators, parents and kids of all ages. Writers of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and novels can approach Star Bright with their ideas. This Cambridge headquartered company publishes books in 24 languages. Read submission guidelines and address details over here and keep in mind that they do not accept electronic submissions.
16. Tupelo Press
A non-profit, literary and independent press, Tupelo Press has championed literature, writing and books since its founding in 2001. New writers and amateur authors should consider Tupelo Press because they have interesting contests and challenges that benefit writers by helping them polish their writing skills. Currently they are running ‘The 30/30 Project’ which is a poetry marathon where you need to write 30 poems in 30 days. They are very selective about books they publish so read the submission guidelines for fiction, short stories, novels and non-fiction here. You can submit your manuscript online or mail it to their office in North Adams.
Small Batch Books is a self-publishing boutique company in Amherst. Editing, marketing, distribution, re-writing, designing and proofreading are some of the services they provide. Memoirs and biographies are genres they specialize in. They spend time with you researching and creating a rough draft of the book. You can email them here and discuss your ideas so they can give you a free estimate.
18. Branden Books
A publisher from 1909, Branden Books has years of experience printing award-winning and best-selling books. Their past titles include books in genres of fiction, art, thriller, mystery, romance, non-fiction, children, music and personal care. They only accept hard copy submissions to their Wellesley office. You can find the address and guidelines here.
Started by John and Martha Storey in 1983, Storey Publishing believes in involving the author throughout the creative process. While they take time editing, proofreading, marketing and printing, it gives every author and book personalized attention. Storey has printed books by experts in various fields like art, food, nature, eco-friendly living, home, child care and animals. They only publish non-fiction. You can learn more about submission guidelines and contact details of this North Adams based publisher here.
Established in 1963, University of Massachusetts Press has nearly 1000 titles in print. They are the publishing arm of the University of Massachusetts and have offices at Boston and Amherst. Interested in non-fiction, they accept fiction and poetry submissions through their annual contests. You need to submit a proposal and they invite you to send a complete manuscript after going through the proposal. Read proposal guidelines and details here.
21. Weiser Books
In 1926, Donald Weiser started Weiser Books and now it is Red Wheel/Weiser Books which has three imprints Weiser Books, Conari Press and Disinformation Books. Writers of non-fiction, books about inspiration, motivation, meditation, health, life and spirituality can submit their manuscript ideas to Weiser Books in Newburyport. They have a self-publishing option and imprint called Turning Stone which prints memoirs, biographies and personal life stories. You can find submission guidelines for Turning Stone here. Learn more about submission details for Weiser, Conari and Disinformation on this page.
22. American Press
American Press in Boston prints educational and college level material in almost all subjects and encourages new writers to submit their ideas to them in any discipline. The list of subjects they have printed books about is vast and includes topics like media, sociology, film, fiction, business, science, humanities, finance, psychology, travel and literature. They promise high royalty rates to authors and have a good distribution system in place. You can email your book idea or query here.
That’s our extensive list of 22 top book publishing companies in Massachusetts. The list has a mix of small, big and independent book publishers that you can choose from. Every publisher has a different approach and method and it is imperative that you believe in that method.
You also need to keep in mind that reviewing manuscripts takes time hence the key is to be patient. Before submitting to any particular publisher, try going through their previously published titles to get an idea about the work they are looking for. With resources like reading groups, writing rooms and clubs, writers groups and workshops, writers can hone their skills and keep working on their manuscript.
You can use the resources Massachusetts offers and this list to find the perfect publisher for your book.
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.