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. They are looking for non-fiction, history, occult, self-help, how-to, fiction, erotica, and humour. The publisher isn’t interested in children’s books or romance.Writers can send their unsolicited manuscripts to this Melbourne based publisher after reading the submission guidelines here.
The Syndey based publisher is renowned for its remarkable content and talented voices. Originally started as Jane Curry Publishing in 2002, it was renamed Ventura Press in 2015. The founder and publisher Jane Curry has decades of experience in the publishing industry with stints at traditional houses such as Pan Macmillan. Having such an experienced professional at the helm has ensured that Ventura stands out among its peers. Their range of books includes fiction, non-fiction, and inspired content for readers. At present, they are only looking for authors based in Australia or New Zealand. Memoir, history, parenting, crime fiction, contemporary fiction, health, and family are some of the categories they want to print. You can look up the guidelines and contact details on this page.
Since 1997, Hardie Grant has been committing itself to find the best and brightest in the literary world. Over the years, they have grown and evolved to print some of the most dynamic and original pieces of work in the industry. With several imprints under its name, they have expanded into genres that appeal to a variety of readers across ages. In 2002, Hardie Grant Publishing and Egmont UK came together to create Hardie Grant Egmont. This small but explosive team has published Australia’s bestsellers in the children’s and young adult genres. Authors of picture books, fiction for young adults and children can consider submitting a proposal. Find the guidelines and contact details specified here.
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.
Children who start reading at an early age turn out to be smarter, intuitive, and imaginative. That’s why Windy Hollow publishes and prints bedtime stories and tales for children and kids. Pictures, illustrations, and visuals are added so they can grasp storylines and ideas better and faster. The stories and tales are real, positive, and allow children to be educated about various topics. Parents can read these books out loud or educators can use them as learning tools. They are located in East Kew Victoria. You can submit a manuscript proposal to them if you are based in Australia. The guidelines and contact details are mentioned here.
Bareknuckle Books is a small, independent publisher situated in Brisbane. Their unique, out of the box books and ideas give conventional publishers a run for their money. Publishing only 5 titles a year, they have dedicated themselves to preserving literature. Challenging the status quo and offering new, upcoming authors a chance is their mission. They hold events and readings so like minded authors and writers can get together. One of the true rebels in the Australian publishing industry, they are accepting submissions. The indie publisher is open to all genres and ideas as long as they entertain and engage. Find the guidelines listed on this page for authors and writers.
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. They are not publishing fiction, children’s literature, and poetry. 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. The publisher is open to submissions periodically. The next open reading period is 1-7th July 2019. 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.
17. Boolarong Press
Leslie Padman launched Boolarong Press in 1976 to local Queensland authors a platform. All the big publishers had Melbourne or Sydney as their base. This led to several local and regional authors being deprived of a chance to be noticed. Queensland had its share of stories to be told and thus Boolarong came into existence. Initially they only printed art and history books but soon expanded into various genres. The business has since then been sold to another company but it maintains its tradition and reputation. Their primary market is children and young adults. Use their online form to submit a proposal.
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. The publisher does not accept manuscripts from authors residing outside Australia. Authors of non-fiction, poetry and chapbooks should read their specific guidelines before submitting their manuscript.
19. Glimmer Press
Lynette Washington is a writer, educator, editor, and publisher. She founded Glimmer Press in Adelaide to pursue her dream of being a publisher. Her expertise in seeking literary talent and guiding them has been a boon to this small team of creative geniuses. Writers and authors can expect personalised guidance and attention should they collaborate with Lynette. As a writer, she is very aware of the struggles and fears authors face during writing a book. While Glimmer isn’t open to general submissions currently, they want stories for an adult anthology. The guidelines and details are listed on this page for interested authors.
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.