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.
Established in 1992, Candlewick Press is an independent publisher of children’s books. A part of Walker Books Group, this Sommerville based publishing house has a unique structure of ownership whereby its staff is spread across offices in US, UK, and AUS. Over the last two and a half decades, Candlewick Press has collaborated with more than 150 authors to publish quality works in children’s fiction. The press also specializes in picture books tailored for kids across all ages. Although Candlewick Press isn’t accepting unsolicited manuscript submissions at the moment, they are open to artwork submissions. Check this page for more details about the submission process.
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. Note that they aren’t accepting submissions in fiction, new poetry, and self-help books at the moment. For more details about their preferred genres, check this link.
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. The publishing house is currently interested in young adult novels, board books, picture books, early reader books, and fiction and non-fiction books for middle-graders. While in fiction they are interested in plot-driven tales with engaging characters, in non-fiction they are looking for books focusing on math, science, nature, social studies, arts, and multiculturalism. 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. Small Bear Press is currently looking for submissions in fiction. They aren’t, however, accepting submissions for poetry, chapbooks, or non-fiction. If interested, you can send them a postal query featuring a brief synopsis and 10-30 pages of your book. Read the submission guidelines before sending them a query.
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 fairy-tale. Their books have also been nominated for the Lambda Literary Award. While there aren’t any open calls for submissions at the moment, you can send your eBooks, essays, and micro-fiction titles to the company. Accepted genres include science fiction, erotica, and fantasy. For more details about the submission process, check this page.
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. Note that the publishing house doesn’t accept contemporary and young adult fiction.
Established by Ethan Paquin and Christopher Janke in 2001, Slope Editions is a micro-press focusing on English poetry. Over the last two decades, the company has published an eclectic range of mind-boggling English poems that are distinctive in their tone, style, and narrative structures. Since they are extremely selective about their published works, Slope Editions only publishes one to two poetry books and chapbooks every year. They also have a literary journal that features a diverse range of poems from poets across the globe. Unlike other poetry book publishers, Slope Editions is more focused on the works that defy tradition and every form of categorization. Currently, they are accepting submissions for their “19th Annual Book Prize”. The contest ends on 15 April 2020 and submission guidelines can be found here.
With an extensive history in publishing general trade, scholarly, and reference books- Hendrickson Publishers has established their reputation as one of the leading academic publishers of the US. Based in Peabody, Massachusetts the company specializes in scholarly works focusing on religion. Their primary areas of interest include Biblical theology, Judaism, Hebrew Bible, and the Hebrew language. The company follows an open submission approach whereby you can send a manuscript query addressed to their commissioning editor. That said, they will only accept works sent via literary agents. The submission details can be found here and you can reach out to them on this page.
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. Currently, Page Street Publishing is accepting children’s books, young adult fiction, and non-fiction. 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. You should also check their proposal guidelines before sending a manuscript query.
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.
14. Barefoot Books
A one-stop solution for children’s books, Barefoot Books was founded by Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland for disseminating quality titles in children’s fiction and non-fiction. Over time, this Cambridge based publishing house gained popularity and stood out as one of the leading establishments for children’s books, picture books, and books for early readers. With offices in Canada, US, and Europe, this publishing house has amassed several awards over the last 26 years. Although they are currently closed for book submissions, you can always send a query for illustrations. Check this page for their submission guidelines for artwork. You will also find details about their upcoming open reading periods there.
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. As of now, they are looking for picture books and engaging titles in children’s fiction and non-fiction. 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, Tupelo Press is open to submissions in non-fiction. Check this page for more details about the submission process. If you have written chapbook-length poetry, then you might want to consider their ‘Snowbound Chapbook Award’. The deadline for the contest is on 28 February 2020 and details about the submission process can be found here. Tupelo Press is also accepting poetry submissions for ‘The Berkshire Prize’. The contest ends on April 30, 2020 and you can check this page for the submission guidelines.
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. Note that since the company follows a self-publishing model, you might be required to pay a small fee to avail their services.
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.
The publishing arm of The Wisdom Experience, Wisdom Publications is a Somerville based publisher of religious and academic titles. Unlike many American publishers, Wisdom Publications is strictly interested in works focusing on the Tibetan life and culture. Over the years, they have published works of leading Tibetan personalities like Dalai Lama, Larry Rosenberg, and Thupten Jinpa to name a few. While they are currently open to submissions, your work will only qualify if you are a Tibetan teaching professional or have legitimate Dharma credentials. Check out their submission guidelines here and send your manuscript via post.
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.