An unpublished book is a story of unrealized dreams.
Every writer and author worth their weight wants to be published and noticed.
The road to that success is fraught with many obstacles which begin with getting an idea for a book or a novel and ends with finding the perfect publisher for your book.
Famous writers like J.K. Rowling often talk about the rejections they faced and how that shaped their journey. Similarly, aspiring writers should take hope from those stories and continue to persist in their search for the right publisher.
Ohio is a state ripe with opportunities and resources for writers and one should take advantage of those to figure a map to professional success. It never hurts to have more information before you begin applying or searching for publishers, so we are happy to help with you that.
Use this list of 20 top book publishing companies in Ohio to find your literary partner in this momentous journey.
A publisher proud to promote and publish local heritage, culture, history, art, food and sports, Gray & Company, Publishers is based in Cleveland. Publishing only local non-fiction, it is a perfect publisher if you have a story based in Cleveland or Ohio. The submission guidelines can be found here and you can email a book proposal to this address.
Established in 1965, Kent State University Press publishes quality books in fields of history, culture, sports, translations and literature. The Kent based press publishes fiction only through their Literature and Medicine Series and poetry through the Wick Poetry Prize and Wick chapbook competitions. Authors of non-fiction can read submission guidelines and contact details here.
Located in Wilmington, Orange Frazer Press offers both traditional and custom book publishing services. Having been in the business for 30 years, they have ample publishing experience to benefit authors and new writers. For authors wanting to go through the traditional route, they publish non-fiction, local stories and biographies about local personalities. You can find detailed submission information here. Custom publishing is for companies, families and organizations looking to create a personal and unique book. Editing, designing, marketing and distribution are some of the services they offer. The pricing varies depending on what kind of book one requires.
A self-publisher situated in Springboro, Braughler Books is a one-stop shop for writers wanting to take control of the publishing process. From editing to proofreading to creating a marketing plan, Braughler Books makes it easy for first time authors and puts you in charge of all creative decisions. Taking things a step ahead, they can also help in creating an author’s website which helps draw readers from all over the world and gives you a permanent, visible profile on the internet. Contact them via email to request quotes for services.
A name that goes back a 100 years and is synonymous with publishing success, McGraw-Hill Education is one of the country’s top publishers for educational and teaching materials. Founded in 1917 by James H. McGraw and John A. Hill, they are based in Columbus. Writers interested in creating educational content and technology can read their guidelines here before submitting a proposal. Once you have read the guidelines, you can fill and submit this form for consideration. If you wish to become an author with them, read the guidelines here. After reading the guidelines, you can find the appropriate editor and contact details on this page.
Brad Pauqette launched Columbus Press in 2012 as an independent publisher of fiction. They believe in finding first time writers or new writers and giving new literary talent a platform to reach readers and audiences globally. Columbus Press works in tandem with authors to create the book and involves the author in the marketing and promotional aspects as well. Columbus based Press is interested in publishing fiction, novels, mystery, young adult, short stories, memoirs and narrative non-fiction. They do not publish children’s books. Submissions guidelines are found here and you can contact them via email.
The publishing branch of the Ohio State University since 1957, The Ohio State University Press has continued to print groundbreaking works in art, media, history, culture, fiction, poetry, race and politics. Interested writers can consider sending their manuscript if it meets the requirements mentioned here. Writers of creative fiction and poetry can send their proposal to Mad Creek, the literary imprint while authors of regional history and nature can contact Trillium, the regional imprint. The press is situated in Columbus and can also publish journals for you, details of which are provided on this page.
Two Dollar Radio calls itself an indie publisher looking to push creative and literary boundaries. Always on the lookout for fresh voices with unique perspectives, they also operate a production house and bar in Columbus out of their offices. Started in 2005 by Eric Obenauf and Eliza Wood-Obenauf, their books have made it to best-seller lists of The Oprah Magazine, Slate and Salon. They have also had their book become a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. True to their mission, the genres they want are vast and varied like humor, mystery, crime, thriller, romance, LGBT, drama, creative non-fiction, satire, western and horror. As they are an indie publisher, the response time is quite long and they state so on the website. Other submission details can be found here. You can fill this form to submit a manuscript.
This self-publisher in Cincinnati understands the frustration of submitting your manuscripts to publishers and waiting months for them to reply or even consider your proposal. The ease and comfort of making decisions for your book and committing to the process fully is what they provide should you choose to publish with them. They promise to take you from edit to e-book in no time. Cincinnati Book Publishing is a subsidized press so authors pay upfront for services required. Submission guidelines and contact details are mentioned here.
The largest scholarly press in Ohio, Ohio University Press is the publishing arm of Ohio University. Founded in 1947, it publishes nearly fifty titles a year. Ohio University Press is also responsible for the acquisition, distribution and production of titles by Swallow Press which has acclaimed authors like Anais Nin and Allen Tate on its roster. The subjects and genres they are interested in include journals, creative nonfiction, art, media, US history, race, religion, political science, television, film, gender studies, literature, fiction, poetry, crime, law, nature, environment and music. The previous titles by Ohio University Press have received national and international recognition in New York Times, Washington Sun, Atlantic Monthly and The Economist. Submit a proposal by following the guidelines mentioned here.
Broken Icon Comics is an independent comic book publisher searching for edge and newness. Created in 2009 in Marietta, they have created a niche for themselves by publishing gripping stories and unique illustrations. The genres they prefer range from horror to sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, crime and thriller. Read their submissions guidelines and contact details on this page.
Bookmasters is a partner of the prestigious Baker & Taylor Publisher Services. Owned by Follett Corporation, Bookmasters is a full service publisher for the new age author, company and organization. Whether you require designing, editorial services, distribution or warehousing, Bookmasters have you covered. Situated in Ashland, they have 40 years of publishing and manufacturing experience and provide global printing solutions to authors in US. You can request a quote and specify what services you may require.
Jim Weaver established Weaver Book Company in 2013 as an outlet to publish stories about Christian faith and teachings. They have previously published engaging commentaries, studies and workbooks about the faith and the community. This Wooster based publisher is seeking books about faith, biblical studies, resources for spiritual advice and guidance, material to help pastors and theological analysis. Writers can find proposal guidelines here and send their proposal to this email address.
14. Gatekeeper Press
A full-service publisher that lets you retain 100% of your sales and rights is a dream come true for most authors. Started by Robert Price, the chairman of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Gatekeeper Press is about the writer taking on the role of the publisher and choosing what works best for the book. They have mentioned costs for each service like printing, distribution, e-book and print edition on their website. Writers can also get a free 30 minute consultation at their office in Columbus which can help authors chalk out a plan for their book.
15. Kaeden Books
Launched in 1986 to use books as a teaching tool for children and turn them into lifelong readers, Kaeden Books is situated near Rocky River. Inspiring morals, ethics, character and embedding knowledge from early childhood with the help of books, Kaeden focuses on educational fiction and nonfiction material. They have a lot of exclusive authors as it forges deeper relationships and can create better content in the long term. Their books are aimed at pre-kindergarten through second grade and work as confidence boosting, emotional intelligence and capability building tools. The genres they have previously published include fiction, non-fiction, arts, math and science. Writers and illustrators can read the guidelines and submit their proposals.
A boutique publishing house in Dublin, Coventry House Publishing wants to take the stress of publishing, packaging and designing and let the author just focus on writing and creating. Publishing adult fiction, economics, sports, media, art and culture, they accept submissions from authors and literary agents. If you want a personal touch and customized service, Coventry House is a good place to start. Read their submissions guidelines here and email your manuscript to this address. They also provide a sample publishing agreement that can be of use for first time writers.
Oberlin College Press is a nonprofit literary press situated in Oberlin College. Finding emerging literary voices in poetry, anthologies and translations, they have various series which are published at particular periods during the year. FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics is published twice annually and was started in 1969. FIELD accepts only poetry currently while their translation series are open year-round. Learn more about submission guidelines and contact details on this page.
18. Bottom Dog Press
This small not-for-profit, independent literary press located in Huron was formed in 1984. Having published 198 books in 30 years, they have perfected the art of publishing genres like local history, memoirs, peace, culture, values and family. They have four series of books concentrating on four different themes so writers should go through their catalog before submitting a query. As it is a small, not-for-profit publishing house, they charge a fee for reviewing your manuscript and publish only 6-8 books a year. They do not publish poems or essays. Read the submission guidelines here and send your query to this address.
Another Columbus based publishing house, Biblio Publishing was started to provide modern publishing of print and e-books. It is an environmentally conscious publisher offering tailored and customized services to authors. They offer various packages and services as listed on their website. Writers can fill this form to submit their manuscript for review.
The publishing arm of the University of Akron, this press has constantly worked to publish and print works of research, culture and interdisciplinary studies. A local publisher with a global view, the genres University of Akron Press has worked on include local history, world history, culture, food, literature, technology, law, political science and sports. Writers can read their submission guidelines carefully before sending a query or proposal.
That’s our list of 20 top book publishing companies in Ohio. We have tried to curate a healthy mix of traditional, independent and self-publishers who print almost every genre possible so that new, aspiring writers can find their match.
Writers should also spend some time reading their websites, news sections and history to learn whom they might be working with in the future. If the personal and professional goals of your publisher don’t align with yours, then it may be difficult to creatively collaborate with each other.
It is crucial that you make yourself aware of the publisher’s catalog before sending a query or proposal to avoid wasting time. All publishers specify the time required for them to respond to your query so do not message them repeatedly demanding an answer.
It is frustrating and nerve wracking waiting for your proposal to be accepted but you have to be professional and polite. As a first time writer, you will need to test the waters before you find the right publisher but this list should be an appropriate starting point.
Are you a book publisher in Ohio? Please introduce your company in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.