So, you’re an author based in Pennsylvania who has written a top notch manuscript and now need a publisher?
Don’t despair. There are a number of publishing houses near you.
Below is a list of 15 top book publishing companies in Pennsylvania. Continue reading to find out who they are, the types of books they publish and how you can go about making submissions.
Autumn House Press is a not-for-profit publisher based in Pittsburgh. Dedicated to publishing high quality literature and poetry, two key goals of Autumn House Press are to publish the work of outstanding authors who larger publishers have disregarded and to produce beautiful looking books. This publisher has an open call for full-length books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and submissions will be considered between 1st August 2018 and 1st November 2018. If you’re interested in making a submission, do take a look at some of the books already published by Autumn House Press to help ensure your manuscript would be a good fit for its catalog.
Currently, Autumn House Press is open to submissions for their Rising Writer Contest. The submission period will close on 31st January 2020. The publisher will be open to poetry submissions from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 (Eastern Time). Details about their Poetry contest can be found here. Their Fiction contest and Non-fiction contest will follow the same submission schedule from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 (Eastern Time). The reading period for their CAPP Book Prize will open from 1 January 2020 until 15 February 2020. The submission period for their Chapbook Prize, however, will only open on 1 August 2020 with a final submission date on 31st August 2020. While they are currently closed for open calls, you can check this page for more details about the process.
2. BatCat Press
Based in Midland, Pennsylvania, Deana Baringer started BatCat Press with six high school students in 2009. Since then, this organization has grown to become an independent publishing house that specializes in the publishing of limited edition handmade books. Having published 14 books of prose and poetry and numerous chapbooks and broadsides since it started, BatCat Press publishes the work of both new writers and experienced authors, of all ages. While they accept submissions throughout the year, BatCat Press encourages writers to send their manuscripts between June 1 to 31 August as the submissions received in this period have shorter response times. They are open to submissions in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and any other work featuring illustrations. You can also send in your short stories, novels, and novellas. While BatCat Press is currently open to submissions, the submission period will close on 2 January 2020. For more details about the submission guidelines, check this link.
3. Camino Books
Based in Philadelphia, and founded in 1987, Camino Books is a publisher of high quality nonfiction books for people in the Mid-Atlantic states of the United States. It publishes books on cooking, gardening, travel, history, and biographies among others. Although books of regional interest are a main focus of Camino Books, it does publish books with a national appeal from time to time. Always on the lookout for new authors, Camino Books publishes around 6-10 books annually. If you’ve written a nonfiction book that would have readership at either the local, or regional level in the Mid-Atlantic states, and would like to make a submission, you need to submit a book proposal that contains an explanation of the topic of your book, its length and format, an outline or a table of contents, one or two sample chapters, your bio and credentials, evidence of an understanding of the market for your book, and your plans for promoting and marketing your book. Take a look at this page for full submission details. Note that Camino Books doesn’t usually publish fiction, poetry, or children’s titles.
A micro-press based in Pittsburgh, Hyacinth Girl Press publishes poetry and prose with a feminist angle. Due to limited staff, they only publish six poetry chapbooks every year. The press is primarily interested in manuscripts that deal with radical spiritual experiences, creation or interpretation of myths via a feminist lens, science, and more. While Hyacinth Girl Press is currently closed for both poetry and prose submissions, you can keep checking this page for details about their upcoming open submission period.
White Mane Publishing Co., Inc. is a renowned publisher of Civil War era history books, guides, and novels and has been in the business of publishing for more than 35 years. Also a publisher of nonfiction books and historical fiction from the time of World War 1 and 2, and The American Revolution, White Mane also publishes young adult and middle grade books. This publisher has three imprints. These are White Mane Books, that publishes non-fiction and military history titles, Burd Street Press, that publishes general non-fiction and military history books, and White Mane Kids that publishes historical fiction for kids, young adult and middle grade fiction. Take a look at the page to find out about the types of books these imprints publish and to learn about how you can make a submission either through post, or online. It’s also well worth reading the guidance for submitting materials.
Established in 2004 by Collen Ryor, Black Lawrence Press is an independent press with offices in Hong Kong, New York, and Pittsburgh. While the company primarily publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, they also publish some selected translations from German. Their books are distributed through Small Press Distribution and are widely available across Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other brick-and-mortar bookstores. Black Lawrence Press is currently accepting unsolicited novels through their annual contest- The Big Moose Prize. The reading period for this contest will close on 31st January 2020 and details about the submission guidelines can be found here. You can also check this link for more details about their open reading periods.
7. Judson Press
Based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Judd Press is a Christian publishing house, which has in excess of 300 titles in print that are available in Christian and secular bookstores, online retailers, churches, educational organizations and libraries. This publisher, annually, publishes between 10 – 12 books and is the publishing ministry of the protestant denomination American Baptist Churches USA, which has 1.5 million members across the United States and the island of Puerto Rico. If you’re interested in making a submission to Judson Press, it accepts proposals for books and also for The Secret Place, its devotional magazine. Take a look at the guidance at this page, which comprehensively describes what this publisher looks for when considering an author and his/her book and what to include in your book proposal.
Based in Wilkes-Barre and founded in 2000 by Anthony R. Michalski, Kallisti Publishing is a publisher of business and personal development books and ebooks. This publisher has various outlets for its books, selling them through retailers, distributors, direct to readers, an affiliate network and to organizations in bulk. If you’re a public speaker, coach, trainer, entrepreneur, or a consultant who has written a personal development book that shares your expertise, then Kallisti Publishing could potentially be a publisher for you. If you would like to make a submission to Kallisti Publishing, some of the key items you need to include are the entire manuscript, a cover letter, a bio sheet and market analysis of your book. Take a look here for full submission guidance.
Based in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University Press was established in 1972 by Gerald Costanzo. Formerly known as Three Rivers Press, the company assumed their current name in 1975. Over the last few decades, this press has published the works of award-winning authors like Rita Dove, Stephen Dunn, and Franz Wright. They’re always looking to publish bold and ground-breaking titles. Some of their accepted genres include regional social history exploring the history of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, general history, performing arts, literary analysis, university history, and education. Carnegie Mellon University Press is currently open to non-fiction submissions. Check this page for more details about the process.
Headed up by Peter Schiffer, Schiffer Publishing began in 1974 as an operation to publish Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania by Margaret Schiffer, to bring back into circulation out-of-print historical books about antiques, and to publish a book about Chinese porcelain. Since its humble beginnings, Schiffer Publishing has grown and flourished and its achievements include acquiring Cornell Maritime Press/Tidewater Publishers in 2009. If you’re wondering what types of books Schiffer Publishing takes submissions for, they include works about antiques, architecture, arts and crafts, how to books, children’s books, fine art, military, mind and body, paranormal, regional, Red Feather MBS, and pop culture. You can click on the links at this page to find out specific submission guidelines for the various topics of books this publisher publishes. Please note Schiffer Publishing isn’t currently accepting submissions for memoirs, fiction, autobiographies or poetry.
11. Split Lip Press
An independent publishing house of collections of short fiction, poetry collections, anthologies and novellas, Split Lip Press is headed up by J. Scott Bugher who is also the founder of Split Lip Magazine. Split Lip Press aims to publish high quality books and get them to readerships who appreciate great books. Authors who work with Split Lip Press can expect to not have to wait many years for their books to launch, to receive 20-25% of their sales, have a visually appealing book and get thorough promotion. While they are currently closed for submissions, the reading period for flash fiction, short stories, and full-length manuscripts will open from 1 January 2020. Check this page for more details.
Founded by Lawrence Knorr who is supported by a team of staff, Sunbury Press Books is a traditional publisher based in Mechanicsburg. This publisher publishes trade paperback books, books in hardcover and ebooks across various fiction and nonfiction genres and sells them through booksellers across the world. Books it publishes are written by new and established authors. Receiving in excess of 1000 book proposals a year, Sunbury Press publishes around 50 books annually. Currently, Sunbury Press Books is looking for submissions in history, police procedurals, crime thrillers, mystery, young adult, espionage, adventure, detective, legal, urban, dystopian, horror, fantasy, and young adult fiction. Check this page for more details.
Founded in 1936, University of Pittsburgh Press is a publisher of scholarly works, short fiction, poetry and books about Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh. Topics of its scholarly books include political science, international studies, history books, Latin American studies, Russian studies, Eastern European studies, history and philosophy of science and literary studies. They accept submissions about Eastern European and Russian studies, Central Asian studies, Latin American studies, poetry, environmental studies, Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania regional studies, the history of architecture and the built environment, urban studies, composition and literacy, and the history and philosophy of medicine, science, and technology. If you’re interested in making a submission to University of Pittsburgh Press, take a look at this page, which provides comprehensive information on how to submit a manuscript proposal. While they are currently closed for poetry submissions, you can still check this page for details about upcoming open submission calls. Inquiries need to be submitted to the appropriate acquisitions editor.
14. Whitaker House
Based in New Kensington, Whitaker House is a Christian publishing house that was founded in 1970 and since this time has been dedicated to spreading the gospel to the world through high quality books. The topics of the Christian books this publisher publishes include Christian living, devotions, biographies, autobiographies, fiction, books of relevance to a particular gender, marriage, family, prayer, inspiration and theology. If you’re interested in making a submission to Whitaker House, it’s best to have a literary agent represent you, as this publisher doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Check out their detailed submission guidelines for more information.
15. Quirk Books
Founded by David Borgenicht in 2002, Quirk Books is based in the Old City district of Philadelphia. Publishing 25 books annually, Quirk Books is always on the lookout for manuscripts that are original and fun. The company is currently open to submissions in adult fiction, pop-culture driven non-fiction, mysteries, thrillers and true-crime novels with a feminist angle, horrors, women-centric works, picture books, middle grade fiction and non-fiction, young adult fiction and non-fiction, sci-fi fiction, pop-history, gift books, and more. If you’re considering making a submission to this publisher, you can submit your book idea through emailing a query letter with some sample chapters if you have them to one of the editors who work at Quirk Books. Take a look here for further details.
Do you run a publishing house in Pennsylvania? Please tell us more about your organization in the comments box below!
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.