The biggest day for every writer can be when they realize their dream of becoming a published author is coming true. But before you taste the sweet fruit of victory, there are hurdles to be crossed.
Writing a book sounds poetic and easy but it means telling a story that has previously never been told in a way that is fresh and engaging.
First time writers need all the help they can get with narrating their story and this is where we reach out to a publisher. A publisher can be your mentor, friend and harshest critic. For writers in Texas, the choice is unlimited and that can be daunting.
We want to help streamline the process and that’s why we have chosen the 21 top book publishing houses in Texas. Fiction, non-fiction writers can take their pick from traditional, modern and self-publishing companies.
A publisher with two decades of experience, Brown Books is based in Dallas. It is a full service publisher that offers writers everything from editing to planning to ghostwriting, design and layout, marketing, distribution and digital services. Writers feel like they have complete control like they do with self-publishing except Brown Books is a traditional, independent publisher. If you are a first time writer of self-help, motivation, business, children’s books and Christian books, then you should consider Brown Books because they collaborate with a writer instead of taking over the creative process. Note that the company only publishes some selected works of fiction and you’ll need to contact them via telephone before sending a copy of your manuscript. You can find the detailed submission guidelines on this page.
Bobby and Lee Byrd founded Cinco Puntos Press in 1985 in El Paso. As writers themselves, they understand what new writers have to go through while publishing their book and involve the writer in the publishing aspect. While the company accepts diverse genres, they are especially interested in works focused on the US/Mexico Border Region, the Southwestern Region, and Mexico. The company isn’t open looking for children’s picture books, unfinished titles, book ideas, manuscripts that are entirely written in Spanish, and poetry manuscripts. They have an interesting take on manuscript submissions though. You must call their acquisition editor before submitting a manuscript and pitch your idea. If she likes the idea, you can send the first 10 pages of your work. Find contact details and complete submission guidelines here.
Henery Press Publishing chooses to publish mainly mysteries. Kendel Lynn and Art Molinares are the brains behind Henery Press. With years of publishing and media experience, they have managed to have many books hit the USA Today bestseller list. As mentioned previously, they mainly print mysteries (with a particular focus on cozies), so keep that in mind before submitting your manuscript. Note that Henery Press Publishing isn’t open to unsolicited submissions. They will only consider your work when it is represented by an agent or referred by an existing author of the press. Find more details and the complete submission guidelines on this page.
4. Eakin Press
Edwin M. Eakin established Eakin Press in 1979 in Burnet as a trade-book publisher. By 1984, they started printing titles of fiction, non-fiction and folklore with nearly 250 books in print. The firm moved to southwest Austin in 1983. In April 2013, Eakin Press became an imprint of the Wild Horse Media Group, the largest publisher of Texan history and culture in the world. Interested writers can submit their queries here. Note that the company isn’t accepting fiction and children’s books at the moment.
This Texan publisher uses illustrators, authors and books to promote local history, culture and discuss community issues. Bright Sky Publishing, formerly Bright Sky Press is located in Houston and publishes nearly 20 books a year. They actively seek authors who have a clear creative, business and marketing plan in mind when they submit their manuscript to Bright Sky Press. They are a non-profit publisher offering only publishing services in all formats. They have a sister company Rule 2 Books which can help you with designing and editing. The company is currently accepting manuscripts across all genres of fiction and non-fiction. They aren’t, however, considering adult fiction at the moment. Submission guidelines can be found on this page.
An independent self-publishing firm, Greenleaf Book Group has a pretty impressive record with 35 titles making it to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists including books like Fearless Leadership, The Aging Myth and Rescue America. Started in 1997, this publisher is present at every aspect of the journey from editing, proofreading, design, layout to printing, marketing and distribution. In this changing world of publishing, you need to have a partner who is aware and adapting to the technology. First time writers can fill this submission form to know more details. Note that the Greenleaf Book Group is a self-publishing company and you may need to pay a small fee depending on the services you choose to avail.
Joel McIntosh launched Prufrock Press in 1989 when he saw a gaping need for educational materials for gifted students. Being a teacher, he recognized the demand for an institution that helps teachers across the nation by providing them with an appropriate curriculum and engaging and effective material for gifted students. His passion and dedication to the cause worked and now Prufrock Press is the country’s leading publishers of titles for gifted, advanced and special needs students. Situated in Waco, they do not publish fiction, poetry and memoirs. They will print non-fiction books about education for parents, family and teachers. Currently, they are looking for supplementary classroom materials, books on professional development, resources for assisting children with special needs, primary and supplementary college textbooks, and nonfiction trade books for parents, teachers, and children. Prufrock doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, and you need to send them a book prospectus before sending a copy of your manuscript. The specific requirements for manuscripts and complete contact information can be found here.
Formed in 1984, Antarctic Press is a comic book publisher. Working out of San Antonio, they have produced 1500 titles with almost 5 million copies sold. Witty, satirical, unique and high quality comics are their trademarks. They have different and specific guidelines for illustrators and authors so keep that in mind before submitting. If you can only write, they suggest you team up with an inker or artist. It is profitable if you can ink, illustrate and draw as well; otherwise the royalty gets divided between the team. Read the complete submission guidelines on this page.
Baylor University Press was established in 1897 to publish textbooks and academic titles for the Baylor University. They publish around forty academic titles every year. Additionally, they also publish technical resources for teachers, researchers and students. You can send your scholarly manuscripts with a 250-word book summary and a 25-word book review to the editorial team on this page. You can also refer to this page for more details about the submission process.
The publishing arm of Texas A&M University was established in 1974 to create, choose and market high quality, original and informative research and scholarly works of publication. Being part of a University, the Press is led by an Advisory Committee and all manuscripts require the approval of the Committee. The process is extensive and rigorous which means that they end up publishing only 60 titles annually. Some of the fields that will be picked by the Press are women’s history, politics, religion, environment, nature, Texan culture and regional arts, health, military and Western studies. Aspiring authors can submit a proposal after reading the instructions here.
Max Booth III and Lori Michelle started Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (PMMP) in 2012 in San Antonio. It is a small press printing only horror, crime and science fiction. It also prints a quarterly horror magazine called Dark Moon Digest and a newsletter publishing original flash fiction once a month. This publisher is looking for stories from a new perspective, and works by LGBTQ authors, women, and people of color and non-Western cultures. They have specific instructions about what stories to avoid as well. You can find submission guidelines here.
Arte Publico Press was established by Doctor Nicholas Kanellos in 1979. This Houston based press was primarily formed to disseminate quality titles about Hispanic arts, culture, and literary movements. In 1992, the company launched the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program to make Hispanic literature more accessible to the mainstream audience. Their program turned out to be staggeringly successful thanks to the grants they received from Mellon Foundation and Kellogg’s Foundation. Currently they publish around 25 books every year. You can find details about the submission process on this page.
A unique publisher with an equally unique name, Hierophant Publishing is based in San Antonio. Hierophant is the word used for a Greek priest or priestess who interpreted mysteries. True to their name, they chose to publish books about spirit, faith, mind and body. Writers of spiritual fiction and non-fiction can read the submission details on this page. Note that Hierophant Publishing is not a traditional publisher and you may have to pay a small fee to get your work published.
The newest university press in Texas, University of North Texas Press was started in 1987. The first title was printed in 1989 and it already has 400 titles in print with nearly 25 titles being printed annually. Like all Universities, their aim is to print and produce scholarly works in academic genres. But they also have poetry prize and fiction competitions called the Vassar Miller and Katherine Anne Porter Prize. Genres they want to print include Texas history and culture, military history, western history, criminal justice, folklores, multicultural topics, music, natural and environmental history, culinary history, and women’s studies . Please read the submission guidelines carefully before sending your proposal.
Black Rose Writing is an independent publisher based in Castroville, Texas. Established in 2006, this company publishes diverse sub-genres across fiction, non-fiction, and children’s fiction. You can send your submission queries by filling out their submission form on this page. Note that Black Rose Writing will take at least 1 to 3 weeks to respond to your queries. You can find more details about the submission guidelines on this page.
David Thomas Roberts launched Defiance Press and Publishing as an independent book publisher in Conroe. A traditional publisher, they publish quality books on faith, country, children and current events. Fiction and non-fiction writers can contact Defiance. Helmed by a bestselling author, Defiance won’t hesitate to take risks with their authors and writers. The company is currently accepting titles covering US and International policies, US politics and Government, World Politics and Government, Post-Apocalyptic and Prepping, Guns and the Second Amendment, IRS and Taxation, Executive Branch, Conservatism and Liberalism, Freedom and Liberty, Corruption and Misconduct and more. They also accept commentaries, opinions, and memoirs. Submission guidelines and contact details can be found here.
Bringing transparency to books is the mission of Clean Teen Publishing. Unlike movies or TV with censorship, books often do not come with any warning about content or material. They promise to disclose the content of their books to make the reader aware of what they are reading beforehand. Using a 5-point scale in four categories like Language, Romance, Violence and Drugs/Smoking, they provide a comprehensive rating to every book. They primarily print young adult novels in horror, mystery, magic and escapism. Read submission guidelines at this page. Clean Teen Publishing is not a traditional publisher and you may have to pay a fee for getting your work published.
Fern Brady founded Inklings Publishing as a small independent press with a traditional model in Houston. Works of fiction, young adult novels, children’s books, romance, horror, mystery, thrillers and science fiction are of interest to Inklings. The company is currently closed for submissions. You can, however, check this page after January 2020 for details about latest submission calls.
19. Lit City Press
Using books to champion voices ignored by mainstream media and publishers, Lit City Press is a small, independent publisher in Austin. Lit City Press has an online collection of contemporary works for readers around the country. Looking for writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, they offer print on demand and eBook publishing too. Find complete submission guidelines and contact details here.
20. Smoking Glue Gun
An unusual magazine and small press, Smoking Glue Gun prides itself on not being literary in the true sense. They seek unpublished original art, poetry, fiction, photography and music. Writers of color, women, LGBT, marginalized writers and disabled writers are encouraged at Smoking Glue Gun. Disruptive, innovative works of writing that challenge the status quo have been printed here. Smoking Glue Gun is currently closed for submissions. You can, however, check this page for upcoming submission calls.
21. BenBella Books
Glen Yeffeth started BenBella in 2001 in Dallas to offer authors customized attention, partnership and detailed marketing services. They have 14 bestsellers and have a dedicated approach to publishing. Usually printing non-fiction, business, health, current events, media, science, crime, entrepreneurship and critique, BenBella’s previous hit titles include Happy Herbivore, Pretty Little Killers and The Bank on Yourself Revolution. You can check the submission guidelines here.
Nowadays writers have to be their own promoters and marketers so you should be able to answer a few questions before pitching a manuscript. Does this story need to be told? Am I saying anything of value? Do the principles of the publisher complement mine and can we collaborate without diminishing the creative capacity of each other? And if I get rejected at first, do I believe in my story to keep submitting it till it gets published?
The world of publishing is an evolving field where struggling writers have to trust big firms to give their book a chance and put all their efforts into promoting it. With this list of 21 of the top book publishing houses in Texas, you can know which publisher would be appropriate for your book and shall guide you in the way that you need. The end result should be a book as imagined by the writer and the publisher without compromising anyone’s creative and moral integrity.
Are you an author who has been published by one of the above book publishing houses in Texas? If so, please share your experiences in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.