This article features 17 top book publishing companies that give advances.
In 1935, Holiday House, the first book publisher dedicated to children’s literature in the United States was formed. Its legacy and literary value to young readers and families cannot be ignored. And with the launch of the Margaret Ferguson Books and Neal Porter Books imprints, this New York-based company will thrive for generations to come.
Books are divided into seven main themes: concepts, character education, history, general, cultural diversity, math, and holidays & celebrations. Moreover, there are graphic novels, poetry, short story collections, and award-winners like Andrea Wang’s Watercress and Susan Kusel’s The Passover Guest.
Holiday House gladly accepts unsolicited manuscript submissions of fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.
Bloomsbury is a prominent indie publisher with international offices and a headquarters in London, UK. Founded in 1986, it manages several divisions, some of which have famous imprints like Fairchild Books, Shire Publications, Raven Books, and Red Globe Press.
With its sheer size and scale, Bloomsbury has everything from children’s literature (including the Harry Potter franchise) and adult fiction to educational books. Its academic books include disciplines like film, sociology, information science, law, textiles, and classical studies.
Bloomsbury and its imprints differ in their submission requirements. For one, Bloomsbury only accepts agented submissions for adult fiction and children’s literature. On the other hand, unsolicited proposals are welcome for nonfiction books about music, military history, health & wellness, business, sports, and wildlife. Visit the submissions page for the full details.
3. Polis Books
Located in New York City, Polis Books maintains its strong position in the industry by adapting to digital technology and understanding the literary preferences of modern readers. As a reputable independent publisher, it carefully discusses contract terms with authors to ensure acceptable advances and royalties.
Polis Books publishes nonfiction such as true crime, pop culture, and essay collections. In fiction, it offers novels in genres like mystery, literary fiction, suspense, Gothic fiction, horror, YA fiction, women’s fiction, and romance. Puja Guha’s Sirens of Memory and Vito Racanelli’s The Man in Milan are two of its exciting titles.
Authors of fiction and nonfiction can choose from a selection of categories to send unsolicited proposals.
4. Angry Robot
The London-based Angry Robot has been transforming the literary landscape for science fiction, fantasy, and everything strange since 2009. Led by publisher Eleanor Teasdale and managing director Etan Ilfeld, the company constantly seeks unique storytellers in contemporary genre fiction for the UK (and beyond) to witness.
This publishing firm has a treasure trove of sci-fi and fantasy books such as Daniel Polansky’s Tomorrow’s Children and P.H. Low’s These Deathless Shores. You can also browse specific subgenres like dark fantasy, urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic, space opera, time travel, cyberpunk, dystopian sci-fi, and superheroes.
In general, Angry Robot is only open to agented proposals. However, Black writers are free to send their unsolicited proposals if they’ve already completed their manuscript for an adult novel in sci-fi, horror, or fantasy.
5. Persea Books
Michael and Karen Braziller are the co-founders of Persea Books, an independent publisher of literary gems. Since 1975, the New York City company has been highlighting the sprawling variety of American storytelling in poetry and prose.
Persea Books publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry such as Elizabeth Bradfield’s Approaching Ice and Emily Van Kley’s acclaimed The Cold and the Rust. It offers classics, anthologies, and translated projects. Likewise, many books discuss cultural themes and concerns in modern society from a personal or unique perspective.
The publisher accepts unsolicited submissions of fiction and nonfiction (with some exceptions). Similarly, you can query Persea Books if you want to have your poetry collection published.
Established in 2016, Tiny Fox Press is a small yet intriguing publisher of genre fiction for both adults and young adults. Based in North Port, Florida, the company exudes an aura of fun and childlike wonder as each section on its official website contains witty and casual remarks.
The humble publisher specializes in three genres of fiction: sci-fi, young adult, and fantasy. Space operas, comedic sci-fi, YA adventure, and urban fantasy are welcome to its list. Some of its latest titles are Lucas T. Webber’s military fantasy Wings Over Marseille and T.M. Blanchet’s YA fantasy Herrick’s Lie.
At present, Tiny Fox Press is actively looking for query submissions from authors of specific subgenres under science fiction, YA, and fantasy.
7. Beacon Press
Are you working on a nonfiction book that tackles an important issue? If so, you should look at Beacon Press. Since the 19th century, the Boston-based indie publisher has stood firm in its mission of printing equally timeless and relevant nonfiction, works that bravely explore social issues and human thought.
Beacon Press titles tackle essential subjects such as history, queer perspectives, progressive education, religion, American society, and current affairs. Each general category has specific topics too. For example, activism books can focus on immigration reform (Susan Hartman’s City of Refugees) or economic justice (Stacy Mitchell’s Big-Box Swindle).
Besides self-help and strictly academic books, Beacon Press is open to digital queries for nonfiction projects.
Cecile Engel and Lori Milken launched Delphinium Books to highlight the most creative and inspirational writers in fiction and nonfiction. Located in New York, the company’s keen eye for great storytelling has attracted other publishers (like Penguin) in search of titles that they can reprint in paperback versions.
Its book catalog features nonfiction books like coffee-table books, essay collections, and memoirs. At the same time, Delphinium Books has short stories and novel-length fiction. People can enjoy genres such as coming-of-age fiction (Matthew Daub’s Leaving Eastern Parkway) and psychological thrillers (Francesca Duranti’s The House on Moon Lake).
Richard H. G. Bonnycastle established Harlequin Books in the 1940s and focused on publishing affordable reissues of books. Now, the company based in Toronto, Canada, is a household name in romance fiction and women’s fiction. And with its success in the aforementioned genres, it has expanded to other genres of fiction and nonfiction.
With more than 500 categories, the Harlequin book selection is more than enough to satisfy anyone’s fiction and nonfiction cravings. Fans of romance can browse virtually every subgenre from historical romance (Susan Wiggs’s Enchanted Afternoon) to romantic suspense (Amity Steffen’s Big Sky Secrets).
Harlequin invites everyone from new unagented writers to veteran authors to submit their manuscripts for its various imprints.
10. Simon & Schuster
Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln established Simon & Schuster in the early 1920s. Today, it is one of the Big 5 companies in the book publishing industry. Led by President and CEO Jonathan Karp, the business releases thousands of new books each year.
Boasting more than 25 imprints like Atria Books and Howard, the world-famous publishing company has everything from children’s literature to fiction and nonfiction. In addition, it has no scarcity in bestsellers and award-winners such as Cynthia Kadohata’s The Thing About Luck and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.
Understandably, Simon & Schuster only accepts agented manuscript submissions.
Situated in London, UK, Flame Tree Publishing didn’t always have a fine and massive collection of novels and short stories. When it was founded in 1992, the firm was only publishing illustrated titles. Today, its fiction and nonfiction catalog is distributed worldwide with help from Simon and Schuster and Hachette UK Distribution.
The publisher has nonfiction books about music, pop culture, art & design, cooking, hobbies, and travel. In fiction, Flame Tree Publishing is a go-to source for high-quality sci-fi, dark fantasy, and Gothic fantasy. You can discover interesting novels like the folk horror A Sword of Bronze and Ashes (Anna Smith Spark) and supernatural mystery Silent Key (Laurel Hightower).
Flame Tree Publishing is open to unsolicited submissions of general fiction (especially in genres like sci-fi and suspense) through its Flame Tree Press imprint.
12. Chronicle Books
Founded in 1967, Chronicle Books is a well-respected independent publishing house in San Francisco, California. Its regular operations across different departments (like editing and marketing) are held in its four-floor office. Furthermore, the company upholds diversity and inclusivity as it works with writers, illustrators, and other institutions.
Although the company sells gift items and journals, its main products are books in adult nonfiction and children’s literature. Chronicle Books has titles about entertainment, lifestyle, food & drinks, and art & design. Likewise, teens can enjoy acclaimed reads like Apple by Eric Gansworth and Seen and Unseen by Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki.
Unagented writers of adult nonfiction and children’s books (both fiction and nonfiction) can send their proposals to Chronicle Books online.
Are you passionate about sci-fi and fiction writing? If so, you should take note of EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing for your next publication. Situated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the firm is led by Brian Hades and continues to expand its genre-specific portfolio since its release of Marie Jakober’s The Black Chalice in 2000.
The team doesn’t just accept any sci-fi or fantasy story. Instead, they look for originality, stellar character writing, and creativity in worldbuilding from extraterrestrial cultures to arcane systems. Two of its most impressive titles are Leslie Davis’s dystopian Keeper’s Child and Lisa Smedman’s The Apparition Trail.
EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing invites novelists to submit their manuscripts online or by post whether they have an agent or not.
Based in Broadway, New York City, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group is home to historic and esteemed imprints like Pantheon, Anchor Books, and Everyman’s Library. The company name itself mentions Knopf and Doubleday, the family name of people who founded their titular publishing firms in 1915 and 1897, respectively.
Countless outstanding fiction and nonfiction are published by this company. After all, its authors include bestsellers and award-winners Dave Eggers (A Hologram for the King, Heroes of the Frontier) and Michio Kaku (Visions, Parallel Worlds).
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group will only consider agented submissions because its imprints already handle too many manuscripts.
As its name implies, History Through Fiction is characterized by its specialization in historical fiction. Founded by author and historian Colin Mustful, this independent traditional publisher in Roseville, Minnesota, strives to enlighten readers about the world’s rich past through gripping storytelling.
History Through Fiction wants readers to learn more about history whether they’re looking at the paragraphs or footnotes. Thus, the company will only publish historical novels with extensive and error-free research as their foundation. Some examples are Colin Mustful’s Resisting Removal and Patricia Bernstein’s A Noble Cunning.
The publisher promises an advance against royalties and payment for all production-related costs. Prospective author clients can send their manuscripts in September.
A major part of Hachette UK, Little, Brown Book Group began in the early 1800s when Charles Little and James Brown started their own business. At present, the company employs more than 150 professionals and manages 14 renowned imprints including Robinson, Piatcus, Orbit, and Sphere.
Little, Brown Book Group offers prose and poetry in fiction and nonfiction books alike. Its fiction genres range from romance and YA fiction to crime and sci-fi & fantasy. As for nonfiction, it has titles for career advice (Mike Krzyzewski’s Leading with the Heart) and military history (Jeffrey Stern’s The Mercenary).
Authors who want to submit their manuscripts should secure a literary agent to represent their project.
17. BenBella Books
Located in Dallas, Texas, BenBella Books was instituted in 2001 and adhered to its pursuit of quality over quantity. It only releases around 40 new titles annually yet has already made a mark in the industry with several best-selling nonfiction books. Furthermore, authors opting for its traditional publishing deals are guaranteed an advance against royalties of up to $20,000.
Although it has a handful of fiction titles, BenBella Books fills its portfolio with all kinds of nonfiction. The categories include social science, history, cookbooks, politics, self-help, biographies, sports, and science. There are 200 business books as well such as The Growth Paradox (Jacky Fischer) and Apprentice Nation (Ryan Craig).
Interested writers of nonfiction should consider sending their manuscripts to BenBella Books. Currently, the publisher is particularly looking for pop-sci, tech, plant-based living, true crime, and memoirs.
Some More Top Book Publishing Companies that Give Advances
18. Ulysses Press
In the early 1980s, Ray Riegert and Leslie Henriques launched Ulysses Press and initially printed only travel books. With the digital revolution of the 21st century, it shifted its sights to growing trends and niche topics. Now, this indie publisher operates in Berkeley, California, and Brooklyn, New York.
Ulysses Press caters to readers interested in newly developing fields and unique approaches to familiar topics. Its portfolio includes interests like pop culture, humor, DIY, trivia, and tarot & magic. You can find books about the performing arts (Art Bell’s Constant Comedy) and design (Kath Baena’s What About Yarn).
Unagented authors are encouraged to submit their work in any genre that the publisher already covers.
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has a centuries-spanning legacy beginning in 1832 when William Ticknor established Ticknor & Fields. The company has since guided millions of students and teachers worldwide with its assortment of learning and teaching materials.
Its educational books tackle subjects like math, science, social studies, world languages, and literacy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt also publishes books for early learners and students in homeschooling. In addition, it has fiction such as A Place at the Table (Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan) and The Vanishing Box (Elly Griffiths).
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is only open to agented submissions for general fiction, nonfiction, and all but one of its imprints for children’s literature. Versify, an imprint for young readers led by celebrated author Kwame Alexander, accepts both solicited and unsolicited manuscripts.
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.