Are you an author based in Texas?
Do you need a book publisher for your latest manuscript?
Below you’ll find 5 top book publishing houses in Houston.
1. Arte Público Press
Established during the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement of the 1970s, Arte Público Press has been celebrating the work of US Hispanic authors for four decades. It is responsible for a number of award-winning books, such as Call No Man Master by Tina Juarez, The Case Runner by Carlos Cisneros, and more. Arte Público was founded by Nicolás Kanellos, PhD after the realization that the talents of Latino writers weren’t being recognized by mainstream publishing houses. Kanellos, who continues to serve Arte Público as Director, was invited to teach Hispanic literature at the University of Houston in 1980. He was also asked to bring the press with him to the university, and that is still where Arte Público is currently housed.
Arte Público publishes contemporary poetry, short stories, drama, and novels written for and by US Hispanic writers—particularly those that talk about US Hispanic themes. It also publishes non-fiction books and references on Hispanic rights, history, cultural issues, and women’s issues. Arte Público also has another imprint, Piñata Books, which publishes young adult literature and children’s books. Although the majority of Arte Público’s publications are in English, authors who write in Spanish are highly encouraged to submit. Those interesting in submitting may fill out Arte Público’s submissions form. You may also contact Arte Público via email for any inquiries. Their submission guidelines can be found here.
Bright Sky Publishing is no longer in operation.
2. Bright Sky Publishing
Founded by Rue Judd in 2001, Bright Sky Publishing is a non-profit publishing house that aims to showcase the creative talents of writers from the Texas region. It also aims to uplift the community by partnering with charitable organizations like Books Between Kids, the Wade Smith Foundation, and the Barbara Bush Foundation. It also supports Writers in the Schools and other literacy groups. Bright Sky prides itself on publishing quality books that preserve the Texas heritage. In fact, many of Bright Sky’s books have garnered positive reviews, won multiple awards, and inspired readers across the nation. Some authors whose work Bright Sky has published include Elise Hopkins Stephens, Jim McGrath, Susan G. Baker, and Robert Flatt.
Bright Sky publishes work across a variety of genres and topics, such as cookbooks, memoirs, historical non-fiction, children’s books, and more. If you would like Bright Sky to consider publishing your work, you may send a hard copy of your proposal to their Manuscript Department. You can find their submission guidelines and details on where to send your proposal here. Bright Sky is currently accepting unsolicited proposals for both fiction and non-fiction work.
3. Bloomsday Literary
Bloomsday Literary is a small independent press that was founded in 2015 by Kate Martin Williams and Jessica Cole. The two met when they were both graduate students at the University of Tennessee. Williams and Cole came up with the idea of starting their own publishing house to increase the availability and accessibility of the stories they loved—stories that are too often underrepresented in the mainstream and overlooked by larger publishing houses. When their creative director Phuc Luc joined the team, Bloomsday Literary was officially born. And even though Bloomsday is still quite young compared to its peers, it has already succeeded at leaving a mark in the literary community. It is the press behind Newsworthy, the debut poetry collection of Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Houston’s first African American Poet Laureate. And according to the Bloomsday team, that is exactly the kind of work they are passionate about publishing.
At the moment, Bloomsday is accepting submissions for essay collections, poetry, narrative non-fiction, literary fiction, and books written for and by young adults. All submissions must be sent electronically through their online submissions form. Both agented and non-agented submissions are welcome. If you plan on submitting and would like to learn more about the type of work Bloomsday Literary is interested in, you can read their mission statement here.
4. Brighten Press
Brighten Press is a new independent publisher that specializes in fiction, guidance, humor, and poetry books for both adults and children. Headquartered in Houston, Brighten Press was founded by Gene Hult in 2018. Hult used to be an Executive Editor at Simon and Schuster, an Editor at HarperCollins, and a Senior Editor at Scholastic. And now, he is bringing his years of expertise to Brighten Press.
As its name implies, Brighten Press seeks books that are funny, heartfelt, and magical—books that can brighten up anyone’s day, regardless of age range. They are also interested in books that inspire, challenge, and enlighten. If your manuscript sounds like the work described above and would like to be considered by Brighten Press for publication, you may get in touch with them via email. Do note that while query letters are always welcome, unsolicited manuscripts are not. Brighten Press also publishes themed poetry collections, so keep an eye out for submission calls.
5. Inklings Publishing
Inklings Publishing is a small press that operates under the model of traditional publishing. It was founded by Fern Brady who also serves as the company’s current CEO. Brady is an accomplished author and also the CEO of the Houston Writers Guild. Inklings Publishing’s main mission is to provide local authors with opportunities to publish their work and build their writing careers. Aside from publishing, Inklings also organizes writing workshops and annual retreats for writers.
Inklings specializes in fiction for all ages, but they have several other imprints. Inklings Children publishes early childhood books, Inklings Comics publishes comic books and graphic novels, and Inklings After Dark publishes erotica. Currently, Inklings is on the hunt for adult fiction, specifically horror, science fiction, historical fiction, legal thrillers, mysteries, romance, and fantasy.
Should you be interested in getting your work published by Inklings, you can send them a query letter via email. Prior to sending your email, be sure to go through Inklings’ submission guidelines to make sure your query is formatted according to their requirements. Failure to adhere to their formatting guidelines may result in automatic rejection.
Do you know of any other book publishing houses in Houston? Tell us about them in the comments box below!
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.