There’s no doubt about it.
Crime fiction is one of the most bestselling genres out there.
People across the world in all types of communities, big and small love to read a captivating crime story.
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If you’re a writer who has just finished writing a crime fiction novel, the prospect of getting it published must be exciting! We’re thrilled for you.
And to help you with the next step in the publishing process; namely to find a book publisher, we’ve created this post.
Below we’ve featured 19 top crime fiction publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts. The majority of the following book publishing companies are in the US and the UK.
Launched in 2005 by Maggie Topkins, Felony and Mayhem is a young and promising publishing house based in New York, United States. The company focuses on mystery fiction with a distinctive narrative voice and mind-boggling themes. Over the last 13 years, they’ve published more than 100 titles ranging from true-crime, psychological thrillers and detective fiction. And it doesn’t just end there! Several award-winning books like ‘The Killings at Badger Drift’ and ‘Who Guards a Prince?’ are credited to their name. In case you‘re looking to join their line of authors, email your submissions here. For more details about the submission process, check this page.
2. Polis Books
Based in New York, United States, Polis Books is an independent publishing house specializing in commercial fiction for adults and young adults. The company was established in 2013, and since then, they’ve delivered multiple award-winning titles spanning across diverse topics. Polis Books also launched a new crime-fiction imprint in 2019. Known as Agora, this imprint entirely focuses on crime fiction. Some of the best-selling titles from the company include ‘The Ninja’s Blade’ by Tori Eldridge, ‘Hunting Ground’ by Meghan Holloway, and ‘Skin Deep’ by Sung J. Woo. As of now, Polis Books is accepting new submissions in the ‘cozy crime’ category. Check this page for more details about their submission guidelines.
Are you looking to collaborate with a publishing house that publishes gripping, old-fashioned crime novels? If your answer is yes, Hard Case Crime is a perfect company for you. Based in New York, United States, this independent publishing house was co-founded by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips to preserve the true flavours of old-school crime novels, and going by their sales, they’ve surely achieved their goal. Since their inception in 2004, Hard Case Crime has worked with best-selling authors like Stephen King, Lawrence Block and Donald Hamilton. So, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned writer- this company will definitely live up to your expectations. Hard Case Crime is currently open for submissions, and you can find out more about their submission guidelines on this page.
The history of Kensington Publishing dates back to 1974, when it started out as a family business operated by Steven Zacharius. But Zacharius wanted something more, and thus began the four-decade long journey to publish the kind of titles America wanted to read. 44 years down the line, Kensington Publishing evolved as one of the leading publishers of romance, thriller and true- crime fiction. Over the years, this New York based company has published the works of award-winning authors like William Johnstone and Fern Michaels. Their imprint ‘Lyrical Press’ is currently open for fiction, horror, and mystery novel submissions. So, if you think your novels would meet their requirements , get in touch with them here.
Fahrenheit Press is one of the newest publishing houses in the block specializing in mystery, thriller and crime fiction. Established in 2015 by publishing veteran Chris McVeigh, this agency was created to preserve spine chilling crime novels that rubs people in all the right spots. Although they’re pretty new, authors like James Craig and Paul D. Brazill vouch by this publication for their gritty tales and quirky themes. The publishing house follows an open submission policy, and you can check out their submission guidelines here.
6. Joffe Books
Based in East-London, UK, Joffe Books is an independent publisher of mystery and crime fiction. The company was founded by Jasper Joffe and with his unwavering support; Joffe Books has evolved as one of the biggest crime/mystery publications in the UK. The company reportedly sold 1.4 million books last year, and within February 2018 they had already published 17 best-selling books on Kindle. Joy Ellis’ ‘Their Lost Daughters’ and T.J Bearton’s ‘Gone’ are two among the hundreds of award-winning books from their publication. The company follows an open-submission policy, and you can always get in touch with them with a copy of your manuscript. Find more details about the submission procedure on this page.
If you’re fond of writing location-centric crime fiction and psychological thrillers with twisted storylines- Black and White Publication might be just the right publication for you. Formed in 1999 by Campbell Brown and Alison McBirdie, this Edinburgh, UK based publishing house specializes in crime novels that unearth the darker realities of life. During the last two decades, they’ve also published quite a few translated works by award-winning crime novelists. Daniela Sacerdoti, Sally Magnusson and Tony Black are some of the leading authors who’ve been published by the company. Black and White Publishing is currently open for submissions and you can emailyour unsolicited manuscripts here. Note that in addition to your manuscript, you also need to include a brief synopsis of the book and a short author bio (not more than 100 words). For more information about the submission process, check this page.
Headquartered in New York, United States, Crooked Lane Books first came to inception in 2014. Despite being relatively new in the publishing industry, the company has published several best-selling thrillers, mystery books and detective novels. Ranging from psychological thrillers to the more basic detective suspense- Crooked Lane has consistently delivered gripping narratives with engaging characters and unbelievable twists. The company is currently open to submissions, and you can send your manuscript query with the first two chapters of your book. If interested, the publishing house will get back to you within two weeks. You can reach out to Crooked Lane Books on this page.
An imprint of Prometheus Books, Seventh Street Books is an independent publishing house focusing on horror, mystery and grotesque fiction. Set in the heart of New York, United States this small publishing house was established five years back to disseminate quality mystery and thriller fiction. Over time, they’ve published award winning titles like ‘The Life We Bury’, ‘Rain Dogs’ and ‘Heart of Stone’. Their titles aren’t for the faint hearted, so send in your submissions only if your tales are twisted and spine-chilling. Seventh Street Books is currently open for submissions, and you can find more details about the entire process on this page.
10. Coffeetown Press
Nestled in the heart of Seattle, United States Coffeetown Press is a leading publisher of horror, mystery and crime fiction in the US. Although they’ve published quite a few non-fictions and memoirs; literary crime fiction is their true specialty. ‘Better You Go Home’, ‘Death of Dean’ and ‘From the Devil’s Farm’ are some of their best-selling novels. Their most anticipated upcoming novel is yet another thriller which is built along the narrative of Jane Austen’s notes to her beloved sister. Titled ‘My Dear Charlotte’, this novel is likely to be released by the end of this year. If you think your novels have a similar tone and flavor, check their submission guidelines on this page. While the company is accepting unsolicited, un-agented submissions, they might take some time to get back owing to the overwhelming number of manuscripts they receive.
11. Verve Books
The digital imprint of No-Exit Books, Verve Books is a Harpenden, UK based publishing house specializing in publishing crime, thriller and mystery fiction.’The Righteous Spy’, ‘ ‘Trust Me I’m Dead’ and ‘Dead Flowers’ are some of their recently published crime fiction titles. While the publishing house accepts every kind of crime novel, they’re especially fond of works with a powerful narrative voice, compelling themes and well-developed characters. Verve Books is currently open for submissions and you can send in a copy of your manuscript with a short author bio. For more details about submission guidelines, visit this page.
12. Level Best Books
Based in Maryland, USA, Level Best Books is a publisher of crime fiction titles across multiple sub-categories like mystery, thriller, and suspense. Unlike most crime fiction publishers, they also publish crime novels with historical, traditional, and contemporary elements. Their published titles are widely popular for crisp narrative structure, unconventional themes, and unique storylines. Since Level Best Books also specializes in crime anthologies, you can expect crime stories in all flavours from them. Some of their recently published books include, ‘A Widow in Pearls’ by Mary Stibal, ‘The Enemy We Don’t Know’ by Liz Milliron, and ‘Dirty Old Town’ by Gabriel Valjan. Level Best Books is currently seeking submissions for crime novels and you can reach out to them by filling out this form. Note that despite specializing in crime fiction, the company doesn’t consider cozy mysteries, science fiction, or erotica themed novels. For more details about their submission guidelines, check this page.
13. Allen and Unwin
With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland, Allen and Unwin, is one of the leading commercial fiction publishers of Australia. The company publishes around 250 new books every year with titles ranging from general non-fiction, professional and scholarly non-fiction, literary fiction, and children’s fiction. Allen and Unwin has been voted for the prestigious ‘Publisher of the Year’ Award eleven times since 2000 and their titles continue to be immensely popular among adults and children alike. Some of their best crime fiction books include ‘Evil Games’ by Angela Marsons, ‘Death in Holy Order’ by P.D James, and ‘A Grave for Two’ by Anne Holt. Since Allen and Unwin follows an open submission policy you can pitch your upcoming title anytime through email. For more details about the submission process, check this link.
14. Quirk Books
Based in Philadelphia, US, Quirk Books is a small publishing house that publishes unconventional thrillers and mystery titles. Quirk Books encourages originality; so if you write quirky novels with a dash of striking twists- this company will certainly accept your book. Over the years, Quirk Books has published award winning novels like ‘Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies’, ‘The Last Policeman’ and ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’. However, the company is extremely stringent with selections and , they only publish around 25-titles every year. Quirk Books is currently open for submissions, and you can always email your query letter to the available commissioning editors. For thrillers, crime, and mystery titles you can email Rebecca Gyllenhaal. Alternatively, you can also reach out to Jhanteigh Kupihea if your mystery or thriller book has a true-crime element. Check out this page for more details about the submission process.
15. BenBella Books
Based in Texas, US, BenBella Books was established almost 19 years back by Glen Yeffeth. While the publishing house is best known for their non-fiction and popular culture titles, they also publish quite a few true-crime novels. ‘In the name of children’ and ‘Contractor’ are some of their bestselling true-crime pieces. The company encourages newcomers to come up with unconventional tales and they currently have an open submission policy. Fill out this contract form to send a manuscript query to BenBella Books.
16. Sapere Books
Founded in 2017, Sapere books, is a relatively new publishing house that publishes exciting mystery fiction from both new and established authors. Although they haven’t published as many books as established agencies, their published titles are widely lauded by both readers and critics. Sapere Books is based in London, United Kingdom and Richard Simpson, Caoimhe O’ Brien, and Amy Durant, collectively manages the company. Together, the trio strives to make the publishing industry more accessible to newbie authors. Sapere Books is currently open for new submissions, and you can visit this page for a detailed insight into the publishing process.
17. BloodHound Books
Based in United Kingdom, BloodHound Books is an independent publisher of gripping commercial fiction. The company was established in 2014, and despite accepting multiple genres, they only publish books they are profoundly passionate about. They’ve sold over six million books globally, most of which have turned out to be best-sellers in UK, US, Canadian, and Australian markets. Best-selling crime fiction titles include ‘Candles and Roses’ by Alex Waters, ‘The Red Cobra’ by Rob Sinclair, and ‘The Hidden Island’ by Angela Corner. Since BloodHound Books is currently open to crime fiction submissions, you can send in your manuscript after reading the detailed submission guidelines on this page.
18. Sunbury Press
Based in Pennsylvania, US, Sunbury Press has been in the publishing industry since 2004. They are a rapidly growing traditional press accepting titles across a wide range of subjects like crime fiction and murder mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. As with many prestigious publishing houses, Sunbury Press has an extremely strict publishing policy whereby they only consider around seven percent of the proposals they receive. Some of their top crime fiction books are ‘Of Guilt and Innocence’ by John Scanlan, ‘Site 22’ by L.D Knorr, and ‘Twilight of the Drifter’ by Shelly Frome. As of now, they are accepting new crime fiction titles in the sub-categories of mystery, detective, and espionage fiction. Check this page to find out more about their submission guidelines.
19. Lume Books
Based in Great Guilford Street, London, Lume Books is an independent publisher of fiction and non-fiction titles. Despite being fairly new in the publishing industry, the company has published more than 3,000 titles by 800 authors. Some of their popular crime fiction titles include ‘The Last Tomorrow’ by Barry Fantoni, ‘Maestro’ by John Gardner, and ‘The Iron Shadow’ by Stefano Siggia. The company is currently open to submissions in crime fiction and true crime titles. You can check out their detailed submission guidelines on this page.
Are you aware of any other crime fiction publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts we should know about? Please tell us more in the comments box below.
I am Ruposhree, a regular happy-go-lucky girl with not-so-regular (read extraordinary) dreams. I love reading, obsessing over random TV series, dreaming of unrealistic vacations, and most importantly, trying my hand at writing. I want to believe that I somehow have a way with words and maybe one day I’ll manage to see and be everything that I ever dreamt of!