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.
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. 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, send in your submissions here.
2. Killer Reads
A digital imprint of HarperCollins, London, Killer Reads, offers a creative voice to the emerging authors who are just starting out in the publishing industry. Although they’ve been in business for only four years, this publication has managed to publish hundreds of titles ranging from psychological thrillers, true-crime novels, high-concept thrillers and detective mystery novels. Killer Reads, is particularly fond of riveting tales that explores the finer nuances of crime and has ample scope for character development. If this sounds like something you can work with, get in touch with them here.
Are you looking to collaborate with an agency that publishes gripping, old-fashioned narratives? If your answer is yes, Hard Case Crime is a perfect platform for you. This independent publishing house was co-founded by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips to preserve the true flavors 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 agency will definitely live up to your needs. 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. And it doesn’t just end here! Award-winning authors like William Johnstone and Fern Michaels have already collaborated with them. Their imprint ‘Lyrical Press’ is currently open for fiction, horror, and mystery novel submissions. So if you think your novels are edgy enough to make the cut, get in touch with them here.
Fahrenheit Press is one of the newest publishing houses in the block that works with mystery, thriller and crime novels. 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, 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’ ‘Lost daughter’ 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 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 to have worked with this agency. Black and White Publication is currently open for submissions and you can always send in your unsolicited manuscripts here.
Headquartered in New York, Crooked Lane Books first came to inception in 2014. Although they’re relatively new in the industry, within just four years, they’ve managed to publish some of the best-selling thriller, mystery 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. While they don’t have any specific submission guidelines, you’re required to send in the first two chapters of your manuscript with a short query letter. In case they’re interested, the publication 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, this small agency was established five years back to disseminate quality mystery and thriller fiction. Over the 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 edgy enough. 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, 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 as ‘My Dear Charlotte’, this novel will be up for release by the end of this year. If you think your novels can be equally gripping to make the cut, 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 solely dedicated towards publishing crime, thriller and mystery fiction. ‘Fast One’, ‘The Cocaine Chronicles’, ‘Gangsters Wives’ and ‘Head bangers’ are some of their best-selling books. While the publication accepts every kind of crime novels, they’re particularly fond of works with a powerful narrative voice, compelling themes and well-developed characters. Verve Books is currently open for submissions and you can always send in a copy of your manuscript with a short author bio. For more details about submission guidelines, visit this page.
If you excel in penning compelling crime novels with copious doses of mystery and thrill- submit your work to PMP right away. Perpetual Motion Publishing was developed six years back by Max Booth III and Lori Michelle. During this time, they’ve published hundreds of titles pertaining to dark fiction, mystery, thriller, detective fiction and horror. Their books are marked by their unexpected twists and page-turning storylines. This Texas based publication is currently accepting unsolicited submissions. So if you think your mystery novels are good enough to make the cut, check out their submission guidelines on this page.
13. Black Opal Books
Established in 2010, Black Opal Books is one of the best publications for both newcomers and established authors. Although they cover diverse genres, you can always send in your mystery novels to them. Over the last eight years, they’ve published hundreds of best-selling titles in both ebook and paperback formats. And unlike many other platforms, they also read the first chapter of your manuscript before accepting/rejecting it. The publication is currently open for submissions, and Submissions can be sent from June to December on this page. As a part of the process, you’ll have to ensure that the manuscript doesn’t exceed 120,000 words and the narrative is written in past/future tense.
14. Quirk Books
Based in Philadelphia, Quirk Books is a small publishing house that publishes unconventional thrillers and mystery titles. Quirk encourages originality; so if you write quirky novels with a dash of striking twists- this platform will definitely accept your book. Although they’re pretty small, Quirk has already published award winning novels like ‘Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies’, ‘The Last Policeman’ and ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’. This publication is extremely stringent with selections and as of now, they publish only 25-titles every year. Quirk Books is currently open for submissions, and you can always drop in a mail detailing the idea of your mystery/thriller novel. Visit this page for complete guidelines about the submission process.
15. BenBella Books
Based in Dallas, Texas, BenBella Books was established almost 19 years back by Glen Yeffeth. While the publication 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 best selling true-crime pieces. The platform encourages newcomers to come up with their twisted tales and as of now, they have an open submission policy. You can visit this page to fill up their contract form which will also serve as a pitch for your potential novel.
16. Sapere Books
Founded in 2017, Sapere books, is a relatively new platform that publishes exciting mystery fiction from both new and established authors. Although they haven’t published very many books, the ones they’ve worked with have been widely lauded by both readers and critics. The company is managed by Richard Simpson, Caoimhe O’ Brien and Amy Durant. Together, the trio strives to make the publishing industry more accessible to newbie authors. Sapere Books is currently open for publication, and you can always visit this page for a detailed insight on the publishing guidelines.
Inklings, is an independent publishing house that primarily focuses on thriller and mystery fiction for young adults. The small, Houston based publication was founded by Fern Brady, and despite its humble beginnings, Inklings has evolved as promising publishing platform for newbie authors. The company publishes books on romance, mystery, horror and thrillers with unique twists and a dash of supernatural elements. Since they are currently accepting submissions via email, you can send in a copy of your manuscript with a cover letter here.
Based in Essex, England, the inception of Wallace Publishing dates back to 2014, when it was created in an attempt to offer the much needed opportunities to newbie writers. Within just four years, they’ve left a massive impact by publishing quality mystery fiction in both paperback and digital formats. The publication is currently open for submissions, and you can always send in your mystery, crime, and thriller novels by filling this contact form. The instructions are simple, and all you have to do is enter your name, email address, the synopsis of the book and the author along with your manuscript.
19. Endeavor Media
Endeavor Media came to inception in 2018 and are said to be founded by the same team of Endeavor Press. They primarily focus on mystery, thrillers and detective fiction with a whole lot of suspense. Endeavor Media has quite a few imprints, and going by their recent sales, they seem to be on a steady flow. The publication is also following an open-submission policy where you can submit a copy of your manuscript right away. While the sending the manuscript, also add a query letter and a synopsis of your book. In case you’re looking to find more details about the submission policies, visit 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!