If you’re a historical fiction writer and have completed your manuscript, you’re probably thinking about how you can get it published.
One option is to approach a historical fiction literary agent to help you find a publisher, and negotiate a publishing contract on your behalf.
The other alternative is to submit your manuscript to book publishing companies directly such as the following 19 top publishers seeking historical fiction.
1. Montag Press
Based in Sausalito, California, Montag Press relishes discovering innovative and wholly new fiction. Thus, it doesn’t accept reprints. In historical fiction alone, this publisher has diverse preferred themes ranging from retro-futurism to steampunk and secret histories.
In recent years, Montag Press has released many noteworthy novels. These include Bruce Lee Bond’s historical thriller Hippie Hill in 2018 and A. R. Meyering’s historical fantasy The Resurrectionist just two years later.
Normally, Montag Press accepts unsolicited full manuscripts. However, the press is currently open only to referrals. Check the submission page at another time for updates.
Margie Wolfe is one of the four women co-founders of Second Story Press. Launched in 1988 and located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, it caters to readers and writers who uphold feminism and representation. In just three decades, its books have been showered with accolades and adapted into movies and theater.
If you’re searching for great titles for young readers, consider Pat Bourke’s Yesterday’s Dead. It’s a fairly short children’s novel about the history of Canada and the US during the 1900s, particularly during the onset of the Spanish Flu. Otherwise, there’s Kathy Kacer’s children’s holocaust fiction The Brushmaker’s Daughter.
Second Story Press is more than happy to review unsolicited submissions. You can send a sample of your manuscript if you feel it aligns with their values such as feminism, diversity, and social justice. Lastly, you can submit online or by mail.
Frank Nelson Doubleday and Samuel McClure were the brains behind Doubleday, which has been around since 1897. On the other hand, Alfred A. Knopf established his own company 18 years later. Today, Knopf Doubleday from New York, New York, is composed of 10 imprints such as Pantheon and Anchor Books.
Spanning various topics across fiction and non-fiction, their portfolio caters to practically everyone. Fans of historical fiction shouldn’t miss Yaa Gyasi’s highly acclaimed African-American family saga Homegoing. Likewise, Hugo Hamilton’s The Pages is an enthralling story revolving around the Second World War.
Doubleday is open only to agented submissions — and the same goes for imprints like Nan A. Talese and Schocken. Knopf mostly entertains proposals and manuscripts handed only by literary agents as well, but writers are free to submit unsolicited samples via snail mail if they want to take the chance.
If you’re in Newport, New South Wales, Australia, you probably know about Big Sky Publishing. With its group of acclaimed local writers and visual artists, this indie publisher proves that the Land Down Under is brimming with literary talent.
In 2017, Big Sky Publishing unveiled Catherine McCullagh’s Dancing with Deception, a vivid historical Oceanian fiction. Earlier this year, the same author released Love & Retribution, a dramatic novel set in World War II.
Budding authors of historical fiction should wait for now to submit their manuscripts. As of writing, Big Sky Publishing only seeks projects in children’s literature and adult nonfiction.
Situated in Ann Arbor. Michigan, Bywater Books is for people who’ve been marginalized and deserve proper presentation in the industry. The titular imprint often has lesbian and feminist elements in both fiction and nonfiction. On the other hand, the Amble Press imprint is specifically for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ writers.
the LGBTQ+ community and the people supporting their rights, causes, and principles. Its books often have lesbian and feminist elements in both fiction and nonfiction.
Storytelling excellence is apparent in each book under Bywater Books. From Paula Martinac’s historical LGBTQ+ novel Clio Rising to Kathleen Brady’s 20th century lesbian romance The Language of Light, the publisher has no scarcity of gripping reads.
Have you finished your manuscript of historical fiction? Do you think it will appeal to general readers? If so, send it to Bywater Books after thoroughly going through the submission guidelines.
Text Publishing is an indie company in Melbourne, Australia, that serves both domestic and international readers. It has everything from adult fiction and nonfiction to children’s literature. Moreover, it has been repeatedly hailed as one of the best small publishers by the Leading Edge Books and the Australian Book Industry Awards.
If there’s one thing you can’t deny from Text Publishing, it’s the elegance of their covers throughout the years. Historical novels like Stefan Hertmans’s The Convert and Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob are blessed with covers that perfectly capture the writing brilliance within.
If you’re from Australia or New Zealand, you can send your unsolicited manuscript of historical fiction. Text Publishing will examine your work regardless if it was written for adults, middle-grade readers, or young adults.
Headquartered in New York, New York, the Hachette Book Group is one of the biggest publishers in the world. Its imprints like Perseus, Orbit Publishing, and Grand Central Publishing cover virtually all reader markets. Plus, its authors have won not just the Nobel Peace Prize but also the Pulitzer Prize, arguably the two biggest awards in the literary industry.
If you’re in the mood for beguiling historical novels about World War II, Hachette Book Group has you covered. Carly Schabowski’s The Ringmaster’s Daughter from Grand Central Publishing is hard to drop once you start reading. Likewise, Angela Petch’s The Tuscan Secret is a must-read Italian literary fiction.
Interested writers should seek a literary agent to represent their work to the Hachette Book Group. You can learn more about agencies on the FAQs page.
Stairway Press is all about finding and promoting excellent writing regardless of the genre. Thus, you’ll see impeccable literary talent in full display whether you’re checking its catalog of sci-fi, short stories, or self-help books. Located in Apache Junction, Arizona, this is where underrated writers get to shine.
A couple of essential reads from this humble business include Donald L. Ensenbach’s Whispering Winds Remember and David Cord’s Dead Romans. The former is a part of the centuries-spanning Whisper from the Past saga while the latter offers multiple main perspectives.
Sadly, Stairway Press isn’t open to any sort of manuscript submissions. Writers are urged to browse the contact page some other time for positive developments.
In 1974, the late Walter Zacharius established Kensington Publishing, which first specialized in historical romance. These days, the New York-based independent company has over 5,000 books (with hundreds more to be added this year) and is led by CEO Steven Zacharius and VP Adam Zacharius.
Over a decade ago, the publisher printed Teresa Grant’s mysterious historical novel Imperial Scandal. In April this year, it offered Denny S. Bryce’s In the Face of the Sun, which weaves the complex histories of women and African-Americans in the 20th century.
Nearly all of the editors are looking for historical fiction, especially in the field of romance and mystery. However, you must email your query to only one editor, so read about their preferences and guidelines carefully.
10. Joffe Books
Jasper Joffe built Joffe Books in 2014 to foster long-lasting relationships with both readers and authors. Located in Shoreditch, London, UK, it strives to champion new voices and give a second chance to books that didn’t get their much-deserved acclaim upon initial release.
This British publisher is the home of Gwen Kirkwood’s Scottish historical romance series Sinclair Family Saga, which is composed of Moorland Mist and Moorend Farm. Also, Joffe Books published Alexander Lindsay’s espionage thriller Dollar.
Joffe Books is a highly accommodating publisher. Whether you’re new in the literary world or a veteran with a renowned agent, you can send your complete manuscript online.
In 1919, Albert Whitman founded the titular company with a clear mission: to discover and print the best books for young readers. Through its works, this indie publisher from Park, Ridge, Illinois, ensures that kids will grow up to be intelligent, kind, and socially aware.
Albert Whitman & Company is no stranger to historical fiction. For one, Katherine Locke’s The Spy with the Red Balloon is a magical LGBT+ story for young adults that also happens to involve the Second World War. Ronald Kidd’s Lord of the Mountain, on the other hand, is a musical tale for middle-grade readers.
Don’t worry if you have trouble finding an agent for now. The Albert Whitman & Company submission policy ensures that writers of children’s literature can submit unsolicited manuscripts as long as they follow the guidelines.
12. Pan Macmillan UK
Daniel and Alexander Macmillan established their eponymous company nearly 180 years ago. Today, the UK division is headquartered in London and handles beloved imprints such as Picador, Pan, and Campbell Books.
This well-established publishing company has some of the biggest authors and titles in historical fiction. Some of these are David Baldacci’s 20th-century crime thriller Dream Town and Jane Healey’s domestic life novel The Ophelia Girls.
Authors must secure a literary agent if they want to be published under Pan Macmillan UK. The FAQs page gives handy advice for writers seeking representation.
13. Odyssey Books
Based in Waikanae Beach, New Zealand, Odyssey Books is always searching for effortlessly immersive fiction and deeply insightful nonfiction. Whenever it finds promising writers, the company dedicates as many resources as possible to develop their creative potential for the long haul.
Odyssey Books boasts a great selection of titles. Helen Burns’s Andal’s Garland is historical fiction with metaphysical elements while Julian Barr’s The Seven Hills is a phenomenal fantasy read for young adults.
Like a few other publishers in the industry, Odyssey Books is deeply mindful of the environment. Thus, it only accepts online query submissions to reduce paper use. While you should already have a complete manuscript, you only need to send the first few chapters.
14. Crown Publishing
Crown Publishing is another top-tier publisher in New York, New York. Founded back in 1933, its author list includes international bestsellers like Andy Weir and Gillian Flynn — and also US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Readers can always rely on this publisher for elegant stories. For example, Dinah Jefferies’s The Sapphire Window is a family saga that takes place in the early 1900s while Lori Benton’s Many Sparrows combines the histories of Christianity and Native Americans.
Crown Publishing is under Penguin Random House, which caters to agented proposals and manuscript submissions. You can read more about literary agencies and what you can do as a writer on the FAQs page.
15. Judaica Press
For at least five decades, Judaica Press in Brooklyn, New York, has served Jewish communities with titles that truly embrace its spiritual and moral leanings. From children’s literature and novels to recipe books, its publications are made to educate, motivate, and enlighten.
So, what can you expect from its catalog? Under its historical fiction collection is Gita Gordon’s Full Circle, a 464-page journey that takes its characters from Lithuania and the UK all the way to South Africa. Then there’s Miriam Walfish’s The Search for the Crown, which is shorter in length but remarkably intriguing.
Judaica Press respects the ideas and values of its authors. In the same vein, the publisher also wants its published material to adhere to its protected Jewish principles. Your manuscript can be for a short story or a novel — and it can be for adult or young readers. View the submission guidelines for more details.
16. Sunbury Press
Lawrence Knorr launched Sunbury Press in 2004. After only two years, its first-ever novel became one of Amazon’s top-selling titles. Now, it operates in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, and continues to innovate in not just traditional publishing but also ebooks and audiobooks.
Since last year, Sunbury Press has garnered more attention for its newest titles. Released back in March, Virginia Rafferty’s The House on Peace Street is a historical novel of a family trying to survive together as society undergoes rapid shifts. There’s also Kate Dike Blair’s biographical Civil War fiction The Hawthorne Inheritance.
Sunbury Press goes through over a thousand proposals annually, so it’s important to refine your work before submitting a proposal. The publisher is specifically interested in genres like historical fiction, so you have a relative advantage.
17. Severn House
If you love genre fiction, the London-based Severn House should be your go-to publisher. Established in 1974, its love for horror, historical fiction, and thrillers (among other genres) has led the team to authors like Candace Robb and Stella Cameron.
The Severn House catalog has historical mysteries spanning different centuries. If Caro Peacock’s Fool’s Gold revolves around the 1800s, then Brenda Rickman Vantrease’s The Queen’s Promise its storytelling spark in the 1600s at the height of the English Civil War.
Apart from agented submissions, Severn House accepts manuscripts and proposals from authors who’ve already been published and can provide sales numbers. The publisher encourages diversity in the literary world, so authors from all sorts of backgrounds should consider applying here.
Philipp Feldheim is a Holocaust survivor who founded a quaint bookstore in Nanuet, New York, in 1939. After realizing the demand for Jewish titles, he developed it into a publishing company. Now, it produces original fiction and nonfiction apart from English-translated versions of Hebrew writing.
Feldheim Publishers is the publisher of Yitzhak Salomon’s Royal Challenge and Yehudis Kormornick’s The Last Slave. Aside from historical novels, it also has cookbooks and literature for children and young adults alike.
Similar to Judaica Press, Feldheim Publishers is looking for compelling stories that highlight and respect the Torah values. Follow the submission guidelines, which you can either read online or download a copy of for offline viewing.
19. Rare Bird
Twelve years ago, Tyson Cornell launched Rare Bird. Located in Los Angeles, California, this publisher has a palpable love for music. Apart from books, ebooks, and audiobooks, it also offers vinyl records, singles, and merchandise from musicians like Frank Meyer and Joe Cardamone.
In 2017, Rare Bird launched two brilliant historical novels: Audrey Berger Welz’s Circus of the Queens and John Andrew Fredrick’s Your Caius Aquilla. The former goes through historic periods in Russia and the US while the latter imagines ancient Rome and its people in a time of love and war.
Rare Bird is open to agented proposals and submissions. Thus, writers should approach literary agencies for representation.
Are you aware of any other publishers seeking historical fiction? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.