Are you an author based on the West Coast of the United States of America?
Are you now searching for a publisher for a book you’ve just written?
Below are 19 top book publishers in California.
A non- profit multicultural women’s press in San Francisco, Aunt Lute Foundation is a boutique publisher. Founded in 1982, the press is exclusively meant to publish books and novels by women. The mission is to allow female author and diverse races express their journeys through writing. Getting a chance as a female author and writer is usually tough but with Aunt Lute, you can share your story. LGBTQ authors are also welcome and eagerly supported. First time authors are also widely awaited as they like mentoring new voices. Female authors of fiction and non-fiction can consider sending their manuscripts. You can read submission guidelines and contact details here.
An independent eBook publisher, Carnation Books is based in San Jose. The name itself has a symbolic significance. Carnations were associated with gay men and wearing one usually signified your sexuality. Oscar Wilde proudly wore a green carnation! Exclusive publisher of fanfiction, they focus on LGBTQ romance. The promotion of gay, queer and transgender characters and their lives is vital. A traditional and small publisher, they are paying a royalty rate of 50% to authors. Unlike other publishers, they are perfectly okay to read unpolished, rough versions of manuscripts. Find the submission guidelines and details listed on this page.
A small and traditional press based in Los Angeles, Red Hen Press was launched in 1994. Founders Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull were keen to promote literacy and support educational literature in schools. The eclectic publisher wants to build a community of readers, listeners and critical thinkers. Their author list is a mixed bag of social activists, intelligent writers and sophisticated authors. Diverse voices from different racial and economical background are chosen to discuss their ideas and stories. They have a ‘Writing in the Schools’ program which connects authors and writers with schools so they can hold workshops. Readings are organized so young children can start at an early age. The independent publisher prints only 20 books a year. Writers of fiction, non-fiction and poets can send their submissions to Red Hen. Find the submission guidelines and contact details mentioned on this page.
An independent employee owned publisher in Oakland, New Harbinger Publications has several imprints. An exclusive publisher of psychology, mental health, spiritual, self-help and personal growth books, they give you the tools to change your life. Their workbooks and factual based research books and material can empower people in need of guidance, support and uplifting emotions. For nearly 35 years, they have published experienced professionals, graduates, scientists and psychologists. Publishing 50 books a year, they will lend you personalized attention, care and editorial support. Send a book proposal to them via email.
5. MSI Press
Founded in 2003, MSI Press is a small publisher of first time authors. Publishing books in memoirs, pet memoirs, humor, self-help, inspirational and general interest, they have a small but dedicated team of writers and authors. The focus remains on providing new, amateur authors a support system and guidance to ensure their debut is successful. Smart editing skills, proper marketing and design ideas are presented and offered so they can build a good project together. Located in Hollister, the publisher is a good chance for someone looking to start their career and wants to make a strong impact. You can find submission guidelines and contact details on this page.
The Encino based publisher prints books on true crime. Letting readers and audiences know more about real life events, killings, crimes and violent activities can make them aware and responsible. A detailed retelling of certain events also enlightens the society about the true nature of criminals. Psychological analysts, behavioral scientists and law enforcement professionals have experienced the grisly aftermath of crimes. They are equipped to talk about the truth and not sensationalize or wrap it in drama. If you are an author or writer of true crime non-fiction and have the experience, they want to publish your book. Their dedicated focus on non-fiction has enabled them to be leaders in their field. Promotions, editorial support and marketing advice are all handled by a team of experts. Read the submissions guidelines carefully before sending a proposal via email.
This award winning publisher in Los Angeles is a niche company formed in 2002. Printing only graphic novels and comics, they formed partnerships with brands and companies in Hollywood. Its charming mix of intelligent story telling with sharp illustrations has resulted in a line of warm, wonderful comic books and graphic novels. The edgy titles in its roster are proof of their willingness to experiment with new, fresh voices and stories. Writers of adventure, fantasy, horror, science fiction, noir and pulp are welcomed at Archaia. They do not pair a writer with an illustrator or artist. So you can only submit a book proposal with completed artwork. The submission guidelines are mentioned on this page along with the online submission form.
8. Kaya Press
A committed group of dedicated writers, artists and readers of the Asian and Pacific Island Diasporas, Kaya Press is situated in Los Angeles. Established in 1994, the name comes from a tribal confederation of 6 Korean city-states. The idea behind the press and publisher is to allow marginalized communities from the Asian and Pacific Islands to tell their stories find their roots and print cutting edge ideas. Their list of titles includes novels, fiction, noir fiction, memoirs, female memoirs, and poetry and performance pieces. Kaya’s authors include award winners and bestsellers. Submit your manuscript after reading the guidelines outlined here.
Since 1994, Santa Monica Press has been one of the most prominent publishers on West Coast. Recognized and esteemed experts of various fields have worked as authors with the publisher. Jeffrey Goldman, the owner and founder of the company has a PhD and has worked as an editor, journalist, writer, researcher and book designer. His varied career experience affected his publishing choices and helped create a balanced and myriad book list. He is also on the chair of several boards that promote and support charitable causes. Genres they publish include non-fiction, humor, travel, biography, sport, art and photography, film, music, television, culture, popular culture, cooking and California. Read the submission guidelines carefully and submit your proposal.
10. Stone Pier Press
A publisher with an environment friendly focus, Stone Pier Press is in San Francisco. The planet is in danger of going through drastic climate changes and it is time to do something about it. By finding authors and writers who have tried to invent and adapt sustainable methods or save the environment, they are playing a huge role. Whether it’s a farmer trying to reverse or halt global warming, communities that restrict and revolutionize meat production, green eating alternatives and sustainable living, they are pushing the boundaries of story-telling. Mainly using stories about food and sustainable living, they have partnered with various organizations to collaborate on book ideas. Young adult novels, non-fiction, memoirs, children’s books, biographies and guidebooks are some genres they work on. Use the Submittable link to send your manuscript or book proposal.
11. Two Lines Press
A literary translation journal established by the Center for Art of Translation, Two Lines Press is based in San Francisco. Olivia Sears, an Italian translator and editor formed it in 2000 to bring international, quality literature to America and American readers. A rich treasure of fiction and non-fiction lay ignored because of the language barriers. Several talented authors from different regions and languages were not recognized because of the lack of translation avenues and publishers. Craft is king and the language is only a medium through which a story gets conveyed. Essays on language, literature, poetry, original translations are all considered for publication. The translator can’t be the author in case of fiction, poetry and novels. The submission guidelines and links are provided here for authors, poets and writers.
12. Angel City Press
Established in 1992 in Santa Monica, Angel City Press is a non-fiction publisher. Choosing high quality images and illustrations to explain a city or a place or a style, they try to chronicle and cover the cultural history of the world. An emphasis on Western cultural landscape has meant authors and writers create beautifully bound books on architecture, food, photography, art, media and Hollywood. They do not accept any electronic submissions. You can find their mailing address and details outlined on this page.
Started from a garage in 2008, Black Bed Sheet Books is located in Antelope. A small publishing company with heart and soul, they put the author’s needs above theirs. Professional editing, distribution, marketing and good royalties are what you can expect should you choose to work with them. They are currently accepting manuscripts and proposals for 2019 and beyond. They print both traditional and ebooks. Currently Black Bed Sheet is seeking fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, novels, novellas, young adult, contemporary fiction, short story collections. Writers and authors are requested to send a query letter via email and wait for their response.
14. Manic D Press
Jennifer Joseph formed Manic D Press in 1984 to publish books and stories by otherwise shunned and ignored voices or talents. Commercial or big publishers don’t often bet on cutting edge literature or offbeat ideas. Manic D became a haven for authors who wanted to write and say something unconventional. Over the years it became home to several edgy, strong and powerful talents and authors. Betting on the underdog has paid off handsomely for the publisher as its writers and books receive several awards and mentions. The small, literary press is firm that anybody interested in writing for them has to have read one of their previous titles. This will give you an idea of what works for them. Generally they accept genres such as fiction, non-fiction, LGBTQ literature, humor, graphic novels, music and art. Read the submission guidelines for the San Francisco based publisher here.
15. Ulysses Press
Named as one of the fastest growing small publishers by Publishers Weekly, Ulysses Press is in Berkeley. Instead of sticking to traditional genres, they are creating their own niches by predicting trends. Reading consumers, understanding behavioral patterns and sensing the market allows them to publish books about completely unheard of, niche and offbeat topics. They want to get ahead of the curve by turning the author-reader relationship on its head. Instead of making the audience read what the author wrote, they are making the author write what the reader desires. Their genres are also quirky and unique such as ‘What they didn’t tell you’ which is basically trivia about several events or categories. Other genres include fitness, healthy eating, cookbooks and crafts but not the typical, boring how to books. Find submission guidelines and contact details on this page for authors and writers.
16. Unnamed Press
Publishing quality literature from around the world, Unnamed Press is in Los Angeles. The small but vibrant and eclectic publisher has created a culture of supporting fresh, diverse voices with an impact. Fiction, memoirs or anything that can leave an everlasting memory with the reader is eagerly accepted by this publisher. Just send a query letter via email to them and they will get in touch with you.
The publishing world is evolving rapidly. People prefer ebooks, audio books and digital media to traditionally printed books. It does not mean that print is dying; it just means there are endless ways you can get published now. An exclusive publisher of ebooks and audio books, they are based in Encino. Fiction, novellas, non-fiction, novels and anthologies are genres they consider for publication. If you are a fresh author looking to explore another avenue instead of the conventional hard back or print, consider Wordwooze. Find the submission guidelines and contact details here.
One of the most popular and successful independent bookstores in US, City Lights was established in 1953. In 1955, the bookstore formed a publishing company to print authors after its own tastes and heart. The store became a hub of critical discussions, debate and literature. This inspired publishing and printing books of fervor, passion and unconventional ideas. You can send a book proposal to the San Francisco based company. They consider fiction, essays, memoirs, social issues and poetry. They only accept proposals via mail. The guidelines and address is listed on this page for your perusal.
Formed out of the Harvard Alumni Association Group, Harvard Square Editions is a publisher with a social and environmental message. Books have the power to inspire and motivate people and that’s why they need to be full of good, effective ideas. HSE is looking for literary fiction driven by environmental concerns or social issues, science fiction, fantasy or contemporary fiction. Submit your work to the Hollywood based publisher using their online submission form.
Are there any other book publishers in California that should be on this list? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.