If you’re an author in the Netherlands who has written a book and dream of getting it published, the next thing on your list needs to be finding a good publisher.
In order to get a deal with a publisher, you could of course work with a literary agent to represent you and negotiate a contract on your behalf.
Alternatively, you could make a submission directly to a book publishing house, such as one of the following top Dutch book publishers.
Do note that most are currently accepting submissions, and for those who are not, we’ve clearly stated this to be the case.
One of the most renowned literary publishers in the Netherlands is, without contest, De Bezige Bij (literally translated ‘The Busy Bee’). Founded on December 12, 1944 during Nazi-occupation, this initially illegal publisher continued to produce books and used its profits to support resistance forces. Located in Amsterdam, De Bezige Bij continues its operations, publishing both fiction and non-fiction books in both Dutch and English.
De Bezige Bij is currently accepting manuscripts via email. It’s important to note there are specific submission requirements. The line spacing of your manuscript should be 1.5 and must include a clear synopsis that is at maximum two pages long. In addition, you should submit a cover letter that contains a brief author description and summarizes the main idea of your book.
Founded in 1989 after a merger between two publishing houses, AW Sijthoff Uigeversmaatschappij and Uitgeverij Luitingh, Luitingh-Sijthoff was born. Based out of Amsterdam, this publishing house focuses on a wide range of novels, including thrillers, fantasy books, non-fiction and children’s stories. Luitingh-Sijthoff has published books from well-known authors such as Stephen King, George RR Martin, Ayn Rand and Danielle Steel, publishing Dutch versions of their books.
If you have a book written, why not consider sending them your manuscript? Luitingh-Sijthoff has specific criteria for how your manuscript submission should be formatted, and it depends entirely on the kind of book you have written. It may be a good idea to send a query letter first to ensure you are making a submission that upholds to their standards.
3. De Harmonie
Are you a fan of the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling? De Harmonie is the publishing company responsible for the publication and distribution of the beloved series in the Netherlands. Located in Amsterdam, the independent publishing house accepts a wide range of creative works, including poetry, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction novels. Founded in 1972, De Harmonie releases upwards of 35 to 40 new releases annually.
De Harmonie is currently accepting manuscripts sent via mail only. Due to their independent nature and small size, they are unable to confirm receipt of your manuscript. However, they do try to respond to your submissions within two months with their decision. There address and other contact information can be found on their website should you have any questions or would like to send a query letter before submitting your manuscript.
Located in Alkmaar, Netherlands, Kluitman is a publishing house that specializes in children’s books. Founded in 1864, Kluitman has a long history of printing, bookbinding and publishing high quality stories. Some famous titles that came out of Kluitman include the Dutch classic Pietje Bell (1914) and Kruimeltje (1923) by Chris van Abkoude.
If you have an illustrated children’s book that you would like to submit, Kluitman’s is currently accepting manuscripts via mail only. Submissions should include a synopsis that briefly touches on the content and plot of your children’s story, a brief introduction of its characters, the title and the first two chapters of the book. It’s also highly advisable to include a cover letter that has a short author bio, as well as your contact information. Upon receiving your manuscript, Kluitman’s will send a message acknowledging the receipt.
5. J.H. Gottmer
J.H. Gottmer is an independent publisher located in Haarlem, Netherlands that specializes in a wide range of book genres, including children’s books, spiritual books, travel and lifestyle books and even water sports books. J.H. Gottmer is a part of the Gottmer Publishers Group and is partnered with HJW Becht Publishing, originally branching out and becoming its own division in 1938.
They are currently accepting new manuscripts, which can be submitted either by email or regular mail. They require a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) in case of rejection so they may send your work back to you. According to their contact information section, J.H. Gottmer and its editors will try and return to you with a decision within six to eight weeks upon receiving your manuscript.
Focusing primarily on Dutch-language non-fiction works, Artemis & Co. has recently expanded to include fiction of all genres. Based out of Amsterdam, Artemis & Co. was founded in 1963 by Herman Pijfers, a writer who wanted to focus on publishing works that ranged from classical to contemporary translations. The publishing company has published works by famous Dutch authors including Herman Koch, Tatiana de Rosnay and Saskia Noort.
Whether you write Dutch non-fiction or fiction, Artemis & Co. is happily accepting new manuscripts sent via email. They have specified on their website that they cannot accept manuscripts by mail or in USB/CD form. They require a brief synopsis and the first fifty pages of your manuscript, along with a short biography about yourself. Foreign-language manuscripts unfortunately are not accepted at this time.
Specializing primarily on non-fiction books, Uitgeverij Balans has produced highly-engaging works that touch on politics, history, economics, journalism, culture, religion ethics and other social relevant topics. Founded in 1986 in Amsterdam, Balans publishes up to 40 new titles every year.
They are currently accepting new manuscripts, either through email or regular mail. Your manuscript will be revied by their editorial board, and should your manuscript be accepted, you will hear back concerning their interest in your work.
With nearly 77 years of independent publishing experience, Ad. Donker publishes works of fiction, history books, topics concerning psychology and academic texts. Based out of Rotterdam, Netherlands and founded in 1938, Ad. Donker is committed to producing your written words into high-quality and marketable finished products.
They are currently accepting new manuscripts, which must be typed and mailed for consideration. It can take anywhere from two to eight weeks to hear a response. Due to the amount of submissions that the publishing company receives, it is not possible to have your work returned with editorial notes or comments. According to their website, you should include a SASE if you want your manuscript returned to you.
The House of Books is a part of the Overamstel Uitgevers group, publishing all types of fiction and non-fiction genres. Located in Vianen, Netherlands, The House of Books aims to produce a wide range of books for their diverse readership.
They are currently accepting manuscripts either through the mail only. If you’re considering your manuscript for submission, they advise that you include an SASE, a cover letter that has a clear synopsis of your book. Include a brief author bio and your contact information. Due to the number of submissions they receive, you will not receive a confirmation of receipt, but they do try to contact you with a decision within three months.
Located in Uithoorn, Netherlands, Karakter Uitgevers is an independent publishing company that specializes in commercial fiction, nonfiction, books about computers and software programming, and even produces its own audiobooks! Publication is incredibly competitive, with only a select number of titles being published each year through this particular publishing house.
They are accepting manuscripts, however, so if you think your book is going to be next big thing in the Dutch literary market, you can actually send your manuscript in the form of an email for review. Be sure to check out Karakter’s submission guidelines before you send off a copy!
Lemniscaat is the name that comes to mind as one of the most popular publishing companies for children’s books, specifically colorful and beautiful picture books designed for young kids. Whether it’s illustrated fairytale books or young adult literature, Lemniscaat is the go-to publisher for this particular genre.
Located in Rotterdam, you can easily send your manuscript by mail, as they do not accept digital manuscripts. If you plan on sending illustrations for your children’s book, its’ recommended that you don’t send the originals, but send colored copies instead.
Founded in 1997 by Joost Nijsen, Podium is an independent publisher that specializes in contemporary Dutch and translated works, including prose, poetry and journalistic non-fiction. Some of recently published works include Miss Laila, Gewapend & Gevaarlijk (2018) by Manu Joseph and Lekker Tekenen (2018) by Sigfried Woldhek.
Podium is accepting new manuscripts by mail. Selection is incredibly competitive, as Podium only publishes about thirty new titles per year. Be sure to include a cover letter that provides a brief synopsis of your book. If you wish to have your manuscript returned to you, include an SASE.
Boom is a publishing company that focuses primarily on producing academic works that touch on the topics of culture, science and the professional information sectors. This is the perfect non-fiction publisher to choose if you’re hoping to break into the academic writing field. Boom was founded back in 1841, subsidized by the government in order to encourage more independent and original research.
Boom is currently accepting manuscripts for books focused on developed teaching methods and other academic books. It’s recommended that you send a query letter and determine which publisher location is best for your manuscript, as there are publishing houses in both Amsterdam and the Hague.
Boekerij has been in the book publishing business for nearly sixty-five years, producing top-selling books in both the fictional and non-fictional fields. They are especially known for their fantasy novels, which has its own category by itself on their website. This publishing house first started to produce books after World War II and in 2010, became part of the Melenhoff Lannoo publishing group.
They are currently accepting manuscripts by email only, and have specific criteria for submission that can be found on their webpage. Make sure that your manuscript is written in 12-point font and has 1.5 spacing. You should include a cover letter that gives a quick synopsis of your book, which shouldn’t be any longer than five pages.
15. Nieuw Amsterdam
A part of the Wereldbibliotheek Publishing Company, Nieuw Amsterdam was affiliated in 2014. Ever since, this publishing house has focused on non-fiction Dutch-language literature. They are currently accepting manuscripts for cook books, history texts, books about culture, science and technology, nature and much more. Manuscripts should be sent via mail, and there are specific requirements for manuscript submission. You should include a synopsis of your book as well as a short author biography.
16. Idea Books
Idea Books is a publishing company that has expanded beyond just books, but also into exhibition catalogues, DVDs on contemporary architecture, art books, photography curations, books about design, fashion and even films. Founded in 1976 and located out of Amsterdam, Idea Books has successfully been able to diversify its specialties. While they are not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts, they still recommend to contact them first with query.
Wereldbibliotheek, literally translated “World Library,” was founded in Amsterdam in 1905. It is a general publishing house of both fiction and non-fiction, ranging from philosophy to history and even to literature about psychology. They publish only in Dutch and do not accept foreign language works. Wereldbibliotheek is an independent publisher and is not currently accepting new manuscripts at this time. Should you be interested in working with this publishing house, you can send a query letter to their address in Amsterdam.
Based out of Bassum, Netherlands, THOTH is a publishing company that focuses on non-fiction content. They produce books on subjects such as art, architecture, town planning, design, photography and history books. It’s important to note that THOTH publishes exclusively in the Duch-language and does not accept foreign language works. THOTH is not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts at this time, but it is still highly recommended that authors send a query letter first to express their interest.
Iperborea is actually a publishing company that’s based out of Milano, Italy, but it specializes in producing and promoting works by Scandinavian, Dutch and Flemish, Finnish and Baltic writers. Its primary goal is to help cultivate Northern European literature. Founded in 1987. Iperborea does publish books in Dutch for the Dutch market.
While the publishing company isn’t openly accepting manuscripts, their website suggests getting in contact with them with a query to see if your work would be a good fit for their publishing house.
Do you know any other top Dutch publishers we should know about? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
K. Z. Kwan is a freelance writer based out of Halifax, Canada.