Thursday, July 25, 2013

When You Don't Need an Agent: 3 Publishers That Accept Submissions Directly From Authors

Note: Post updated on 9/10/16

Finding an agent is harder than finding a needle in a haystack. But most major publishers, and even most mid-range publishing houses, will not look at manuscripts submitted directly to them by authors. Miraculously, there are some exceptions. Apart from DAW, these tend to be small houses. However, in matters of publishing, size doesn't always matter. Chicken Soup for the Soul was published by a small publishing house.

In all of these cases, be prepared to wait three to six months for a response. Make sure you follow their submission guidelines to the letter. If you don't, they will toss your manuscript into the recycling bin without a second thought. Whenever there is stiff competition, remember: Do not give anybody an excuse to throw your submission out.


1. DAW Books Inc. (now owned by Random/Penguin) is one of the few major publishers that accepts work directly from novelists-so you don't need an agent. They publish science fiction and fantasy novels. (No short stories, short story collections, novellas, poetry, or novels in other genres.) The average length of the novels they publish varies but is almost never less than 80,000 words. Hard copy only! Go here for complete submission details.

2. Peachtree Children's Books, located in Atlanta, Georgia, publishes 30 books per year, including picture books, middle grade and young adult novels. Authors should submit either a full manuscript or table of contents and first three sample chapters. For more information go here.

3. Kensington Publishing Corp. prides itself on being a major independent publishing house.For fiction, send cover letter, first three chapters, and synopsis (no more than five pages). They do not publish science fiction or fantasy. Nor do they publish poetry. For non-fiction, send cover letter/query, including the author's qualifications and connections relevant to the book's content and marketing, and summary or outline of book's content. All submissions should be double-spaced, paginated, cleanly printed and readable. Do not bind pages together. For more information go here.

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