Tuesday, June 20, 2017

11 Mystery and Thriller Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

Mysteries and thrillers have enjoyed widespread popularity ever since the advent of Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps it is a holdover from our days as hunter-gatherers, but the hunt - something that lies at the heart of every mystery story - has an appeal that is deeply ingrained in us.

If you write mysteries, crime novels, or thrillers, there are a number of respected publishing houses that are willing to accept manuscripts without an agent. All of the publishers on this list offer royalties and do not charge authors anything for editing, cover design, or distribution.

Be sure to read their submission guidelines carefully, and follow them to the letter. Don't give anyone an excuse to throw out your submission.

NOTE: For more than 150 publishers accepting unagented books in all genres go HERE.



Alibi is Random House's digital mystery and thriller imprint. Alibi books are edited by a Random House editor, and have a marketer and publicist assigned to them. (But Random House assumes the author will contribute to social media marketing.) They are interested in full-length works (40,000 words or more), and will accept previously published books as long as the author has full rights. Read submission guidelines here.

Brash Books

Brash Books was founded by Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman, both Edgar-Award nominated, bestselling authors. Lee is the writer/producer of many successful TV series (including Diagnosis Murder and Monk) and is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 books. Joel traded his career as a practicing trial attorney to write the hugely successful and award-winning Lou Mason, Jack Davis, and Alex Stone thriller series. Brash Books publishes crime novels, psychological thrillers, murder mysteries, international espionage, and police procedurals from established authors as well as premiere books from new voices. If your book has been previously published, but is now out of print, they are willing to consider it. Read submission guidelines here.

Endeavour Press

Endeavour Press is a UK publisher looking for works of at least 25,000 words in length, as well as full length books, in the following genres: Crime Fiction and Thrillers, History and Historical Fiction, Romance and popular Women's Fiction. Read submission guidelines here.

Felony & Mayhem

Felony and Mayhem was launched in 2005, and now has more than 100 titles in print. Their focus is on literary mystery fiction. "We love wit, we love elegance, we love distinctive narrative voices. And while we may sound a little snotty, the truth is that we would love nothing more than to find your witty, elegant, distinctive manuscript in our inbox."  The minimum length is roughly 75,000 words. Read submission guidelines here.

Hard Case Crime

Hard Case Crime publishes old-fashioned, hard-boiled crime novels with "bare-knuckled" prose. They are unabashedly dedicated to "reviving the vigor and excitement, the suspense and thrills—the sheer entertainment—of the golden age of paperback crime novels, both by bringing back into print the best work of the pulp era and by introducing readers to new work by some of today's most powerful writers and artists. Determined detectives and dangerous women...fortune hunters and vengeance seekers...ingenious criminals and men on the run..." Read submission guidelines here.

Henery Press

Henery Press publishes mysteries with a splash of chick lit. They focus on the cozier side of life: cozies with a hook, cozies with an edge, cozies with humor, cozies with adventure. Several of their books have hit the USA TODAY bestseller list, and many have won industry awards and garnered nominations for the Agatha, Macavity, Daphne, Anthony, and Golden Heart. All books are available in ebooks, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers. They pay royalties and offer editorial guidance, cover artwork, and a structured social media strategy. Read submission guidelines here.

Joffe Books

Joffe Books is one of the UK’s leading independent publishers of crime and mystery novels. Many of their authors have topped the best-seller lists. They accept submissions from published authors and new writers, as well as authors who wish to relaunch their back-list titles. They are seeking mysteries, crime fiction, psychological thrillers, detective, thrillers, and suspense. Read submission guidelines here.

Lyrical Press

Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington, publishes suspense fiction, thrillers, and cozy mysteries. They have a penchant for romance. Submit to one editor only. (The list of editors includes the genres they are receiving.) Response time is three months. Read submission guidelines here.

Level Best Books

Level Best, a publisher of anthologies, has recently opened its doors to full-length manuscript submissions. They are seeking crime fiction novels in the following categories: mystery, thriller, suspense, historical, traditional, and contemporary. No works of erotica or science fiction at this time. Read submission guidelines here. If you write crime short stories set in New England, you will want to check out their anthology guidelines here.

Poisoned Pen Press

Poisoned Pen Press is an independent publisher of mystery novels based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Their books routinely earn starred reviews from trade publications and the general press and have also won or been nominated for every major award in the mystery genre. Titles from Poisoned Pen Press are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services. Submissions: Poisoned Pen opens their doors to unsolicited submissions once a year. (They don't say when. It's a mystery.) They consider works between 60,000-90,000 words. Read their guidelines here.

Seventh Street Books

Seventh Street Books—where fiction is a crime—is devoted to publishing quality mystery, thriller, and crime fiction. It is an imprint of Prometheus Books, an independent publisher of progressive nonfiction. A number of their debut titles have won prestigious awards, including the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Anthony Award. Read submission guidelines here.

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