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50 Indie Publishers Who Are Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

Are you an author looking to get published but unsure where to begin? The world of publishing can seem daunting, especially when you're starting out. Finding the right platform for your work can be a challenging task for any author, particularly if you're navigating the publishing industry without the aid of an agent. However, independent publishers offer a fantastic alternative, and a surprising number of them are open to unsolicited manuscripts. This means they're willing to accept and review submissions directly from authors, bypassing the traditional route of using an agent. In this post, we've compiled a list of independent publishers who currently accept unsolicited manuscripts.

What is an independent publisher?

An independent publisher, often known as an "indie publisher," is a publishing house that operates without the financial support of any large or mainstream ("big five") publishing entities. Indie publishers are independent businesses, and they typically operate with a smaller budget, fewer staff, and a more selective publication process than their larger counterparts.

Despite operating on a smaller scale, independent publishers play a crucial role in the publishing industry and in literary culture. They often take more risks in terms of the type and style of content they publish, and they frequently provide a platform for voices and stories that are underrepresented in mainstream publishing.

Because independent publishers are not driven by the same commercial pressures as large conglomerates, they have the freedom to publish more innovative, niche, or controversial work. This allows indie publishers to focus on the literary merit and social or cultural significance of a work, rather than just its potential for commercial success.

In addition, independent publishers often have a closer relationship with their authors. They can offer a more personal approach, with more direct communication and greater author involvement in the publishing process. This can be a significant advantage for authors, particularly those new to the publishing world.

However, it's essential to remember that each independent publisher has its own unique ethos and approach to publishing. Therefore, when considering independent publishers as a potential home for your work, it's crucial to do your research and ensure that a particular publisher's vision aligns with your own.

In this era of publishing, independent publishers have shown a remarkable ability to be both agile and resilient, continuing to bring important and diverse literature to readers worldwide. They are a testament to the fact that the love for literature and the power of a well-told story can triumph over the constraints of size and budget.

A caveat regarding unsolicited manuscripts

All publishers on this list accept unsolicited manuscripts, although they often come with specific submission guidelines or requirements that authors need to follow. For example, some publishers welcome unsolicited submissions but only during certain windows throughout the year. These submission periods may vary widely, with some publishers having monthly or quarterly open submission periods and others only accepting submissions at specific times. It's also worth noting that other publishers have certain criteria that unsolicited submissions must meet, whether it's a specific genre, a particular length, or a unique theme or style. Therefore, it's always advisable for authors to thoroughly read and understand the submission guidelines provided by each publisher to increase the chances of their work being considered. Remember that the specifics of these guidelines may change over time, so ensure you check for updates regularly.

Our list of independent publishers who are accepting unsolicited manuscripts

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore many independent publishers, providing crucial details about each, including the genres they publish, a brief overview of their mission and approach, and most importantly, their submission guidelines. This is your roadmap to navigating the indie publishing landscape, armed with the knowledge you need to submit your manuscript to the publishers best suited to your work.

Whether you've written a contemporary novel, a poetry collection, an engaging non-fiction piece, or a compelling young adult narrative, this guide offers a myriad of choices for your publishing journey. We wish you the best of luck on your path to becoming a published author!

Page Street Publishing

Page Street Publishing is a publisher of YA (young adult) fiction across a variety of genres, non-fiction covering a range of categories and children's books in the lifestyle, cooking, and self-help genres.

What They Publish:YA fiction, non-fiction, and children's books

Haymarket Books

Haymarket Books is a Chicago-based independent, radical, non-profit publisher. They believe in the power of storytelling for social change.

What They Publish:They focus on progressive political nonfiction

Tin House

Known for its commitment to promoting and publishing works of outstanding literature, Tin House publishes a variety of genres, from fiction, non-fiction, to poetry.

What They Publish:Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry

Gaspereau Press

Operating out of Kentville, Nova Scotia, Gaspereau Press is a small Canadian publisher that puts a strong emphasis on the importance of quality physical books, producing beautiful editions designed for the book-lover's library.

What They Publish:Poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with an emphasis on Canadian literature.

Two Dollar Radio

Two Dollar Radio is a family-run outfit from Columbus, Ohio, dedicated to publishing bold works of literary merit.

What They Publish:Novels, essays, and graphic novels that are "too loud to ignore."

Coffee House Press

Coffee House Press is an internationally renowned independent publishing house based in Minneapolis, MN, with a mission to promote exciting, culturally diverse voices.

What They Publish:Literary novels, full-length short story collections, poetry, creative nonfiction, book-length essays and essay collections, and the occasional memoir

Ugly Duckling Presse

Ugly Duckling Presse is a nonprofit publisher for poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, performance texts, and books by artists. With a mission to keep the vibrant and rich side of literature alive, they produce artisanal and trade editions of each work they publish.

What They Publish:Poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, performance texts, books by artists

Dalkey Archive Press

Dalkey Archive Press is a nonprofit publisher that specializes in the publication of avant-garde literature and literary translations.

What They Publish:Avant-garde literature and literary translations

Persea Books

Persea Books is an independent literary publisher of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and books for young adults.

What They Publish:Contemporary fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and books for young adults

Arsenal Pulp Press

Arsenal Pulp Press is a Canadian independent publisher that specializes in literature that traverse issues of social justice, gender and sexuality, and cultural identity.

What They Publish:Literature related to social justice, gender and sexuality, and cultural identity

Four Way Books

Four Way Books is a non-profit, independent literary publisher based out of New York City. They are dedicated to producing and promoting excellent literary publications and are particularly interested in collections of poetry, short stories, and novels.

What They Publish:Poetry, short stories, and novels

Holiday House

Holiday House is an independent publisher of children's books only. They specialize in quality hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction.

What They Publish:Children's books, both fiction and nonfiction

Hub City Press

Hub City Press publishes books of literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. They are looking for well-crafted, high-quality works by new and established authors.

What They Publish:Literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction

Unbridled Books

Unbridled Books is an independent publisher focused on producing quality fiction and narrative nonfiction. They are committed to fostering and promoting the works of both established authors and new voices, often choosing to publish unconventional and challenging works.

What They Publish:Fiction and narrative nonfiction

Wakefield Press

Wakefield Press is an Australian independent publishing company, specializing in publishing thoughtful and beautiful literary books.

What They Publish:Literary books

Black Inc.

Black Inc. is an independent Australian publisher of quality non-fiction, fiction and poetry, based in Melbourne.

What They Publish:Quality non-fiction, fiction and poetry

Affirm Press

Affirm Press is an Australian independent publisher dedicated to publishing great Australian stories, big ideas, and the most engaging local and international authors.

What They Publish:Australian stories, big ideas, and engaging authors

Flame Tree Publishing

Flame Tree Publishing is an independent publisher of books, calendars, and other stationery items, based in London. They produce art and music books, alongside a rapidly growing line of fiction titles. Their aim is to create richly illustrated quality books that offer value, beauty and information.

What They Publish:Art, music, fiction, calendars, stationery items

Scribe Publications

Scribe Publications is an Australian independent publisher of non-fiction and fiction books. They are dedicated to publishing books that matter.

What They Publish:Non-fiction and fiction books

Text Publishing

Text Publishing is an independent Australian publisher of fiction and non-fiction. They are committed to discovering and publishing the best Australian and international writing.

What They Publish:Fiction and non-fiction

Copper Canyon Press

Copper Canyon Press is a nonprofit publisher that specializes in publishing poetry from around the world.

What They Publish:Poetry

Heyday Books

Heyday is an independent, nonprofit publisher founded in 1974 in Berkeley, California. It promotes widespread awareness and celebration of California's many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas.

What They Publish:Various genres with a focus on California

Dover Publications

Dover Publications, also known as Dover Books, is an American publisher of books on a vast variety of subjects, including science, mathematics, music, art, history, and more.

What They Publish:Various genres

Drawn & Quarterly

Drawn & Quarterly is a Montreal-based publisher of cartoon collections, graphic novels, and comics, with a focus on works that represent the diversity of the comics medium.

What They Publish:Cartoon collections, graphic novels, comics

Zubaan Books

Zubaan Books is an independent publishing house based in India. They are deeply invested in issues related to women and gender in South Asia and publish across a variety of genres.

What They Publish:Fiction, nonfiction, academic books with a focus on women and gender issues

The Feminist Press

The Feminist Press is an educational nonprofit organization founded to advance women's rights and amplify feminist perspectives. They publish works that ignite movements and challenge the status quo.

What They Publish:Feminist literature

House of Anansi Press

House of Anansi Press is a Canadian publishing company that was founded in 1967. It publishes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Their goal is to publish diverse, innovative, and engaging works of literary fiction and non-fiction, and poetry, as well as books that promote a rich cultural conversation.

What They Publish:Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry

Bitter Lemon Press

Bitter Lemon Press is a London-based independent publisher that focuses on translated crime fiction. They are known for publishing works that are dark, serious, and gripping - tales of crime and social commentary.

What They Publish:Translated crime fiction

Baen Books

Baen Books is a science fiction and fantasy publisher. It emphasizes space opera, hard science fiction, military science fiction, and fantasy. Baen also has a strong commitment to e-publishing.

What They Publish:Science fiction and fantasy

Faber and Faber

Faber and Faber is one of the world's great publishing houses. Its list of authors includes thirteen Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize-winners.

What They Publish:Fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, children's books

Harlequin Enterprises

Harlequin Enterprises is a global leader in series romance and publishers of commercial women's fiction since 1949.

What They Publish:Romance and commercial women's fiction

Nightwood Editions

Nightwood Editions publishes and promotes the most varied and dynamic new literature in Canada. They tend to focus on poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction by emerging writers, although they have also been known to publish works from established authors whose writing is considered to be groundbreaking or experimental.

What They Publish:Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction


Heinemann is a publisher of professional resources and a provider of educational services for teachers, kindergarten through college.

What They Publish:Educational resources

Carcanet Press

Carcanet Press is one of the UK's leading poetry publishers, producing a diverse and rich list of poetry from around the world, essays, lives and fictions. They publish work by Nobel Laureates and other celebrated figures, as well as introducing fresh talent.

What They Publish:Poetry, essays, fiction

Second Story Press

Second Story Press, founded in 1988, is a Canadian publisher of feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. They are dedicated to publishing stories that feature strong female characters and explore themes of social justice, human rights, equality, and ability issues.

What They Publish:Feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers

Ignatius Press

Ignatius Press is one of the largest Catholic publishing houses in the world. They publish a variety of books from a Catholic perspective.

What They Publish:Books from a Catholic perspective, including Works of Apologetics, fiction, and biographies

NeWest Press

NeWest Press, founded in 1977, is one of Canada's first independent literary publishing houses. NeWest Press' mission is to publish books that portray a western Canadian experience but appeal to readers everywhere. They focus on fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama.

What They Publish:Fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, drama

Image Comics

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists.

What They Publish:Comic books and graphic novels

Tundra Books

Tundra Books is one of Canada's leading publishers of children's books and was founded in Montreal in 1967. Tundra's mission is to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults by creating books that can be read and enjoyed over and over again.

What They Publish:Children's books

InterVarsity Press

InterVarsity Press (IVP) is an evangelical Christian publisher, presenting thoughtful books to the university, the church, and the world.

What They Publish:Evangelical Christian books

Brick Books

Brick Books is a prestigious independent publisher based in Canada and has a singular focus - to publish new and established voices in Canadian poetry. Since 1975, the publisher has been offering readers beautifully designed poetry books that are a pleasure to read.

What They Publish:Poetry

Kensington Publishing Corp.

Kensington Publishing Corp. is a New York-based publishing house founded in 1974. They are known for publishing in a wide variety of genres, including romance, mystery, and thrillers.

What They Publish:Romance, mystery, thrillers

Oolichan Books

Oolichan Books is a Canadian independent publisher that has been in operation since 1974. They publish and promote books that enrich the understanding of, among others, the regions of Atlantic Canada and the West Coast. They focus on works of fiction, poetry, and drama.

What They Publish:Fiction, poetry, drama

New Star Books

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, New Star Books is known for its publishing program that is focused on what it calls the "social fabric" literature, often from an explicitly political perspective.

What They Publish:Political, social and literary non-fiction, as well as prose fiction and poetry.

Kogan Page

Kogan Page is an independent publishing company founded in 1967 and headquartered in London, with branches in New York and New Delhi. Their work focuses on the areas of business and management.

What They Publish:Business, management, education and careers

Llewellyn Worldwide

Llewellyn Worldwide is a New Age publisher, currently based in Woodbury, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.

What They Publish:New age books

Orison Books

Orison Books is a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

What They Publish:Works tackling spiritual themes


Talonbooks, based in Vancouver, is well known for its diverse and high-quality literary list. They are one of Canada's oldest and most renowned independent literary publishers, specializing in poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction.

What They Publish:Poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction

Thistledown Press

Thistledown Press is a Canadian literary publisher best known for its poetry, literary fiction, and young adult novels. Established in 1975, it's committed to fostering and promoting the work of Canadian authors at all stages of their careers.

What They Publish:Poetry, literary fiction, young adult novels

Pegasus Publishers

Pegasus Publishers is dedicated to the aim of independent publishing that stimulates both the intellect and the imagination.

What They Publish:Stimulating intellectual and imaginative works

As we wrap up this list of independent publishers, it's important to remember that publishers may update or change their policies, preferences, or submission guidelines at any time. What we've provided here is a snapshot in time, and while we've done our best to ensure accuracy, the publishing world is constantly evolving. Rest assured, we will continue to update this list as we become aware of changes or new opportunities. Our goal is to provide authors with a useful and dynamic resource to assist in their publishing journey. Happy writing, and here's to your publishing success!

Header image by Rostislav Sedlacek.

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