Many writers and amateurs struggle to get their work noticed or read because famous publishers require literary agents. Several publishing companies or publishers don’t accept unagented manuscripts. It allows them to save time as agents tend to represent few and experienced writers. While this system works for the agents and the publishers, it leaves a barrier for new writers or anybody interested in pitching a novel.
But there are small, boutique, and digital publishers that accept manuscripts directly from authors. Below is a list of such publishers based across the world and what kind of manuscripts they accept.
Before you whiz off to send your manuscript, do read their requirements before submitting a manuscript. Sending manuscripts directly to the publisher implies that it has to be fully edited and proofread. An agent will indicate things that need to be worked on, grammatical errors, tone, etc. So do your homework before pitching to a particular publisher. Try to familiarize yourself with their work. Follow all the guidelines clearly before sending a manuscript or a cover letter.
One of Australia’s largest publishers, Hachette is currently accepting manuscripts directly from authors. This is open only to residents of Australia or New Zealand. They are very particular about following the guidelines mentioned on their submissions page. Do not send hardcopy submissions to their office.
They are looking for children’s fiction, children’s non-fiction, Young adult fiction, and Young adult non-fiction. Other genres they are currently interested in are adult fiction and narrative non-fiction. They do not accept science fiction, fantasy, horror, illustrated books, cookbooks, academic works, screenplays, and poetry.
Text is a modern, boutique publisher in Australia with some interesting books on its list. They have several writing contests also going on in which writers can take part and get recognition. Based in Melbourne, Text has been awarded Small Publisher of the Year three times. At present, Text is interested in fiction, non-fiction, including middle-grade and young adult. Genres they don’t accept include picture books, individual short stories, technical manuals, cookbooks, how-to guides, travel guides, scripts, screenplays, educational textbooks, and poetry.
Authors and writers should submit the first 3 chapters of your manuscript along with the cover letter in a PDF or Word document. Send a digital manuscript to this address. Please read all the instructions stated clearly on this page before submitting your manuscript.
Based in the UK, Agora Books focus on e-publications only. Established in 2015, the publisher was first known as Ipso Books. Agora is a digital-first publisher and has a wide range of books published with a keen focus on quality rather than quantity.
The authors get 50% of the royalties. They are eager and interested in reading manuscripts written by first-time writers or authors. Authors need to send the first 3 chapters (or first 50 pages) of their manuscript and a synopsis in Word or PDF to Agora.
They only want fiction submissions presently. Do not send any non-fiction, essays, poetry, novellas, or young adult. Authors that get signed with Agora Books are included in the Peter Fraser + Dunlop group which is a literary agency. The agency provides support, guidance, promotion, and marketing to enhance the careers of their authors.
Due to COVID-19, response time can take longer than usual. Please read all the guidelines mentioned on this page before sending your manuscript.
Black & White Publishing was founded in 1999 and is now one of the leading publishers in Scotland. The popular Scottish press changed its submissions rules in 2019. Now they only accept non-fiction manuscripts directly from writers. Literary agents are free to submit fiction manuscripts. The publisher will also have submission windows where authors are free to submit so keep an eye on their social media and website.
Black & White Publishing only accepts English language books. They are interested in genres such as sportsbooks (focus on UK or Ireland), lifestyle, humor, celebrity memoirs, gift books, activity books, nature, Scottish non-fiction, Irish non-fiction, food, and drink. Authors and writers can send a one-page proposal via email. Read the guidelines before submitting a manuscript.
Kensington calls themselves the last independent US publisher in the country. The publisher has a reputation of selecting books that become bestsellers in various genres. They accept submissions queries via email. You should send only a query in the body of the email. Do not attach your manuscript or proposal in the email. Address your email to one particular editor who focuses on the genre of your choice.
The list of editors, email addresses, and submission guidelines are available on this page.
There are many global publishers accepting manuscripts without an agent. Are you interested in knowing about more publishers? Do drop a comment or leave a suggestion if you want any topic to be covered.