Fantasy Publishers | A Long List | No Agent Required

You’d be surprised at the number of opportunities fantasy and science fiction authors—published or unpublished—have nowadays when it comes to submitting their work for consideration. As you’ll see in the list below, there is a thriving community of small independent fantasy publishers releasing fantastic fiction and competing with the big guns like Penguin, Harper Collins and Tor.

What many of these brilliant fantasy indie presses offer is an opportunity. The world of writing and publishing is incredibly competitive. Booker Prize winners have spoken of how they were rejected over 30+ times before getting a publishing deal. JK Rowling famously suffered scores of rejections for Harry Potter.

Great writing doesn’t always guarantee a publishing deal.

For many of us, the prospect of finding fantasy publishers can sometimes feel tougher than defeating the Balrog with nothing but a teaspoon.

Long waits between submission responses can be wearisome. The rejection letters can be heartbreaking. It may put you off book publishing for good. But when you finally land that deal and find someone excited to publish your fantasy novel, the feeling’s incredible.

But looking for book publishing companies, book publishers online or in a writing handbook is a tedious task. It takes time too, and for most of us, time is a luxury we just don’t enjoy. 

You may also wonder whether going straight for a publisher is the best thing to do. Should you send your book out to literary agents first? Or should you just skip the hunt altogether, giving up on the likes of Harper Collins and Penguin Books, and just self-publish with the likes of Amazon Kindle (KDP) or Ingramspark? 

Self-publishing has changed massively in the last few years, and the negative stigma attached to it is waning. You can search the web for some of the best self-publishing companies to help you in the same way a traditional publisher would, thereby levelling the playing field to a certain extent.

There really is no right answer. Whatever you feel most comfortable and happy with is the best path for you. You might not want to wait for months to hear back from a literary agent or fantasy publisher. 

Below, you can find my list of fantasy novel publishers, and beneath that, some further guidance on the fantasy publishing world.

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Download This List of Fantasy Publishers

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You won’t just get the list, but two books and a list of fantasy magazines and journals too.

List of Fantasy Publishers

NamePaymentWordsResponse timeUnsolicited Submissions
Of Metal and Magic PublishingCompetitive royalties40,000+A few weeksYes
Bold Strokes BooksRoyalties30,000+Up to 16 weeksYes
Books In MotionRoyalties50,000+Several weeksYes
Brain LagRoyalties50,000+Not statedYes
CamCat BooksRoyalties50,000+Not statedYes
Candlemark & GleamRoyalties12,000+3 monthsYes
City Owl PressRoyalties50,000+Up to 12 weeksYes
Dark Dragon PublishingRoyalties75,000+3 weeksYes
Black Rose WritingRoyaltiesNot stated1-3 weeksYes
18thWall ProductionsCompetitive royaltiesNot statedA few week/monthsYes
Tor Books / Tor PublishingIndustry standard and royalties95,000-150,000Up to 6 monthsDuring specified periods
Harper VoyagerIndustry standard and royaltiesNot statedNot statedDuring specified periods
Orbit BooksIndustry standard and royaltiesNot statedNot statedNo
GollanczIndustry standard and royaltiesNot statedNot statedDuring specified periods
BaenCompetitive100,000-130,0009-12 monthsYes
Penguin Random HouseIndustry standard and royalties80,000Not statedNo
Angry RobotIndustry standard and royaltiesNot stated10 weeksNo
Azure Spider PublicationsRoyalties90,000 plus3 weeksYes
Barking Rain PressRoyalties20,0004 weeksYes
Class Act BooksRoyalties20,000-125,00010 daysYes
Dancing Star PressRoyalties17,500-40,0006 weeksYes
Edge PublishingSmall advance and royalties75,000-100,0003 monthsYes
Eraserhead PressRoyalties20,000-100,000Within 2 months after end of reading periodYes
eTreasures PublishingRoyalties10,000-100,00060 daysYes
Fablecroft PublishingAdvance and royalties20,000-60,0003 monthsYes
Freedom Forge PressRoyalties25,000-100,0008 weeksYes
Gypsy ShadowRoyalties10,000-50,000+3 monthsYes
Mundania PressRoyalties40,000-100,0003 monthsYes
IFWGRoyalties60,000-90,000A few monthsYes
Dead InkRoyalties100,000A few monthsYes
Ink Smith PublishingRoyalties30000 upwards8 weeksYes
JournalStoneRoyalties50,000 upwards6 monthsYes
Twilight Times BooksSmall advance and royaltiesNot stated4 weeksYes
St Martin’s Press (MacMillan)Industry standard and royaltiesNot statedNot statedNo
Reliquary PressRoyalties60,000 upwards2 weeksYes
Pink Narcissus PressSmall advance and royalties50,000 upwards6 weeksYes
Founders House PublishingRoyaltiesNot statedNot statedYes
Quirk BooksRoyaltiesNot statedNot statedYes
DAW PublishingAdvance and royalties80,000 upwards3 monthsYes
Literary WanderlustRoyalties65,000-100,0004 to 6 weeksYes
Kensington BooksRoyalties20,000 upwards3 monthsYes
Mirror World PublishingRoyalties130,000 maximum6 to 8 weeksYes
Mocha Memoir PressRoyalties30,000 to 80,0006 to 8 weeksYes
Montag PressRoyalties70,000 at leastSeveral monthsYes
Muse It Up PublishingRoyalties20,000 upwards16 to 18 weeksYes
Parvus PressAdvance and royalties60,000 upwards90 daysYes
Priestess and Hierophant PressRoyaltiesUp to 60 pagesUp to 6 monthsYes
PyrNot statedUp to 130,000Not statedNo
Resurrection HouseAdvance and royalties40,000-100,0006 weeksYes
Silver Leaf BooksRoyaltiesNo limit6 monthsYes
Soul Fire PressRoyalties65,000 to 120,0004 weeksYes
4RV PublishingRoyaltiesNot stated (standard short story length)3 monthsYes
Amphorae Publishing GroupNot statedUp to 120,000Up to 12 monthsYes
Bitingduck PressRoyaltiesNot statedNot statedYes
Black Bed SheetNot statedNot stated6 monthsYes
Candlemark & GleamRoyalties65,000 upwards3 monthsYes
Cuil PressRoyalties120,000Not statedYes
Divertir PublishingRoyalties60,000 to 80,0006 weeksYes
Elder Signs PressRoyalties80,000 upwardsNot statedYes
Falstaff BookRoyalties110,00060 daysYes
Castrum PressRoyaltiesNot stated (novella and novel length)Not statedYes
Crystal Peake Publisher LtdRoyalties10,000-100,000Not statedYes
Loose Leaves PublishingRoyaltiesNot statedNot statedYes
Nexxis FantasyRoyalties50,000 upwardsNot statedYes
Orbannin BooksRoyalties40,000-80,000Not statedYes

Glossary – Fantasy Publishers List

It’s worth familiarizing yourself with the definitions of some of the words used above and in the publishing industry as a whole:

  • Unsolicited submissions – this means you don’t need to be represented by an agent to submit your manuscript. This is also known as ‘no agent required.’
  • Solicited submissions – the opposite to unsolicited submissions, you need to have an agent to submit your manuscript on your behalf. 
  • Indie press – a small, independent publishing house.
  • Royalties – a percentage you would be given for every sale of your book, as well as other associated merchandise. The level of royalties differs between the likes of the industry standard (larger publishing houses), to lower percentages offered by smaller presses. 
  • Advance – a payment made by a publisher in advance of revenue they expect you to generate down the line. 

How To Get A Fantasy Book Published

The first consideration is word count. If you’re looking to get your novel published it’s important to meet a publisher’s guidelines. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is wordcount.

It’s recognised in the industry that publishers seek shorter works from debut novelists, say between 80,000 and 100,000 words. However, it all depends on the quality of the book and the publisher’s belief in its ability to sell it. From their perspective, a reader is less likely to fork out their hard-earned cash on a weighty tome, but they may take a chance on a shorter one. Printing costs are also a factor. Longer books cost more to print. Publishers are all about weighing up risks and rewards.

Another thing to consider is where the publisher is based. UK fantasy publishers may have different guidelines and preferences to US fantasy publishers, for instance. You could have differences over dictionary usage and whatnot.

Spending some time to research each publisher is also imperative. Before working on your cover letter and submission pack, you’re going to want to check to see if this particular publisher appreciates your kind of story. It might be worthwhile shortlisting suitable publishers, such as dark fantasy publishers, urban fantasy publishers or epic fantasy publishers. Take a targeted approach.

Some may specialise in publishing fantasy, whereas others may have another focus, such as being a publisher of science fiction. However, there’s a bit of an overlap between the two genres, so be sure to do your research. Indeed, many of those on this list are science fiction publishers too. 

Another thing to do is to familiarise yourself with the terminology used. Most fantasy novel publishers on the list below are open to submissions from everyone, referred to as unsolicited submissions. A few of the major book publishing companies require you to have a literary agent, with submissions made through the agent. This is known as solicited submissions.

Some fantasy publishers only accept submissions during certain times of the year, so it’d be worth making a note of those windows. 

How Much Do Publishers Pay For Fantasy Books?

You may have heard of what major book publishing companies offer to writers when they read a book of theirs they like. 6-way bidding wars with astronomical figures. You’ll see this with fantasy publishers like Tor Books, Orbit Books, the Hachette Book Group and MacMillan Publishing.

However, not every fantasy publisher has such financial weight to throw about to buy that wonderful book of fantasy of yours.

Each fantasy publisher offers different payments depending on their stature. Most on the list offer royalties. From what I’ve read on their websites, none ask you to contribute financially toward publication, though you may have to do more self-promotion. I advise against working with a publisher who asks you to front your own cash.

From reading the submission guidelines of all of these publishers, the same rules crop up. The best advice I can give is to stick to them. It can be a pain in the arse having to re-format your manuscript each and every time, but it’s worth it.

Other Resources On Fantasy Publishing

A Guide to Cover Letters – a guide on how to write cover letters, with details on letters for short stories and fantasy novels.

A Guide to Formatting A Manuscript – a comprehensive guide on formatting your manuscripts prior to submission.

List of Fantasy Magazines – short stories can be a great way to get your name out there and build your writing resume. This list of fantasy magazines will help you achieve that.

List of Book Reviewers – once your novel is out it’ll need reviews. This will help you on that front.

Fantasy Publishers FAQ

Below, you can find the answers to some questions I see frequently asked when it comes to fantasy publishing.

How do I get a fantasy book published?

1. It’s important to do your research first. Pick the publishers that you think will appreciate your book most.
2. Look at the guidelines. Follow them. Failure to do so will see your piece rejected.
3. Spend time perfecting your cover letter. Seek the help of friends and family. Tweak, tweak, tweak.

Is it hard to get a book published?

Yes, if going down the traditional route. The publishing field is massively competitive. Publishers only have the capacity to read and publish so much. You can, however, self-publish, and in that sense, it’s incredibly easy to get a book published.

How much does Amazon charge to publish a book?

Amazon doesn’t charge anything to publish a book. Instead, they take a cut of every sale that you make. This is either around 35% or 70%, the choice being yours. You can also choose to enrol your book in KDP Select, meaning Amazon Prime subscribers can read it for free, and you get paid by the number of pages read.

Is Amazon Self-Publishing worth it?

Yes, it certainly can be. A well-written and presented product with a solid marketing strategy can generate significant incomes. Bestselling self-published authors on Amazon have been reported to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Thanks for checking out my list of fantasy publishers. I hope you’ve found it useful.

If you’d like exclusive access to a live version of this list, why not join my Community of Writers? You’ll also receive other writing tools, like a list of book reviewers, and Thoughts on Writing, my free book on the craft of writing. Just fill out the form below.

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5 thoughts on “Fantasy Publishers | A Long List | No Agent Required

  1. I love this web site. Thank you! My web page is Marta C Weeks and I am currently finishing a series, so I am looking for ore-publication readers willing to give me feedback and publishing resources.

  2. Hi Richie, thanks for providing this excellent and useful list. I wonder if you would consider adding Vela Press, an independent publisher of science fiction and fantasy I recently started? We pledge to pay very competitive royalty rates as well as, in some cases, advances. It would mean a lot to be included.

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