You’d be surprised at the number of opportunities fantasy and science fiction authors—published or unpublished—have nowadays when it comes to submitting their work for consideration.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
|Name||Payment||Words||Response time||Unsolicited Submissions|
|Of Metal and Magic Publishing||Competitive royalties||40,000+||A few weeks||Yes|
|Bold Strokes Books||Royalties||30,000+||Up to 16 weeks||Yes|
|Books In Motion||Royalties||50,000+||Several weeks||Yes|
|Brain Lag||Royalties||50,000+||Not stated||Yes|
|CamCat Books||Royalties||50,000+||Not stated||Yes|
|Candlemark & Gleam||Royalties||12,000+||3 months||Yes|
|City Owl Press||Royalties||50,000+||Up to 12 weeks||Yes|
|Dark Dragon Publishing||Royalties||75,000+||3 weeks||Yes|
|Black Rose Writing||Royalties||Not stated||1-3 weeks||Yes|
|18thWall Productions||Competitive royalties||Not stated||A few week/months||Yes|
|Tor Books / Tor Publishing||Industry standard and royalties||95,000-150,000||Up to 6 months||During specified periods|
|Harper Voyager||Industry standard and royalties||Not stated||Not stated||During specified periods|
|Orbit Books||Industry standard and royalties||Not stated||Not stated||No|
|Gollancz||Industry standard and royalties||Not stated||Not stated||During specified periods|
|Penguin Random House||Industry standard and royalties||80,000||Not stated||No|
|Angry Robot||Industry standard and royalties||Not stated||10 weeks||No|
|Azure Spider Publications||Royalties||90,000 plus||3 weeks||Yes|
|Barking Rain Press||Royalties||20,000||4 weeks||Yes|
|Class Act Books||Royalties||20,000-125,000||10 days||Yes|
|Dancing Star Press||Royalties||17,500-40,000||6 weeks||Yes|
|Edge Publishing||Small advance and royalties||75,000-100,000||3 months||Yes|
|Eraserhead Press||Royalties||20,000-100,000||Within 2 months after end of reading period||Yes|
|eTreasures Publishing||Royalties||10,000-100,000||60 days||Yes|
|Fablecroft Publishing||Advance and royalties||20,000-60,000||3 months||Yes|
|Freedom Forge Press||Royalties||25,000-100,000||8 weeks||Yes|
|Gypsy Shadow||Royalties||10,000-50,000+||3 months||Yes|
|Mundania Press||Royalties||40,000-100,000||3 months||Yes|
|IFWG||Royalties||60,000-90,000||A few months||Yes|
|Dead Ink||Royalties||100,000||A few months||Yes|
|Ink Smith Publishing||Royalties||30000 upwards||8 weeks||Yes|
|JournalStone||Royalties||50,000 upwards||6 months||Yes|
|Twilight Times Books||Small advance and royalties||Not stated||4 weeks||Yes|
|St Martin’s Press (MacMillan)||Industry standard and royalties||Not stated||Not stated||No|
|Reliquary Press||Royalties||60,000 upwards||2 weeks||Yes|
|Pink Narcissus Press||Small advance and royalties||50,000 upwards||6 weeks||Yes|
|Founders House Publishing||Royalties||Not stated||Not stated||Yes|
|Quirk Books||Royalties||Not stated||Not stated||Yes|
|DAW Publishing||Advance and royalties||80,000 upwards||3 months||Yes|
|Literary Wanderlust||Royalties||65,000-100,000||4 to 6 weeks||Yes|
|Kensington Books||Royalties||20,000 upwards||3 months||Yes|
|Mirror World Publishing||Royalties||130,000 maximum||6 to 8 weeks||Yes|
|Mocha Memoir Press||Royalties||30,000 to 80,000||6 to 8 weeks||Yes|
|Montag Press||Royalties||70,000 at least||Several months||Yes|
|Muse It Up Publishing||Royalties||20,000 upwards||16 to 18 weeks||Yes|
|Parvus Press||Advance and royalties||60,000 upwards||90 days||Yes|
|Priestess and Hierophant Press||Royalties||Up to 60 pages||Up to 6 months||Yes|
|Pyr||Not stated||Up to 130,000||Not stated||No|
|Resurrection House||Advance and royalties||40,000-100,000||6 weeks||Yes|
|Silver Leaf Books||Royalties||No limit||6 months||Yes|
|Soul Fire Press||Royalties||65,000 to 120,000||4 weeks||Yes|
|4RV Publishing||Royalties||Not stated (standard short story length)||3 months||Yes|
|Amphorae Publishing Group||Not stated||Up to 120,000||Up to 12 months||Yes|
|Bitingduck Press||Royalties||Not stated||Not stated||Yes|
|Black Bed Sheet||Not stated||Not stated||6 months||Yes|
|Candlemark & Gleam||Royalties||65,000 upwards||3 months||Yes|
|Cuil Press||Royalties||120,000||Not stated||Yes|
|Divertir Publishing||Royalties||60,000 to 80,000||6 weeks||Yes|
|Elder Signs Press||Royalties||80,000 upwards||Not stated||Yes|
|Falstaff Book||Royalties||110,000||60 days||Yes|
|Castrum Press||Royalties||Not stated (novella and novel length)||Not stated||Yes|
|Crystal Peake Publisher Ltd||Royalties||10,000-100,000||Not stated||Yes|
|Loose Leaves Publishing||Royalties||Not stated||Not stated||Yes|
|Nexxis Fantasy||Royalties||50,000 upwards||Not stated||Yes|
|Orbannin Books||Royalties||40,000-80,000||Not stated||Yes|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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