If you’re looking for fantasy publishers accepting submissions in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you can find a growing list of publishing houses on the hunt for manuscripts, from small presses to award-winning literary giants. And many accept unsolicited manuscripts, meaning they don’t require an agent, so you can get submitting right away.
What many of these brilliant speculative fiction presses offer is an opportunity. The world of writing and publishing is incredibly competitive. Booker Prize winners and bestselling authors 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.
How To Find Fantasy Publishers
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 or some imprint of 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 publishers, and beneath that, some further guidance on the publishing world. This list may also be useful to sci-fi authors too; many publishing houses below specialise in both genres.
Download This List of Fantasy Book Publishers
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You won’t just get the list, but two books and a list of fantasy magazines and journals too.
Fantasy Publishers List (Updated May 2021)
|Name||Payment||Words||Response time||Unsolicited Subs|
|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 (defunct)||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 – defunct||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 – defunct||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 – defunct||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 – defunct||Royalties||Not stated||Not stated||Yes|
|Black Bed Sheet – defunct||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 – defunct||Royalties||Not stated||Not stated||Yes|
|Nexxis Fantasy – defunct||Royalties||50,000 upwards||Not stated||Yes|
|Orbannin Books – defunct||Royalties||40,000-80,000||Not stated||Yes|
|Blind Eye Books||Royalties||70,000-150,000||4 months||No|
|Distant Shore Publishing||$2,500 – $6,500||50,000+||Not stated||Not stated|
|Stelliform Press||2¢ CAD per word advance, plus royalties||60,000–100,000||Not stated||Yes|
|Tiny Fox Press||Advance and royalties||Not stated||Up to 6 months||Not stated|
|Aethon Books||Not stated||60,000+||90 days||Not stated|
|Anaiah Press||Royalties||20,000 – 90,000||8-12 weeks||Yes|
|Blueberry Lane Books||Not stated||Not stated||Around 1 week||No|
|Champagne Book Group||Royalties||40,000 – 120,000||Up to 16 weeks||No|
|Creative James Media||Not stated||Not stated||3 months||Not stated|
|Creature Horror||Not stated||20,000–60,000||Not stated||Yes|
|Cursed Dragon Ship||Not stated||40,000 – 100,000||Not stated||Not stated|
|Erewohn Books||Not stated||40,000+||Not stated||Yes|
|Totally Entwined Group||Royalties||40,000+||Not stated||Not stated|
|Fireship Press||Not stated||80,000 – 100,000||Not stated||Not stated|
|Polis Books||Competitive||60,000+||12 weeks||Yes|
|Red Empress Publishing (women only)||Not stated||50,000+||4 weeks||Yes|
|Tartarus Press||Negotiable||75,000 – 120,000||Not stated||Yes|
|Vræyda Media||Not stated||50,000 – 175,000||45 days||Yes|
|Wyldblood Press||Royalties||50,000 – 100,000||90 days||Yes|
Glossary Of Fantasy Publishing Terms
It’s definitely worth familiarizing yourself with the definitions of some of the words used above and in the fiction and fantasy 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 Format A Fantasy Novel
Formatting a manuscript is vital when it comes to finding success with submissions. My debut novel, Pariah’s Lament, took an age to format, but it was worth it. Editors took more notice and as a result, it helped to get it published.
So how do you format a fantasy novel? Well, there are lots of handy guides to help you, such as my own guide to formatting a manuscript.
But perhaps the best source of information is Shunn’s formatting guide, which has become the industry standard in recent times. As a starting point, format your fantasy novel in accordance with the laws of Shunn.
From there, it all depends on the publisher. Each press will have its own submission guidelines, so be sure to go through them and make a note of any unique preferences they may have. For instance, this particular editor may loathe double-spaced lines, but another may not read it without.
Top Fantasy Publishers 2021
There are lots of fantasy publishers out there at the moment. From indie presses to giants like DAW, Tor and Penguin Random House, the speculative fiction genre is thriving at the moment. And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Below, I’ve put together a handy guide to some of the best fantasy publishers to submit your manuscript to:
DAW Books is arguably one of the oldest publishers of science fiction and fantasy, established in the US in 1971 by husband and wife, Donald and Elsie Wollheim. Its parent company is Penguin Random House.
It was, in fact, the first-ever dedicated published of fantasy and sci-fi. Since then, they’ve brought to our bookshelves over 2,000 titles, including books by Patrick Rothfuss, Mercedes Lackey and Tad Williams.
DAW looks for manuscripts that are 80,000 words and up and does allow unsolicited submissions, meaning you don’t need a literary agent. To submit your manuscript, head here.
Baen Books was founded by Jim Baen and since then, has gone on to publish paperbacks, ebooks and hardcovers. In fact, Baen works with other publishers to promote and sell digital books on its own online store.
They just publish fantasy and science fiction, offer a very competitive payment rate, and seek manuscripts around 100,000 to 130,000 words in length (though they are flexible on this).
Curiously for a big traditional publisher, they’re not fussed on query letters and instead ask for complete manuscripts along with a synopsis (so make sure your synopsis is watertight and your first few pages are gloriously engaging).
You can submit to Baen here.
Of Metal and Magic Publishing (OMAM)
OMAM is a new indie press on the fantasy publishing scene but one that’s exploded with a bang. Specialising in the shared universe concept of worldbuilding, OMAM creates with its books intricate worlds that readers can explore through different writers.
At 50%, the royalties paid are generous, especially for an indie press. And they also have a great mentorship programme in place, both from an editorial perspective and a marketing one.
So if you aren’t quite ready to submit to a big publishing house and want to learn and grow with a smaller press that can devote more time to you, then OMAM could be for you.
Learn more about how you can write for them here.
Flame Tree Press/Publishing
Fantasy and science fiction is a changing genre, with artwork becoming more and more important to readers to help them visualise the incredible creations of authors.
This is where Flame Tree Press comes into the fold. Established in 1992, this publisher has spent much of its life specialising in illustrated books art calendars and illustrated ebooks. And now it’s moving into the realms of science fiction, fantasy, crime and horror.
Seeking unpublished novels between 70,000 and 120,000 words, Flame Tree is currently looking for fantasy and sci-fi in particular. You can find their submission details here, with manuscripts to be emailed directly. Just like with DAW Books, you don’t need a literary agent in order to submit, so what’s stopping you?
Orbit is a heavyweight in the fantasy and science fiction publishing arena. Based in both the UK and the US, Orbit has brought to our bookshelves some of the best fantasy books of recent times, including the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin, The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (which won scores of awards).
Orbit UK is an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, and in the US, is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group.
Orbit can be a bit of a closed shop, requiring a literary agent in order to submit. But it’s definitely worth signing up for their mailing list. Not only do they let you know of the latest book deals and freebies, but they could announce open calls for submissions too. Find out more about Orbit here.
How To Get A Fantasy Book Published
The first consideration is the word count. If you’re looking to get your novel published it’s important to meet a publisher’s guidelines.
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. It also depends on the publisher and what they specialise in. Epic fantasy is naturally longer, for instance.
From the publisher’s 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 for dark fantasy publishers, for example. Likewise, depending on your fantasy subgenre you can list the likes of urban fantasy publishers too. The trick is to 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 book publishers only accept submissions during certain times of the year, so it’d be worth making a note of those windows.
Fantasy Novel Submissions Tip – Narrowing Your Focus
With so many fantasy publishers around, it can be tempting to gear yourself up to send your manuscript out to every single one.
If you’re playing a numbers game, that could work. But there’s another approach you can take. A more focused one.
Instead of blindly distributing and hoping, it pays to spend time doing your research. Find the right fantasy book publisher for you and your masterpiece. Someone who’s going to appreciate it. Someone who knows the market and how to reach those types of readers.
For example, if you’ve written an epic fantasy book in every sense of the word, it’s probably going to be a waste of time to send it to a bunch of urban fantasy publishers. They’ll see the word ‘epic’ and consign it to the virtual trashcan. Similarly, if you’ve written a book on time travel, a horror publisher may not be too keen, unless it’s particularly gruesome.
So instead, try researching your fantasy book publishers. You may have more success.
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 book publisher has such financial weight to throw about to buy that wonderful fantasy book 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.
Indie Publishers Accepting Submissions In 2021
You may wonder what the state of publishing is like at the moment, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Well sadly, despite reading growing in popularity with everyone being gifted with more time, a few fantasy book publishers have fallen. With people’s purse strings a little tighter with sudden unemployment foisted upon them, sales have been slow for some. And with costs not decreasing it’s forced closure on a few book publishers. Fantasy as a genre, though, remains strong.
New presses and publishing houses have opened and there are lots of fantasy publishers accepting submissions at the moment.
So while the coronavirus has provided us with many setbacks and heartache, it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of writing, and it shouldn’t put a dent in your hopes of finding a fantasy book publisher.
Get More Help Finding Fantasy Publishers
If you’d like more help and support with finding fantasy publishers or staying up to date with the latest calls for submissions, why not join my online writing group? It’s exclusive to those who join my community of writers and it’s a terrific place to share your writing, discuss ideas and build friendships.
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Other Resources On Fantasy Publishing
Thanks for stopping by and browsing this list of fantasy publishers. I hope you find the one you’re looking for. If you’re looking for more help, you’ll be able to find a few more guides and resources below.
- A Guide to Cover Letters – a guide on how to write cover letters, with details on letters for short stories and fantasy novels.
- 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. Plus, it gives you something to keep you occupied with between those fantasy novel submissions.
- List of Book Reviewers – once your novel is out it’ll need reviews. This will help you on that front.
- A Guide to Publishing from the University of Chicago
- How To Get Into The Publishing Industry
Fantasy Publishers FAQ
In this final part of these notes accompanying the list of fantasy book publishers, I’ve included 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.
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 is 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.
If you’d like exclusive access to a live version of this fantasy book publishers 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.
Thanks for checking out my list of fantasy publishers. I hope you’ve found it useful. Good look with your fantasy novel submissions!