A List Of The Top Fantasy Publishers In 2023

If you’re looking for fantasy publishers currently accepting submissions you’ve come to the right place. Below, you can find a growing list of book publishing companies 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 for you to get your fantasy novel out to the world.

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.

In this guide, not only can you find a list of some of the top fantasy book publishers around, but you can find guidance on how to get your novel published, how to work with publishing houses, and who accepts unsolicited submissions.

Choose A Chapter

  1. A Mega List Of Fantasy Publishers
  2. How To Find Fantasy Publishers
  3. What Are Fantasy Publishers Looking For?
  4. Glossary Of Fantasy Publishing Terms
  5. How To Format A Novel
  6. Who Are The Top Fantasy Book Publishers?
  7. How Do You Get A Fantasy Book Published?
  8. How Much Do Publishers Pay For Fantasy Books?
  9. What Are Fantasy Publishers Looking For?
  10. Get More Help Finding Fantasy Publishers
  11. Other Writing Tools

How To Find Fantasy Publishers

You may also wonder whether going straight to 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.

What Are Fantasy Publishers Looking For?

It always helps to be aware of the kind of things that fantasy publishers are looking for. This was made clear to me when I interview bestselling author, Adrian Tchaikovsky, for The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed podcast (you can listen here).

Adrian explained how he works with big publishers like Tor, pitching them ideas based on the types of books they’re publishing at the time.

He also revealed that in 2022, fantasy book publishing companies have shifted away from series to more standalone books, or books that are loosely related in a shared universe, like Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere.

The reason for this shift could be to do with poor reader retention rates over a number of books. Or purely down to the financial risks of committing to longer works when there’s no guarantee of success.

A Mega List Of Fantasy Publishers 

Below you can find my list of fantasy book publishers. I update it at least once a month.

You may see some publishing houses marked as “defunct” below. This can happen in the industry. New fantasy publishers pop up and disappear all of the time. I leave them on this list so that you can see their current status. If you’ve submitted and they’ve since gone defunct you can remove them from your records. 

Fantasy Publisher 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
Baen Competitive 100,000-130,000 9-12 months Yes
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 (defunct) 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 (defunct) 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 (defunct) 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 – Now Underland Press Advance and royalties 75,000 to 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 Books 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 (defunct) 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
Eerie River Publishing Royalties 50,000+ 60 days Yes
Cursed Dragon Ship Press Royalties 40,000 – 100,000 Not stated Yes
Hot Key Books Royalties Not stated Not stated No
Canelo Royalties Not stated Not stated Yes
Hera Books Royalties – 50% Not stated Not stated Yes
Titan Books Advance and Royalties Not stated Not stated Sometimes but mostly unsolicited
Jo Fletcher Books Royalties Not stated Not stated Yes
Head of Zeus Royalties Min. 75,000 Not stated Yes
Luna Press Publishing Royalties Not stated Not stated Yes
Grimbold Books Royalties Not stated Not stated Yes
Solaris Books Advance and Royalties Not stated Not stated No

Are Any Of These Sci-Fi Publishers Too?

The short answer is yes.

Many of the fantasy publishers listed above also accept sci-fi stories and books. There is a big overlap between the two genres. Many readers of sci-fi are also fans of fantasy and vice-versa. Similarly, there are a lot of authors who move between the two genres, like Adrian Tchaikovsky. 

So if you’ve written a sci-fi book or maybe it’s a science fantasy or a fantasy tale with futuristic elements, don’t rule out any of the publishing companies listed above. Spend a bit of time reading up on what kinds of books they’ve published before and what their current calls for submissions state. 

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 a literary 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 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. 

Who Are The Top Fantasy Book Publishers?

There are lots of top fantasy book 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 book publishers to submit your manuscript to:

DAW Books

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

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 fantasy 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 via their submissions page.

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 Books

Orbit is a heavyweight fantasy publisher. 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 on their page too. Find out more about Orbit here.

Angry Robot Books

Angry Robot Books is an award-winning fantasy publisher. They also specialise in sci-fi books and other tales from the realm of speculative fiction.

In recent years they’ve signed some remarkable authors, including Stephen Aryan and the legendary Juliet E McKenna. 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Angry Robot and many of their authors for The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed podcast. One thing that consistently came up was Angry Robot’s contemporary approach. They keep authors informed, work with top editors and are proactive on the marketing front. 

Depending on their current submission calls, you may need a literary agent in order to submit to Angry Robot

How Do You Get A Fantasy Book Published?

The first consideration is the word count. If you’re looking to get your fantasy book 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 those in based in the US, for instance. You could have differences over dictionary usage and whatnot.

fantasy publishers

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, for example. It all depends on your subgenre. 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 submission process going 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. 

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.

What Are Fantasy Publishers Looking For?

Fantasy publishers are always on the hunt for the next big thing. Here are some great tips on what they’re looking for:

  • Well-written and fully-formed plots and stories
  • Compelling characters that readers want to follow
  • Original concepts
  • New perspectives and voices – LGBTQIA, mental health, and black and ethnic minority writers
  • Stories that warp our perceptions of classic fantasy tropes and cliches – taking tired tropes and turning them into something fresh and original. 

If you’re trying to research the market, the best thing to do would be to look at what’s been published in the last few years. What has struck a chord with readers? Why has it captured so many people’s imaginations? 

It can also help to research the thoughts of publishers, booksellers, editors and literary agents to see their thoughts on where the fantasy genre is heading in the next few years. 

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.

Just click the button below to join the gang.

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Other Writing Tools 

Thanks for stopping by and browsing this list of publishers of fantasy fiction. 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. 

Thanks for checking out my list of fantasy publishers. I hope you’ve found it useful. Good luck with your submissions!

richiebilling

9 thoughts on “A List Of The Top Fantasy Publishers In 2023”

  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.

    1. Hi James! Congratulations on the new publisher. Always great to see, especially one that’s doing it right! Of course I’ll add you to the list

  3. Hi! Thanks for this great article, I’ve shared it around to my writing friends. The information is wonderful, however, one of the listings, Class Act Books keeps returning a dangerous website block from Norton. It might just be me. Passing it on I’ve not heard the complaint from any of the people I sent the link to your post, so just a heads up
    Thanks again for a great list!

    1. richiebilling

      Hey Bryan! Thanks so much for reaching out. I’m delighted to hear you’re finding this list useful. I try to keep it updated as much as I can so thank you for the heads up about the warning. It may be that their website’s security certificate has expired. You have to renew it each year but sometimes it can slip through the net. I’ll keep an eye out though and if it doesn’t change soon I’ll look to take it off the page. Finally, thank you so much for sharing the page too. I made it for everyone’s benefit so the more people that know about it the better! And like I said, it’s an ever growing list, updated each month, so keep coming back for more!

  4. Fantasy Publishers

    Hi, Richie! thanks for sharing valuable content, One thing i would like to add is that you should also consider Austin Macauley Publishers when talking about fantasy genre. They have a rich collection of fantasy books and authors.

    1. Thank you very much for this recommendation! I’ll add them to the list. I hope you’ve found it useful!

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