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Need to Find an Indie Publisher or Small Press? Here you go . . .

Sometimes we aren't shooting for the big 5 publishers. If you don't know who they are, they're:

  • Penguin Random House

  • Hachette Livre

  • HarperCollins

  • Simon & Schuster

  • Macmillan Publishers

Sometimes it's just too much work, writing your novel or nonfiction book, editing it, revising it, rewriting it, workshopping it, and then hitting the query circuit to find an agent that'll try to place your book for you.

If you've been through the process, it can be daunting. I have a novel that got rejected by over 100 literary agents. I have an agent now, and was also, finally, offered representation for the novel that got rejected 100 times by agents--and by an agent who represents writers who've won multiple National Book Awards. But that's neither here nor there at this point.

Some of us just don't want to go that route--the route of querying, incessantly, to see if someone will want to represent our work only to wait through our agent's submission process to the bigs. So what do we do? We hit the small presses and independent presses.

Now, there are a lot of them, and it can be daunting as well, finding the right publishing house, even without the need to have a literary agent submit it. Some of them require or offer contests where part of the award is that they publish your book, or an excerpt from it. Some just take submissions directly. Like anything, most of the houses are legit, but do your research, because some of them aren't. The number one thing I'd tell you is this: Don't Ever Pay to Have Your Book Published by a Publisher (unless you're intentionally going to a vanity publisher). I won't get into self-publishing here, but that's a different story. That's you taking the reigns and deciding to do it all yourself. If you are going down that path, good luck to you.

The good folks at the Nonconformist have provided a list of Indie Publishers and Small Presses. You can also go to the small press database at Poets & Writers, which allows you do filter down by Genre, Subgenre, and Reading Period. And Publishers Weekly has a list of Fast-Growing Independent Publishers.

If you write poetry, which I know has less markets for your work (sorry), check out Writing Workshops list of Small Presses that Publish Poetry Manuscripts.

While there are other sites that offer similar resources, it isn't going to be easy getting published, but at least you now have a list of houses where you can send your work. I hope the list here at least provides you with a little less work once you're at the point of submitting your work.

Good luck, and happy writing!

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