THE MAJOR PLAYERSWhat's the difference between the BIG HOUSES and the smaller publishers. Besides an actual building, the Big Five create aka publish hardcover books for brick and mortar stores as well as mass market paperback, trade paperback as opposed to Createspace POD (print on demand). Some smaller houses claim to get their books into bookstores but it's the exception rather than the rule.
The Big Five aren't selling an author's rights to third parties and slapping cheap looking covers on past workhorses. (Buyer or rather beware.)
YET this is always pertinent and something writers forget to check out: how TOP authors do in a house in comparison to the general stable of authors. It can be an eye opener to discover and fully understand what rankings mean and translate to insofar as sales. If you don't understand, that is the first thing a writer needs to do. If you understand the monetary difference between a book ranked at 11 or 111 or 1111 or 11,111 or 111,111 or 1,111,111 then carry on. If not, go and do your homework for your own good.
Avon Books— A subsidiary of Harper Collins and you bet, everyone has heard of them. They have submission guidelines. Un-agented submissions accepted via Impulse.
Hachette Book Group USA — Several imprints and huge names. They publish the Grand Central Publishing romances, including the Forever and Forever Love lines. Manuscript submissions are easy to do. Answer questions and upload. Smack the 'easy' button.
Penguin Group, Inc — Formerly known as Penguin Putnam, this longtime publisher has recently changed its name. They publish the NAL and Berkley/Jove lines of romance. They’ve also added a romance page. They still have a general submissions page.
Random House, Inc— They publish most of their romances under the Ballantine/Ivy, Bantam/Dell, Delacorte, and Doubleday names (a full list of their imprints is on atRandom.com). Nix unsolicited manuscripts. But that could change, so check.
Simon and Schuster — They publish both contemporary under the Pocket imprint and historical under the Sonnet imprint. They have a page especially for romance. They do have submission guidelines in general, but again no unsolicited manuscripts. Although if you're keen into query letters, give Pocket a go.
SMALLER BUT STILL HOLD A MARKET SHARE. WELL-KNOWN.
Harlequin— Publisher of category and full-length romance fiction, as well as other types of genre books. HUGE AMOUNT OF IMPRINTS, which means find out which line your story matches. Click here for submission guidelines carefully, as they are very specific for each different line.
Kensington Publishing Corp— They produce several lines, including Zebra, Brava, and Pinnacle. The submission guidelines
Sourcebooks, Inc — This publisher is taking romance. They don’t have a ton of info about their fiction imprints on their submission guidelines page
St. Martin’s Press — Another big publisher, with some weird quirks as far as the web goes. They have a site, but very little info and their submissions guidelines are fairly basic. Their romance line, Tor, still has its own website.
A FEW LESSER KNOWN BUT SOME DO HAVE NEW YORK BESTSELLERS AND/OR USA TODAY AUTHORSThese non-traditional presses often produce work in both Print-on-Demand trade format (POD) and electronic press format. Check publishers for specific submission guidelines, royalty rates, and other pertinent information.
Amber Quill Press — An publisher who puts out romance, including erotic romance in electronic and trade paperback format. Submission guidelines.
Amira Press — A small press putting out work in both trade paperback and ebook formats. They have submission guidelines.
Atlantic Bridge Publishing — Offers many genres in electronic and trade paperback formats. Pays royalties but no advance. It does have submission guidelines. Looking for romance, especially “highly sensual” romance for their Liquid Silver imprint, which has its own website and submission guidelines.
Breathless Press — Publisher takes erotic mostly, though it appears they may have some interest in other genres (or a mix of erotic and other genres) including Historical, Paranormal, and Wild West. They also publish YA through Lycaon Press. Submission guidelines are here.
Changeling Press — This electronic and trade publisher mostly wants paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, or fetish romance. They accept both straight and gay storylines. Guidelines are here.
Cobblestone Press, LLC — Sensual and erotic romance publisher. They take everything from 10,000-word novellas to 100,000-word novels.
Echelon Press — An electronic small press that says it will publish their most successful titles in POD and even mass market. They take “all genres” of romance, as well as several other kinds of books. Highly specific regarding submission guidelines, so read with care: submissions page.
Entangled Publishing Detailed imprints and a portal style MS submission. Submissions guidelines link
Escape Publishing They're in love with love. Please read and follow the guidelines carefully. Australia line of Mills and Boon (Harlequin.)
LooseID – An erotic romance publisher that is currently accepting submissions from many romance genres (contemporary, historical, scifi/fantasy, etc.). Their submission guidelines are fully detailed.
Lyrical Press — Imprint of Kensington. A mixed format publisher that is taking a wide variety of types of stories. IT currently states that they are looking for erotic romance over 60,000 words. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of the books breaking out to become huge successes, but they do have submission guidelines.
Resplendence Publishing — One interesting thing about this romance publisher is their policy on historical romance. They take up through the 40s and while they will take Regency-set romance, they are interested in time periods not necessarily taken by traditional publishers. Check out submission guidelines.
REUTS Publications. New publisher focused on Young Adult and New Adult romance. They have submission guidelines.
Riptide Publishing — A publisher of LGBTQ fiction, romance, and erotica. Some of their authors do very well as bestselling writers.
Samhain Publishing, LTD — Epublisher/Trade Paperback publisher. They take all genres of romance, as well as other fiction such as horror, fantasy, etc. Submission guidelines are available. SOME HUGE NAMES have come out of Samhain.
The Wild Rose Press — A romance publisher that takes a lot of different subgenres (for a full list, check out their submission guidelines page.
Xcite Books — A large independent press in Great Britain that publishes erotic romance and erotica. Check out their submission guidelines here.