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Best Independent Publishers in 2024

Showing 37 indie publishers that match your search.

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Publisher of: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Short Fiction

This San Francisco-based small press has been publishing thoughtful speculative fiction since 1995, sweeping up a full slate of high-profile nominations on the way, from the Hugo to the Nebula and beyond. Their sustained excellence has earned them legendary status in the eyes of hardcore sci-fi fans, although they occasionally dip into other, less speculative genres like memoir and mystery. Tachyon Publications’ bread and butter are its famous science fiction short story collections, which routinely earn glowing reviews from the likes of Booklist and Library Journal.

🔥 Hit title: In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

⭐️ Best known for: Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? No

Publisher of: Fiction and Nonfiction

McSweeney’s is better known for their humor website, which features snort-inducing titles like “I Regret to Inform You That My Wedding to Captain Von Trapp Has Been Canceled” and “Signs You May Be a Female Character in a Work of Historical Fiction.” But this San Francisco-based indie publisher also runs a small — yet vibrant — books division. Their titles range from brainy, irreverent humor in the vein of their Internet Tendency to more serious fare: politically incisive nonfiction with a progressive bent.

🔥 Hit title: Indelible in the Hippocampus by Shelly Oria (editor)

⭐️ Best known for: Humor, Memoir

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? Yes, in the form of Full Manuscripts. View guidelines →

Publisher of: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

This Minneapolis-based press takes inspiration from its botanical namesake. Just as milkweed feeds the transformation of caterpillars into monarch butterflies, Milkweed Editions supports emerging and experimental writers, giving them a home for their work to flourish. Its catalogue is an exercise in artistic risk-taking: full of intricately textured novels, cerebral and raw memoirs, and some of the finest verse by young poets.

🔥 Hit title: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

⭐️ Best known for: Poetry Collections

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? Yes, in the form of Contest Entries . View guidelines →

Publisher of: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Two New York-based creatives — sculptor Valerie Merians and writer Dennis Loy Johnson — founded Melville House in the aftermath of 9/11. Their inaugural title was a poetry anthology collection thoughtful, devastating responses to the attacks from the likes of Pulitzer winners and New York State poets. These days, Melville House continues to engage with both politics and high art. Their nonfiction titles tackle tough issues like CIA torture and presidential malfeasance, while their fiction program elevates emerging talents and underrated international writers — voices overlooked by corporate publishing.

🔥 Hit title: Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

⭐️ Best known for: Journalism, Literary Fiction

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? No

Publisher of: Nonfiction

This edgy, Manchester-based press has furnished a voice for the counterculture since 1991. Originally founded to sell VHS copies of a controversial cult director’s latest release, Headpress hasn’t strayed far from its roots in pulp, grindhouse, and all things indie film. Beyond its sharp criticism of movie genres that don't get a lot mainstream attention, Headpress publishes widely across the spectrum of quirky nonfiction. Look through its list of titles, and you'll see everything from deep cuts on underground music to trippy meditations on European folklore.

🔥 Hit title: Bleeding Skull by Joseph A. Ziemba and Dan Budnik

⭐️ Best known for: Biography, Film, Journalism

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? Yes, in the form of Queries. View guidelines →

Publisher of: Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Fiction

Press 53 titles are set apart by their fearlessly anti-commercial tenor. This indie publisher specializes in publishing poets and short story writers — in other words, the kind of authors who have trouble landing book deals at more mainstream presses. Their backlist shows an interest in experimentation: look for innovative forms like flash fiction, prose poetry, and linked short stories that come together to form a novel. Based in North Carolina, Press 53 looks for great writing by authors from all over the US.

🔥 Hit title: What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang

⭐️ Best known for: Literary Fiction

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? Yes, in the form of Contest Entries. View guidelines →

Publisher of: Fiction and Nonfiction

Brooklyn-based Akashic Books was founded by the post-hardcore bassist Johnny Temple in 1997. It still operates out of the borough’s trendy Old American Can Factory, putting out galleys in the same industrial complex where electronica acts jam and indie painters hang their canvases. But in the last decade, they’ve started selling books all over the country. Dedicated to “reverse-gentrification of the literary world,” they highlight marginalized and anti-establishment authors, giving them an outlet for work considered too niche (or too incendiary) for corporate publishing.

🔥 Hit title: A Tall History of Sugar by Curdella Forbes

⭐️ Best known for: Mysteries, Literary Fiction, Crime Fiction

💌 Accepts unagented submissions? Yes. View guidelines →

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