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DIRECTORY

Best Book Publishing Companies in San Francisco

Showing 16 publishers that match your search.

Counterpoint Press

Genres: Politics, History, Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Narrative Nonfiction, Literary Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels, Diverse Literature, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://www.counterpointpress.com/

Diversity: Diverse Literature

Accepts unagented submissions

No

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
A Kind of Freedom

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

None But The Righteous

Chantal James

Colorful

Eto Mori

Chronicle Books

Genres: Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Cookbook, Photography, Art, DIY, Architecture, Self-Help, Health & Wellbeing, Travel, Humor, Diverse Literature, Children's, and Nonfiction

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://www.chroniclebooks.com/

Diversity: Diverse Literature

Accepts unagented submissions

Yes Manuscript entries & book proposals - View guidelines →

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
From Crook to Cook

Snoop Dogg

Dolly Parton, Songteller

Dolly Parton & Robert K. Oermann

Men to Avoid in Art and Life

Nicole Tersigni

McSweeney's Books

Genres: Literary Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction, Humor, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://store.mcsweeneys.net/

Accepts unagented submissions

Yes Manuscript entries - View guidelines →

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
Indelible in the Hippocampus

Shelly Oria

Of Color

Jaswinder Bolina

The Fire In His Wake

Spencer Wolff

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Montag Press

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction, Fiction, and Short Story

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://www.montagpress.com/

Accepts unagented submissions

No

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
5 Clones

Edward Bonilla

Anarchy and Other Lies

Jesse McKinnell

M Against M

Declan Tan

Stone Pier Press

Genres: Cookbook, Environmental, DIY, Nonfiction, and Children's

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://stonepierpress.org/

Accepts unagented submissions

Yes Book proposals - View guidelines →

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
Growing Good Food: A Citizen's Guide to Climate Victory Gardening

Acadia Tucker

Growing Perennial Foods

Acadia Tucker

Gwen the Rescue Hen

Leslie Crawford

Sibylline Press

Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business, Fiction, and Romance

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://sibyllinepress.com/

Accepts unagented submissions

No Manuscript entries - View guidelines →

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
The Bereaved

Julia Park Tracey

Reading Jane

Susannah Kennedy

Unsettled

Patricia Reis

Desert Palm Press

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, LGBTQ+, Mystery & Crime, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller & Suspense, Westerns, and Women's Fiction

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://desertpalmpress.com/

Accepts unagented submissions

Yes Manuscript entries - View guidelines →

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
Scatter

Molly J. Bragg

Evil's Echo

Jane Alden

Back in the Saddle

Toni Draper

ORO Editions

Genres: Academic, Architecture, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's, Comics & Graphic Novels, Education & Reference, Environmental, Historical Fiction, History, Math & Science, Nonfiction, Photography, Picture Book, Poetry, Politics, Psychology, Religion & Spirituality, Sports & Outdoors, Technology, and Travel

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://oroeditions.com/

Accepts unagented submissions

Yes Book proposals - View guidelines →

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
Timeless

Patrick Ahearn

Manual of Biogenic House Sections

Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis

Emergent Tokyo

Jorge Almazán

City Lights Publishers

Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literary Fiction, LGBTQ+, Politics, Women's Fiction, Travel, African-American, Diverse Literature, BIPOC, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: http://www.citylights.com/

Diversity: Diverse Literature, BIPOC

Accepts unagented submissions

No Manuscript entries -

Indie publisher

Small press

💥 Hit titles
Howl and Other Poems

Allen Ginsberg

Dispatches from the Race War

Tim Wise

Danger and Beauty

Jessica Hagedorn

VIZ

Genres: Manga, Comics & Graphic Novels, and Fiction

Part of: ShogakukanShueisha Productions > VIZ

Location: San Francisco, US

Website: https://www.viz.com/

Accepts unagented submissions

No

Mid size

💥 Hit titles
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Gotouge Koyoharu

The Legend of Zelda

Himekawa Akira

My Hero Academia

Horikoshi Kohei

What do book publishers do?

Sure, a book publisher prints and sells your book. But what they do behind the scenes encompasses much more than that. Publishers handle the entire publishing process for books, including: 

  • Editing the book, i.e. developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading; 
  • Designing the book, i.e. book cover design and any necessary interior book design;
  • Promotion and marketing, i.e. writing the book’s blurb, email marketing, setting up media interviews, etc.; and
  • Production and distribution, i.e. formatting and distributing hardback, paperback, and ebook versions of the book to stores, both online and brick-and-mortar. 

Note that the structure of publishing companies may differ, depending on their size. Bigger book publishers may be made up of publishing houses which may, in turn, be made up of imprints — each of which will have its own brand identity in terms of the type of books it publishes. 

However, regardless of a publisher’s size, the scope of their work shouldn’t change. Once you sign with a publisher, they will do everything that it takes to bring your book to market. 

What are the most prominent book publishing companies?

If we define success by sheer sales volume, then we might point towards the "Big 5" presses and educational publishers (who rake in a LOT of money). Over the past few decades, these giant publishing companies have merged with and acquired most of the mid-sized publishers in the industry. However, a few still remain. Here are today's biggest book publishing companies:

  • Penguin Random House (Big 5)
  • Hachette Book Group (Big 5)
  • HarperCollins (Big 5)
  • Macmillan Publishers (Big 5)
  • Simon & Schuster (Big 5)
  • Scholastic Corporation
  • Pearson Education
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Cengage Learning

Together, these largest publishers dominate the publishing landscape. Countless beloved books come from their imprints, many of which you’ll find in our directory. 

The rest of the publishing landscape is largely made up of small publishers, or independent publishers. Most big publishers don’t directly accept unsolicited submissions without a literary agent — but smaller publishers do, making them a realistic and worthwhile route to publication. 

I have a long list of publishers. What next?

Congratulations! Now take a moment to thoroughly vet every publisher on your longlist. Scams are a dime a dozen in the publishing industry, and you want to make 100% sure that you’re dealing with a legitimate publishing company. Again, we strongly recommend reading this post and Writer Beware to know what red flags to watch out for.

When you’re confident in all of the publishers on your longlist, it’s time for the most nerve-wracking step: submitting your manuscript to them. 

Check out our free resources if you’re feeling daunted by what comes next. Whether you’re learning how to research publishers or how to personalize a submission, we've got you covered.

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Reedsy | Default — Concrete Book | 2023-10

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