Children's Book Publishers and EditorsThe 30 children’s book publishers below all have one important thing in common: they are accepting submissions directly from authors.

Since many children’s publishers only accept from agents, this list should save you hundreds of hours combing through the submission guidelines of every children’s publisher on earth. And here’s a bonus! You won’t even have to wait to get an agent.

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And if you need feedback on your book, please look at my children’s book editing page.

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1. Holiday House

Children's Book EditorThis is a company with such a legacy and history that they have an entire book written all about it: Holiday House: The First Sixty-Five Years. I’ll save you the trouble of reading it: They’re an independent company that publishes children’s books only, specializing in hardback covers for ages 4 and up.

Submission Guidelines are here, but the essence is to mail your entire manuscript.

Editorial Department, Holiday House, 50 Broad Street #301, New York, NY 10004

Sample Titles:

  • Noodlehead Nightmares
  • Here is Big Bunny

2. Arbordale Publishing

Children's Book EditorsThey prefer books that teach science and math in fun, picture-book formats.

They are looking for manuscripts about:

  • physical science
  • engineering
  • earth science
  • science or math manuscripts with a cultural/social studies connection
  • manuscripts for Pre-K3 to kindergarten-age children

 Additional submission guidelines are available on their website.

3. Immedium

The best word to describe Immedium is innovative. They’ve only existed since 2004, but they’ve won many awards every year for their books and had several #1 best selling books. 

They’re based in San Francisco and do a great job of maximizing your children’s book potential across all mediums, from selling television rights to making action figures.  

Check out their submission guidelines here. What they’re looking for above all is originality. If you’ve got a children’s book about a topic that seems different from all the books out there, submit to them. 

Sample Titles:

  • The Adventures of Wonderbaby from A to Z
  • The Octonauts (which became the hit TV series)
  • I’m the Scariest Thing in the Jungle


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4. Flashlight Press

Flashlight Press is a Brooklyn-based publisher that focuses entirely on children’s picture books. 

They are looking for books that fit these four categories:

  • Picture books with universal themes
  • suitable for ages 4 – 8
  • Less than 1000 words
  • Focuses on relationships between people

If you have questions, you can also contact them via their contact page.

Here are some sample titles:

  • No More Noisy Nights
  • I Need My Monster
  • When a Dragon Moves In Again

5. Lee & Low Books

Children's book publishersLee & Low specializes in multicultural books for ages 5 – 12, which is wonderful, since fewer than 10% of children’s books contain a main character who is not white.

Their writer’s guidelines say they are looking for stories where the main character is a person of color. It is a bonus if the stories include one of these 3 categories:

  1. non-traditional family structures (e.g. same sex parents)
  2. non-traditional gender identity (e.g. LGBTQ experiences)
  3. stories that feature a person with a disability

There are word limitations: manuscripts for fiction should be less than 1500 words and nonfiction books should be less than 3000.

They DO NOT want any illustrations (unless you are a professional illustrator).

Unfortunately, to submit here you’re going to have to shell out some money for printing and postage, because they only allow submissions by mail.

6. Kids Can Press

Children's Publishing CompaniesThe biggest Canadian publisher of children’s books, Kids Can Press accepts manuscripts from Canadians, but not from children or teenagers. They’ve won five big literary awards in the last five years, and have a great track record of introducing new titles.

They are looking for picture books for children, and chapter books for kids age 7 – 10. They don’t want YA or fantasy novels.

Sample Titles:

  • Franklin the Turtle
  • Scaredy Squirrel
  • The Busy Beaver

7. Hogs Back Books

Children's Books PublisherHogs Back Books publishes children’s books for kids under the age of 10. If you look through their catalog, you’ll find many of the books feature animals as the protagonists.

Although they are based in Britain, they accept queries and submissions by email:

enquiries AT hogsbackbooks DOT com

Sample Books:

  • 3 Silly Chickens
  • Boris the Boastful Frog
  • Croc on the Rock

8. Cardinal Rule Press

Based in Michigan, Cardinal Rule Press is a very positive publisher, looking for children’s books that embody “hope, courage, and the Golden Rule.”

They are looking for realistic picture book manuscripts under 1000 words. 

Make sure to fully read the submission guidelines before emailing them your manuscript. They have a 3 month submission window every year, and like the rest of the publishers on this list, accept unsolicited and unagented manuscripts. 

Sample Titles:

  • Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (Having the Courage to be Who You Are)
  • Cookie and Milk – A Scientifically Stunt-tastic Sisterhood


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9. David Fickling Books

Children's Picture BooksDavid Fickling books does not accept unsolicited manuscripts on a rolling basis, but they do have an annual contest in which authors can submit their book for a chance to win a publication and a publishing contract.

Check their contest page, called Master of the Inkpot Competition, for the submission details. Even if they don’t end up choosing your manuscript, they announce five finalists, and that’s the kind of press which might help get your manuscript accepted at another publisher.

They used to be an imprint of Scholastic, then of Random House, and now they’re independent. They describe themselves as “nimble,” which means they’re flexible enough to market your book in many creative, unorthodox ways.

Sample Titles: (They have a great nose for adventurous titles, ones that sound exciting)

  • Superbot and the Terrible Toy Destroyer
  • Vikings in the Supermarket

10. Candlewick Press

Book Companies for ChildrenThey occasionally open up submissions, although for most of the year it’s closed. Check their website to see whether they are seeking unsolicited submissions at the moment. When they are open, they do not accept online submissions.

They are an independent publisher (if you can’t tell by now, most corporate publishers don’t accept unsolicited submissions, while most independent publishers do. So if you don’t have an agent, you’re most likely looking for an independent publisher for your children’s book).

In the last two decades, they brag that they’ve won 2,000 awards. Bookfox is not going to try to fact-check that. They have a backlist of 3,000 books and a staff of 100. If you’re going to go for an independent publisher, this is one of the biggest.

They specialize in Middle Grade, but also have YA.

Sample Titles:

  • Beowulf (and other classic stories visually interpreted and retold)
  • Dragonology

11. Albert Whitman & Company

Publishers of kids booksAlbert Whitman accepts unsolicited submissions from unrepresented authors, and they publish roughly 40 books a year (no word on what percentage of those books are unsolicited).

Their submission guidelines say that they are looking for three categories of books:

  1. Picture-books (>1000 words)
  2. Middle-grade (>35,000 words)
  3. Young Adult (>70,000 words)

Email submissions are allowed, but they will only get back to you if they are interested in the project.

This is a company with a great pedigree and some great titles. They are one of the oldest independent houses, publishing since 1919, and are highly organized and will do your book justice. If you get a chance to publish with them, I would recommend it highly.

Sample Titles:

  • One More Dino on the Floor
  • The Boxcar Children
  • Abby’s Asthma and the Big Race

12. Charlesbridge Publishing

Middle-Grade FictionThey accept “children’s literature,” which sounds more sophisticated than “kid books.” They do not accept online submissions, only ones by mail. Additional guidelines for writers can be found here.

They are interested in innovative children’s stories told in bright and refreshing ways. They publish books for infants, toddlers, middle-grade, and young adult.

Sample Titles:

  • A Mountain of Mittens
  • Bamboo People
  • A Tower of Giraffes

13. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

photoEerdmans publishes only 12 – 18 books a year, which makes them one of the smaller independent publishers, but their backlist looks fantastic. They are looking for a wide variety of books, but especially ones that celebrate diversity, focus on an important historical moment, or relate to social issues.

Two of the descriptions of the books they’re looking for are particularly telling: they want “wise” books and books with good “humor.”

Sample Titles:

    • Mikis and the Donkey
    • A Pond Full of Ink
    • In Search of the Little Prince


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14. Free Spirit Publishing

Kid Book PublishersFree Spirit publishes 20 – 25 titles a year, and have been established for more than 30 years out of Minnesota.

As far as their submission guidelines, they are looking for books with anti-bully messages (I doubt many people send them pro-bullying messages), and for books that teach kids character, leadership and service. They also will consider fiction if it communicates these messages.

They tend to like hard topics like anxiety, grief and loss, and conflict resolution.

If you could summarize their taste in books in three words, it would be:

  1. Practical
  2. Positive
  3. Solution focused

Sample Titles:

  • The 6 Rs of Bullying Prevention
  • Penelope Perfect
  • Respect and Take Care of Things / Respectar y Cuidar las Cosas (bilingual)

15. Little Tiger Press

Lift the Flap bookLittle Tiger is a British publishing house with three imprints, but only one accepts unsolicited submissions.

Stripes Publishing accepts fiction for children aged 6 – 12. Send manuscripts by email only.

Sample Titles:

  • There’s a Dragon in My Backpack!
  • Hello World (a lift-the-flap novelty book)

16. Flying Eye Books

Flying Eye Press is the children’s book imprint of Nobrow, and are international in focus, with offices in multiple countries (but they’re only looking for children’s books in English).

In general, if you look over their books, they specialize in absolutely breathtaking illustrations — it’s really a pleasure to look at their artwork.

They want emailed submissions, and are seeking picture books under 1000 words that are either 24 pages or 32 pages (these are industry standard lengths). 

Sample Titles:

  • Kai and the Monkey King
  • Professor Astro Cat’s Stargazing
  • The Immortal Jellyfish

17. Peachtree Publishers

CapturePeachtree Publishers is a Southern, independently owned trade book publisher, specializing in:

  • Children’s picture books
  • Chapter books
  • Middle grades novels
  • Young adult novels

They offer a shocking statistic to either ward off the faint-of-heart or to make you sympathize with them: they say they receive more than 20,000 submissions a year, and presumably only accept a handful of them. It takes them 6 – 9 months to review a submission.

They do not accept email submissions — mail only, please.

Sample Books: (all of their titles are fantastic — someone should get an award for naming these books)

  • The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
  • The Boy Who Cried Ninja

18. Sleeping Bear Press

Picture Book PublishersSleeping Bear Press, located in Michigan, seeks submissions of children’s pictures books, middle grade, and young adult manuscripts.

Mail OR email submissions, but since they only review books three times a year, be prepared for what could be a long wait.

Sample Titles:

  • The Legend of Sea Glass
  • Horace J. Edwards and the Time Keepers: The Secret of the Scarab Bettle

19. Top That! Publishing

Sticker book for kidsA British-based publisher which is top notch, considering the impressive numbers of 100 million books in print and availability in over 70 countries.

They prefer email submissions, buy world-wide rights to your book, and do not want you to submit simultaneously to other publishers.

Sample Titles:

  • Things That Go (sticker book)
  • Penny Pineapple and the Chocolate Forest


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20. Workman Publishing

kid book publishersThis is a massive publishing house, publishing fiction and nonfiction of every stripe for every age, but they have a children’s book department which accepts emailed submissions. 

One good thing about their Submission Guidelines is that they say that each submission will be reviewed by two or more editors, so you can be sure you’re getting a fair shake.

Sample Titles:

  • Arlo Needs Glasses
  • Belly Button Book

21. Arthur A. Levine Books (Now Levine Querido)

Picture book publisherArthur A. Levine books used to be an Imprint of Scholastic and a big award winner. Now they’ve spun off into their own company, Levine Querido.

They accept picture-book submissions, and actually sound happy about it, unlike many publishers who act as though the slush pile is crushing them.

Along with your manuscript, they want a good query letter answering these things:

  • What is your manuscript about?
  • Why would a reader turn to your book?
  • What makes your book original or memorable?

22. August House

August HouseAugust House likes folktales drawn from popular oral traditions, multimedia books, and children’s stories. They’ve been around for more than three decades, and are based in Atlanta, Georgia.

They are mostly seeking diverse stories and stories that are folktales. Please only submit by mail.

Sample Books:

  • Adventures of High John the Conqueror
  • Barking at a Fox-Fur Coat

23. Boyd’s Mill Press

bh_logo_BoydsThis is the company that publishes the most famous children’s magazine in the country, Highlights, so you’re in good hands. They say they’re interested in “excellent storytelling, imaginative illustration, and strong characters,” which essentially means they’re willing to read and accept just about anything, as long as it’s good.

They accept submissions by mail only, and try to respond to all submitters within 3 months. What I like about this publisher is that they actually will send a form rejection if they decide the book isn’t for them, unlike most publishers who don’t even bother.

  • Picture Books: Send the entire manuscript
  • Middle-Grade books: Send the first 3 chapters
  • Poetry: Send the whole collection

Sample Titles:

  • Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and her Flying Machine
  • Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmer’s Market

24. Mathew Price

Mathew Price is a popular children’s book author who started up his own publishing company, and jumped from the British market to the Asia/American/international market. 

They are not looking for any books in rhyme, but you may email your prose submissions to them. They are an especially good choice for board books and other books targeting preschool age and even younger readers.

I especially like their tagline: “education through delight.”

Sample Titles:

  • My Little Book of Colors
  • The Flying Vampire
  • Fire Engine to the Rescue

25. Versify

Versify is an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and is curated by Kwame Alexander, a Newbury medalist and famous children’s book author. 

Their submission guidelines say to submit by email (thank goodness), and include the entire manuscript.

Like almost all of the publishers on this page, you don’t have to submit illustrations with your manuscript. 

They publish books of all stripes, but are especially seeking books featuring protagonists of color.

Sample Titles:

  • The Last Last-Day-Of-Summer
  • Anya and the Dragon
  • The Undefeated

26. Kane Miller

Kane Miller Children's PublisherKane Miller has an international focus, but at this time they’re looking for books with an American theme. They prefer first-person stories, coming from a specific point of view, rather than overview stories from the historical third-person.

Their submission guidelines say to email submissions to: submissions AT kanemiller DOT com and include:

  • short cover letter
  • complete manuscript, or synopsis and sample chapters
  • word count
  • professional bio (3-5 sentences)
  • NO ATTACHMENTS

Sample Titles:

  • The River: An Epic Journey to the Sea
  • Nibbles: The Book Monster

27. Allen and Unwin

This Australia-based publisher has an imprint just for children’s books called Albert Street Books, and they’re looking for books written for babies to 12 year olds. 

Every Friday they want to hear from writers, in a helpful event called the “Friday Pitch,” where you can pitch your book to the editors.

Although, they’re not currently looking for children’s book texts, they are looking for:

  • Books for beginner readers, aged 5-7, word length 5,000-10,000
  • Books for confident readers, aged 7-9, word length 10,000-25,000
  • Books for middle-grade readers, aged 10-13, word length 25,000-50,000

Sample Titles:

  • Little Nic’s Big Day
  • A First Time for Everything

28. Tilbury House Publishers

Tilbury is very helpful about what they’re not looking for:

  • Fables
  • Fantasies
  • Books with talking animals
  • Fictions

They are looking for educational nonfiction books suitable for ages 5 – 10, about 500 – 800 words long.

If you have a book that’s about cultural diversity, nature, or the environment, send it to them. They’re also very interested in engineering, science, biography, and history.

They have a very handy submission form online that makes it easier to send them your manuscript. The great thing about this publisher is that they say they receive hundreds of unsolicited submissions a year (rather than thousands), so if your book is right for them, you have an excellent chance.

29. OnStage Publishing

image.phpOnStage Publishing is a relatively small independent publishing house focusing on children’s literature. They publish chapter books, middle-grade fiction and Young Adult, mainly for ages 8 to 18, and in both print format and e-book format.

Their guidelines say they do not publish picture books. For nonfiction, please query them first, because they are looking for very specific content.

Sample Titles:

  • China Clipper
  • Heroes: A Gander’s Cove Mystery

30. Quarto Knows

Quarto Knows specializes in nonfiction books for kids that teach them how to do something (make animation or slime, for instance).

They don’t shy away from adding to the book, either — these are called “Books Plus” and they include extra materials for kids to play with and use.

They also like books about historical figures who are inspiring to children (such as Marie Curie and Frida Kahlo).

But they have a few fiction titles as well, such as “Grandad’s Secret Giant,” (but fiction isn’t their focus).

They’re a huge multi-national company that sells their books in over 50 countries, and yet they still accept emailed submissions of your proposal. 

Sample Titles:

  • “Grandad’s Secret Giant.”
  • Pop Up and Build National Parks

 

And here are some bonus publishers, if you still haven’t found the right match:

30 Children’s Book Publishers

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