21 Of The Top Children’s Book Publishers

After all the work you’ve done on your new children’s book, you’d like to publish it.

And you want to know how to publish a children’s book without an agent. 

If you have to choose between self-publishing and traditional publishing, you’re honestly leaning toward the latter.

We honor both paths here, so if you’re looking at the traditional publishing route, we’ll do all we can to light the way forward.

To that end, we’ve combed lists of children’s book publishers accepting submissions and have made a list of those still open to un-agented authors. 

How Do You Submit a Children’s Book to a Publisher? 

Each of the listings for children’s book publishers includes a link to submission guidelines, as well as a peek into what each publisher’s editorial team is looking for. 

Looking through this information should be your first step in making your own shortlist of publishers to contact. Familiarize yourself with what they want. 

21 children's book publisher

From there, you can take the following steps to submit your work:

  • Read a representative sampling of each publisher’s top titles
  • Make a list of the submission materials most, or all your chosen publishers require. 
  • Create a desktop folder for each publisher (digital copies of submission materials)
  • Prepare each item on that list. Make hard copies for submissions by mail. 
  • One at a time, gather your materials and submit them to the publisher by mail, email, or online submission form. Keep track of submission dates.
  • Set calendar reminders to mark the end of each publisher’s review period.

Some publishers will take a couple of months to review your submission, while others will take six or more.

Most are fine with simultaneous submissions as long as you tell them if another publisher wants to move forward with your book.

21 Top Children’s Book Publishers 

Writing children’s books is challenging enough, so the goal here is to make finding a publisher as easy as possible.

At the time of this post’s writing, every one of the publishers listed here is open to unsolicited and un-agented submissions.

Albert Whitman & Company

Albert Whitman & Company is looking for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. Here’s a recent sampling of their titles: 

Submission guidelines: Submit your manuscript by email as an attached Word document, along with a cover letter and other requested information.

Make sure your subject line meets their formatting requirements. They try to respond within six months.

Allen & Unwin Book Publishers

Their Friday Pitch online submission system (which, despite its name, is open all week) allows writers of all book genres to get their work in front of one of Allen & Unwin’s in-house submission editors. 

Some recent titles:

Follow their submission guidelines if you have one of the following to submit:

  • Children’s fiction — for young readers, confident readers, and middle-grade readers
  • Novels for young adults 
  • Nonfiction books for children and young adults 

Annick Press

Annick Press is open to unsolicited submissions of picture books, middle-grade fiction, YA fiction, and nonfiction for kids of all ages. 

Recent Titles:

Submission guidelines: They favor stories with contemporary themes (even those with a historical setting).

And they’re committed to publishing more work from underrepresented creatives, including BIPOC and LGBTQ2SIA+ authors and artists.

Arbordale Publishing

Arbordale is always open to new ideas for picture books with a science and math twist — books with engaging stories, both fictional and factual.

Some Recent Titles:

Submission guidelines: To avoid misunderstandings, they provide helpful lists of what they want and what they don’t.

Bilingual authors are welcome to submit manuscripts in Spanish and English.

August House

August House has a soft spot for folk tales from the oral tradition and scary stories. They produce books with lesson plans and favor stories that highlight underrepresented cultures, their histories, and their traditions. 

Sample Titles:

According to the submission guidelines, August House is open to submissions and editorial inquiries by mail only — no emails, no phone calls.

If you want them to acknowledge receipt of your submission, enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard. 

Cardinal Rule Press

Cardinal Rule Press describes its goal as “realistic, representative books for socially thoughtful children.” They’re committed to producing books that reflect the diversity of our world and that inspire their readers to make a difference.

Some Recent Titles:

According to their submission guidelines page, their current review window began November 1st, 2020, and ends February 1st, 2021.

21 children's book publisher

They accept submissions by email only and are currently looking for the following: 

  • Realistic fiction picture books for readers aged 4 to 11  (up to 1,000 words)
  • Nonfiction books for parents and educators (up to 70,000 words)

Charlesbridge Publishing

Charlesbridge favors books that promote a positive worldview and help young readers embrace their sense of wonder and fun.

Their goals are to make lifelong readers and to support small, independent booksellers — especially black-owned businesses. 

Sample Titles:

Submission guidelines: They accept digital submissions only, focusing on fiction and nonfiction board books, picture books, early readers, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction (ages 8–12), and young adult novels (ages 12+). 

Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers

Eerdman’s Books has a reputation for publishing books that honor a broad spectrum of religious viewpoints and traditions.

This broad perspective honors a variety of cultural backgrounds as well, with an emphasis on intellectual curiosity, discovery, and expression.

Sample Titles: 

Submission guidelines: Eerdman’s is open to unsolicited hard copy submissions (by mail)  only.  If you don’t hear from them within four months, it’s safe to assume they won’t be moving forward with your book. They publish both picture books and novels

Flashlight Press

Flashlight Press prefers books with universal themes that focus on funny and touching moments in social interactions and family life. They produce books of 1,000 words or less for young readers aged four to eight. 

Some Recent Titles:

Submission guidelines: Submit by email, attaching your complete manuscript as a Word document or PDF. Copy the other requested material into the body of your email, with no links. They aim to reply within three months if they’re interested. 

Flying Eye Books

Flying Eye is the children’s publishing imprint of the award-winning visual publishing house Nobrow Publishing. They’re open to unsolicited submissions of children’s picture books and illustrated nonfiction

Some Recent Titles:

Submission guidelines: Flying Eye Books is open to email submissions that follow their “three golden rules,” as explained on their page. Attach your manuscript as a Word or RTF (rich text format) document. Any attached images should be in JPG or PDF format. 

Free Spirit Publishing

As a leading publisher of learning tools for youth and educators, Free Spirit Publishing makes it their goal to give young readers the tools they need to think for themselves, overcome any challenge, and change the world for the better. 

Some Recent Titles:

Their submission guidelines page lists their preferred book categories, as well as all the materials they require for a submission. They recommend using  Submittable.com, though you can also send proposals by mail. 


More Related Articles

19 Best Self-Publishing Companies For Your Writing Business

47 Character Development Prompts To Flesh Out Your Book Characters

25 Of The Best Young Adult Publishers


Hogs Back Books

Hogs Back Books focuses on producing picture books for young readers up to 10 years, early readers for children up to 14 years, and teenage (YA) fiction. They welcome submissions from agents and un-agented authors alike. 

Some Recent Titles:

Their submission guidelines page lists both their physical address (in France) and their email address since they accept submissions to both.

Pay close attention to their formatting requirements. If interested, they aim to respond by email within three months. 

Holiday House

Holiday House specializes in quality hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction.

They’re open to submissions of children’s books for readers aged four and up. 

Some Recent Titles: 

Submission guidelines: If they’re interested in your submission, they’ll generally respond within four months. Send your entire manuscript by mail or email. They don’t specify whether they prefer email submissions with or without attachments. 

Immendium

Immendium focuses on children’s picture books — no novels, chapter books YA/teen fantasy, or 50,000-word stories.

Read from their catalog to get a sense of what they want.

Some Recent Titles: 

Submit by mail if you have a story for one of their three main categories. The submission guidelines page also lists materials to include in each submission. They aim to respond within two months.

Kane Miller EDC Publishing

Kane Miller publishes a variety of books for young readers — from books for babies to fiction and nonfiction for teens.

Most of their titles are from authors living outside the U.S., but they’re open to un-agented submissions from around the world. 

Some Recent Titles: 

  • Secrets of Our Earth (Shine-A-Light Books)
  • Yoga Animals in the Forest
  • Si Digo Ooh, Tu Dices Aah (Books in Spanish)

Submission guidelines: submit the required materials by email (submissions@kanemiller.com) after familiarizing yourself with the kinds of books they publish.

They will not consider email submissions with attachments or links. 

Levine Querido (formerly Arthur A. Levine Books)

Levine Querido is open to picture books, novels, and illustrations from artists and writers from underrepresented backgrounds, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Latinx and other minority creators, as well as those with disabilities. 

Sample Titles: 

Their submission guidelines page offers a helpful description of a query letter for creators writing their first one.

They accept requested materials via Submittable.com and ask that you send one query at a time.

Pants on Fire Press

Pants on Fire Press is open to un-agented submissions of the following: 

Submission guidelines: Submit a query and the first three chapters of your book (along with other requested information) in the body of the email; they delete unsolicited emails with attachments. Allow 8-12 weeks for a response. 

Quarto Knows

The Quarto Group has a different editor for each category/imprint. They consider un-agented submissions in a variety of educational fiction and nonfiction books. 

Some Recent Titles: 

Choose an imprint/category from the list on their submission guidelines page, and submit the requested materials to the designated email address. Look through titles in Quarto Kids to get a sense of what they want.

If interested, they respond within three months.

Sleeping Bear Press

Sleeping Bear is open to email submissions from January 1st through March 31st only. They’re looking for stories speaking to BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ children (aged 4 to 10) or children from LGBTQIA+ families. 

Some Recent Titles:

The submission guidelines page details the kinds of books they want, from board books to middle-grade fiction and nonfiction.

Submit by email with your manuscript attached as a Word document. Make sure you format your subject line as they ask.

Tilbury House Publishers

Tilbury House produces award-winning nonfiction picture books with solid learning material for the trade and educational book markets.

21 children's book publisher

They focus on cultural diversity, social justice, mindfulness, nature, science, and the environment.

Some Recent Titles: 

Check out their submission guidelines for instructions on how to submit your book for children aged 2 to 12 — by mail or using their online submission form. 

Workman Publishing

Workman is open to un-agented submissions of nonfiction books for children and adults. They do not publish fiction and are not open to unsolicited picture book submissions. 

Sample Titles:

According to their submission guidelines, they prefer to receive submissions by email (submissions@workman.com) but are also open to submissions by mail.

Send a SASE if you want your manuscript returned.

21 children's book publisher

Who is the best children’s book publisher?

By now, you should know the answer to “Who is the best children’s book publisher?” depends entirely on the kinds of books you write. 

As for your other question —  “What kind of children’s books are publishers looking for?” — there are publishers out there for every marketable children’s book idea. 

You don’t need all the publishers you contact to be interested in your book. You only need one. What will you do today to find them?

If you are looking for children's book publishers, read on this post as we've curated 21 of the top publishers for children's books.