Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need an agent to get published. There are now a number of completely reputable, professional publishers who accept manuscripts from unagented authors. Here are some of the ones I have discovered:
Bookouture is a relatively new digital publisher, which has won awards for the way they treat their authors – a very good sign if you’re thinking about submitting to them. They publish a range of genres including romance, crime, thrillers and women’s fiction. They let you know within 2 months whether they’re interested in your manuscript.
Carina is a digital-first publisher, meaning they also publish in print and audio. Genres they look for include historical fiction, erotica, romance, young adult and fantasy amongst others.
You need to submit the whole manuscript, and decisions are made within 3 months.
The Wild Rose Press
These are the lovely people who are publishing my novel! The Wild Rose Press have earned some very high praise from their authors about how they work with them. They accept a number of different genres including romance, women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers and historical fiction.
A full manuscript plus synopsis is required. Manuscripts over 45,000 are eligible for print publishing.
Mills & Boon
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the world’s biggest romance publishers, Mills & Boon, accept unsolicited manuscripts. You need to submit the first three chapters of your manuscript plus a synopsis and covering letter. Expect to wait around three months for a response (although they do say up to 6). The publisher prints different lines of romance from modern to historical, and sweet (Cherish) to medical.
This digital and print publisher looks for a variety of romantic sub-genres including fantasy, contemporary, thrillers and sci-fi. The full manuscript plus cover letter is required. Expect to wait 60 days for a reply.