Navigating the world of publishing is a bit like navigating the tangled plots of our favorite romance sub-genres and tropes. Each path, be it indie publishing, pitching to a small romance publisher, or shooting for the stars with a big publishing house, has its own set of twists, turns, and possibilities. 

If you’re wondering which route will lead to your personal happily ever after, here are some things to consider. And, if you’re leaning toward a small publisher or imprint, keep reading for over seventy that accept submissions directly from authors.

Why go indie

Complete control: You get to call the shots, from cover design to marketing strategy.

Royalties: You’ll generally earn more per book, especially if you’re savvy about marketing and have a solid readership.

Speed: No waiting on publishers. You write, edit, publish, and repeat!

But remember, with great power comes great responsibility … and a learning curve. Members of Author Ever After get all the support they need to make this option work! Just saying …

Why pitch to small romance publishers

Guidance & support: You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. They often have experience and can guide you through the process.

Less pressure: Unlike the big houses, they might not demand blockbuster sales. Your “niche” romance might find a cozy home here.

Relationships: Smaller means you’re more than just a number. Personalized attention can be pretty sweet.

Pitching directly can save you a ton of time, since you don’t need an agent to get your foot in the door. Keep reading for a list of over seventy publishers and imprints taking author submissions.

Why get an agent for the big leagues

Access: The big publishing houses usually require an agent to even look at your work.

Negotiation power: Agents know the industry and can get you the best deal—on an advance and the rights you get to keep (international, translations, audiobooks, and so on).

Professional edit: They often provide feedback to get your manuscript in tip-top shape before they begin pitching.

However, getting an agent can be as tough as landing a book deal. And if you do land one, remember they’ll take a cut of your earnings, typically fifteen percent of your advance.

So, what’s the best choice?

Well, it’s a bit like asking whether to date the charming bad boy, the steady next-door guy, or the mysterious stranger. It really depends on what you’re looking for in your romance writing journey! 😉

Finding the right publisher for your romance novel

Before you jump in and submit your manuscript, it’s essential to understand the different niches and sub-genres within the romance sector. Whether your story leans towards historical, paranormal, contemporary, or erotic, there’s a publisher out there looking for your exact flavor of romance.

A  good fit means not only higher chances of acceptance but also a better working relationship with your publisher. They’ll be as passionate about your story as you are!

Tips before you submit

Research thoroughly

Dive deep into each publisher’s submission guidelines. Tailor your proposal or query letter to fit their requirements.

Professional presentation

Always send a polished, proofread and well-formatted manuscript following each publisher’s specific instructions—font size, font type, line spacing, number of pages or words, subject line to use on your email—pay attention to the details. First impressions matter a great deal.

If you’re fully committed to seeking representation and want to ensure you’re putting your best email and pages forward, I recommend working with an editor who is skilled in pitching agents to help you hone your cover letter and possibly even review your first 50 pages to make sure they are error-free.

Know your audience

Publishers specialize in various romance sub-genres. Ensure yours aligns with their request and readership.

Persistence pays off

Rejections are part of the writer’s journey. If you’ve not been rejected at least 50 times, there’s no reason to feel disheartened—finding a home for your stories is a long-game. Keep submitting! 

Romance Publishers Accepting Submissions

Click the link below for a comprehensive list of romance publishers currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts and a few more open to agented manuscripts.

Romance Publishers Accepting Submissions

This is a PDF that you can save to your computer. It has clickable links directly to the submissions page of each publisher to reduce your research time. 😊

Note that while we’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this list, publishers change their submission links and status from time to time.

If you notice something that should be updated, let us know with a quick email so we can keep the list relevant. Thanks!