Australian publishers who accept online submissions

I’ve been reading a fair bit lately – both offline and online, a book, other people’s blogs, agents’ and publishers’ websites, etc. – and found that more publishers here in Australia accept unsolicited online submissions than I would’ve expected. I thought I’d list some of the barebones facts here for anyone interested (NB: always check the publisher’s website for detailed instructions by clicking on the name before submitting anything). If you have a similar list for the UK or US, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post to link to your site.

Publisher When Accepts Details
Allen & Unwin: The Friday Pitch On any Friday No poetry, picture books, straight romance, short stories, or scripts

See their website for more details and a link to their “What we publish” page. There are separate instructions for academic submissions and for children’s/YA books.
Email with title information sheet (see website), first chapter and 300-word synopsis attached in Word format (PDF for illustrated work)
Austin Macauley Anytime Almost anything (as far as I could tell) Email cover letter, 400-500-word synopsis, three consecutive chapters
HarperCollins: The Wednesday Post Every Wednesday No plays, poetry, mind body spirit, religious titles, health and fitness, children’s books and educational texts Webform: synopsis, upload first 50 pages or three chapters, short note about yourself
Pan Macmillan: Manuscript Monday First Monday of every month

Note: Submission only open between 10am and 4pm AEST
Commercial fiction, literary fiction and non-fiction, children’s/YA, commercial non-fiction; no scripts, plays, poetry, or romance Webform: form fields, upload first 100 pages, upload 300-word synopsis
PanteraPress Anytime No picture or illustrated books, children’s, cooking, self-help, health/well-being, travel, poetry, plays/scripts, short stories, compilations, novellas, or chapter books Email details, attach up to two-page synopsis, full manuscript, and up to two-page bio, all as PDFs
Penguin Books: The Monthly Catch

Note: Penguin and Random House are the same company but have separate publishing divisions and therefore separate submission processes. Random House only accepts snail mail submissions.
1st to 7th of every month No poetry, educational textbooks or plays/scripts; separate instructions for children/YA Details in email body, with 300-word synopsis and full manuscript attached separately in Word format (up to 3MB total)

As of yet, I’m undecided whether it would be a good idea for me to approach publishers directly (i.e. without securing an agent first) or not. Agents can’t pitch your work to a publisher who’s already said “No” to you. On the other hand, if your work is good enough….

Did I forget anything, or get any details wrong? Know of another publisher I should list here? Let me know in the comments.

About Amos M. Carpenter

Web dev by day, author by night, and generally interested in (and opinionated about) way too many things.

Posted on 8 March, 2014, in Opportunities, Publishers, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I think it’s really great that you spent the time to research all this (and share it). I went through a similar process – including the ‘do I want to try for an agent first or just risk it and go straight for the publisher?’ question… But in the end, my risk was worth it since I’ve just been signed on with Pantera Press so I’m pretty darned stoked… But it IS a risk – especially because, like you said, if you submit to a publisher and they say ‘no’, then that eliminates them for your agent too. Gah! The publishing world is so scary! Best of luck to you, though!

    • Yeah, I saw that on your blog and left a comment earlier this week, congrats again, Lynette, I’m so happy for you!
      Reading your post was actually the trigger that made me look up Pantera’s website and dig up my older bookmarks on other publishers; I wanted to post about publishers accepting online submissions then but didn’t get around to it until the weekend. Great to read about your excitement and your success story, and thanks for wishing me luck 🙂

  2. accepts non-represented authors of mixed genres.

    • Hmm, yeah, but… a) you’re not Australian, and b) judging by all those moving things on your website, it seems to be predominantly erotica that you publish. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just something for those clicking on your link while at work to be aware of. 😉

  3. Accepts unsolicited manuscripts each Wednesday. Seeking Australian contemporary / historical / literary fiction, narrative non-fiction and memoirs.

    • Thanks for letting me know.

      I had a look at your website, though, and can’t find anything about you actually publishing any books – all I can see are offers to do “professional beta reading”, manuscript assessments, book reviews, and the like, as well as mentions of other “small”/”independent” publishers. So why do you accept submissions? Or are you just that new and haven’t found anyone worth publishing yet…?

      I’m also confused why you’d call it Wednesday Blurb when you seem to be accepting submissions at any time. Your site says “we have developed an exciting idea called Wednesday Blurb” – I’m pretty sure HarperCollins’ Wednesday Post existed before you had your idea, or am I wrong and they stole your idea?

      • Hi Amos,

        Thanks for taking a look at the site.

        We are working with a couple of writers and hope to have their manuscripts published within the next few months. As you are probably aware the majority of manuscripts are rejected and those that do make it past the slush pile require a lot of polishing before they are ready to be published.

        I am aware of Allen & Unwin’s Friday pitch but hadn’t come across HarperCollins’ Wednesday Post until you pointed it out. I don’t think it is fair to insinuate that the idea has been ‘stolen’. Is that to say that Dymocks cannot have a 25% sale off all their books on Wednesday because Readings Bookstore came up with the idea of a having a sale on Wednesday first?

        The reason why we accept unsolicited manuscripts on other days is that we generally promote the Wednesday Blurb on (you guessed it!) Wednesday in Australia but it is still Tuesday in other parts of the world.

        Here’s what Allen & Unwin say on their Friday Pitch page..

        The Friday Pitch is open to submissions all week!

        I had a look at your ‘about me’ and I’m guessing you appreciate how much of a struggle it is to have your manuscript accepted by a publisher. I’d like to think that Australia is still the land of the ‘fair go’ and that independent publishers can thrive alongside major publishers and stories such as yours have as much right to be shared.

        All the best with your writing..

        • Fair enough – and I appreciate your detailed answer. I’m sure it’s tricky to make a name for yourself in the publishing business.

          You’re no doubt aware that there are any number of “book doctors” looking to make money from aspiring authors, so you’ll have to forgive me for being sceptical when I hear of someone calling themselves a publisher and I can’t find any details about them having published anything. Having just had a great experience with fellow bloggers and writers doing some (free) beta reading for me, seeing that you’re being paid for it strikes me as… wrong. Especially since I didn’t see any offer to at least “try before you buy” with a sample, nor any testimonials from actual published authors.

          It’s easy to call yourself a critic, and say that you “know a good book when you see one”, but it’s another step entirely to call yourself a publisher (digital publishing is great, but still not quite the same as traditional publishing, and I’m not even sure which one you are).

          But, as I said, fair enough – and best of luck in what I’m sure is a very competitive business.

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