Publishers for Fantasy Novels: Top Picks for Aspiring Authors

publishers for fantasy novels

Publishers for fantasy novels are always on the lookout for the next big hit in this ever-popular genre. Whether you are a budding author with a captivating new world ready to be unveiled or an experienced writer looking to switch publishers, finding the right partner can make all the difference. In this guide, you’ll discover how to identify top publishers, craft an irresistible pitch, understand what publishers seek, and learn from successful authors who’ve navigated this path before.

Stay tuned as we delve into the Top Publishers for Fantasy Novels, How to Pitch Your Fantasy Novel to Publishers, What Publishers Look for in Fantasy Novels, and share Success Stories from Fantasy Novel Publishers.

Top Publishers for Fantasy Novels

Tor Books

Tor Books is one of the most renowned publishers in the fantasy genre. They have published many best-selling and award-winning novels. Tor offers a wide range of fantasy subgenres, from epic to urban fantasy.

Harper Voyager

Harper Voyager is a division of HarperCollins, known for its extensive list of successful fantasy novels. They focus on both new and established authors, providing a platform for diverse voices in the fantasy world.

Orbit Books

Orbit Books is a leading publisher of fantasy and science fiction. They are known for their innovative marketing strategies and a strong global presence. Orbit publishes a variety of fantasy subgenres, catering to a broad audience.

DAW Books

DAW Books has a long history of publishing quality fantasy novels. As an imprint of Penguin Random House, DAW is dedicated to bringing imaginative and compelling stories to readers. They are known for nurturing new talent in the fantasy genre.

Gollancz

Gollancz is a UK-based publisher with a rich history in fantasy literature. They are part of the Orion Publishing Group and have a reputation for publishing groundbreaking and award-winning fantasy novels.

Del Rey

Del Rey is an imprint of Penguin Random House that specializes in fantasy and science fiction. They have published many iconic fantasy series and are known for their commitment to high-quality storytelling.

Baen Books

Baen Books is known for its strong focus on science fiction and fantasy. They offer a unique approach by providing free electronic versions of their books, which has helped them build a loyal readership. Baen is dedicated to discovering and promoting new voices in fantasy.

Angry Robot

Angry Robot is an independent publisher that focuses on genre fiction, including fantasy. They are known for their innovative and edgy titles, often pushing the boundaries of traditional fantasy storytelling.

Pyr

Pyr is an imprint of Prometheus Books, specializing in science fiction and fantasy. They are committed to publishing high-quality, imaginative works and have a strong reputation for discovering and nurturing new talent in the fantasy genre.

Baen Books

Baen Books is known for its strong focus on science fiction and fantasy. They offer a unique approach by providing free electronic versions of their books, which has helped them build a loyal readership. Baen is dedicated to discovering and promoting new voices in fantasy.

Angry Robot

Angry Robot is an independent publisher that focuses on genre fiction, including fantasy. They are known for their innovative and edgy titles, often pushing the boundaries of traditional fantasy storytelling.

Pyr

Pyr is an imprint of Prometheus Books, specializing in science fiction and fantasy. They are committed to publishing high-quality, imaginative works and have a strong reputation for discovering and nurturing new talent in the fantasy genre.

How to Pitch Your Fantasy Novel to Publishers

Craft a Compelling Query Letter

Your query letter is the first impression you make on a publisher. It should be concise and engaging.

Research the Publisher

Before pitching, ensure that the publisher is a good fit for your fantasy novel.

  • Genres: Confirm that they publish fantasy novels.
  • Submission Guidelines: Follow their specific submission instructions.
  • Authors: Look at their current authors to see if your work aligns with their interests.

Prepare a Strong Synopsis

Your synopsis should be a clear and concise summary of your novel.

  • Main Plot: Outline the major events of your story.
  • Characters: Introduce the key characters and their motivations.
  • Conflict: Highlight the central conflict and how it drives the story.
  • Resolution: Explain how the story concludes.

Submit Sample Chapters

Publishers often request the first few chapters of your novel. Make sure these are polished and engaging.

  • Opening Scene: Start with a strong, attention-grabbing scene.
  • Characters: Introduce your main characters early on.
  • Setting: Establish the world of your novel clearly and vividly.

Follow Up Professionally

After submitting your pitch, it’s important to follow up professionally.

  • Timeline: Wait for the period specified by the publisher before following up.
  • Email: Send a polite email inquiring about the status of your submission.
  • Patience: Be patient and respectful; publishers receive many submissions.

By following these steps, you can create a strong pitch that captures the interest of fantasy novel publishers.

What Publishers Look for in Fantasy Novels

Strong World-Building

Publishers are always on the lookout for fantasy novels with rich, immersive worlds. The setting should be detailed and believable, allowing readers to escape into a new reality. This includes well-thought-out geography, cultures, and histories that add depth to the story.

Compelling Characters

Characters should be multi-dimensional and relatable, with clear motivations and growth throughout the story. Publishers seek protagonists that readers can root for and antagonists that are more than just evil for the sake of being evil.

Originality

While fantasy often borrows from classic tropes, publishers are looking for a unique twist that sets your story apart. This could be an innovative magic system, a fresh take on mythical creatures, or an unexpected plot development.

Engaging Plot

An engaging plot is crucial. Publishers want stories that are well-paced, with a mix of action, suspense, and emotional moments. The plot should have a clear structure, with a strong beginning, middle, and end.

Consistent Tone and Style

Your writing style should be consistent and appropriate for the genre. Publishers appreciate a tone that matches the story’s themes and settings, whether it’s dark and gritty or light and whimsical.

Market Potential

Publishers also consider the marketability of your novel. They look for stories that can attract a wide audience or fill a niche in the market. Having a clear target audience and understanding current trends in fantasy literature can make your novel more appealing.

Strong Opening

The beginning of your novel should hook the reader immediately. Publishers often receive many submissions, so a strong, engaging opening can make a significant difference.

Professional Presentation

Finally, publishers look for manuscripts that are well-edited and professionally presented. This includes proper grammar, spelling, and formatting. A polished submission shows that you are serious about your work and respect the publisher’s time.

Success Stories from Fantasy Novel Publishers

J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury

J.K. Rowling’s journey with Harry Potter is a classic success story. Initially rejected by several publishers, her manuscript finally found a home at Bloomsbury. The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, became a massive hit, leading to a series that sold over 500 million copies worldwide.

George R.R. Martin and Bantam Books

George R.R. Martin was already an established author when he approached Bantam Books with his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The series’ first book, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1996 and has since become a global phenomenon, spawning a successful TV series and a massive fanbase.

Patrick Rothfuss and DAW Books

Patrick Rothfuss spent over a decade writing The Name of the Wind. His dedication paid off when DAW Books published it in 2007. The book was a critical and commercial success, earning numerous awards and establishing Rothfuss as a leading voice in modern fantasy.

Brandon Sanderson and Tor Books

Brandon Sanderson gained recognition with his debut novel, Elantris, published by Tor Books. He has since published multiple bestsellers, including the Mistborn series and the Stormlight Archive, solidifying his reputation as a prolific and beloved fantasy author.

Naomi Novik and Del Rey Books

Naomi Novik made waves with her debut novel, His Majesty’s Dragon, part of the Temeraire series, published by Del Rey Books. The series has been praised for its unique blend of fantasy and historical fiction, earning Novik a dedicated readership and numerous accolades.

Leigh Bardugo and Henry Holt & Co.

Leigh Bardugo found success with her Grisha Trilogy, starting with Shadow and Bone, published by Henry Holt & Co.. The series’ popularity led to a Netflix adaptation and established Bardugo as a prominent figure in young adult fantasy literature.

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