St. Louis has the distinction of being a literary hotspot in the Midwest with no shortage of authors. While many are choosing to self-publish these days or even go strictly the e-books route, plenty still hope to find a traditional publishing house.
Catching the eyes of agents and the big East Coast publishers is a formidable task that can take years of trying and plenty of waiting, but small presses amenable to new authors are popping up across the country. With the latest addition of Rocking Horse Publishing, St. Louis now has five independent traditional presses for authors of mainstream work. Rocking Horse joins Walrus Publishing, Blank Slate Press, Stonebrook Publishing and High Hill Press.
Traditional publishers are choosy about the manuscripts they accept and advise submitting work that is edited well. They provide further editing, design, printing, and some type of marketing at no cost to the author. Most small presses will at least put their books into the Amazon system, and may have wider distribution to accommodate book stores. Authors should check with the publisher about e-book rights and publication.
All publishers mentioned in this article accept direct queries—no agent required. Authors, however, should read submission guidelines on the publisher websites and note that small presses can only take on a limited number of books each year.