All of these publishers are open to unsolicited submissions –– no agent required.
Not all of them are currently open to unsolicited submissions but most are.
Page Street Publishing is a publisher of full color, mostly hardcover, gift books, cook books, and craft books. Most of them have an important visual component. To get a good feeling for what they have published in the past you can go here. They are distributed through Macmillan in every country but Canada (where they have a different distributor). They publish around sixty titles a year.
Holiday House is an established and reputable children’s book publisher. Holiday House has been around for over 75 years. They publish picture books and books aimed at children in grades 1-3, grades 4-6, and grades 7 and up. They are based out of New York City. They have published well known and award winning books.
DAW is an imprint of Penguin that is open to manuscript submissions from authors without an agent. This is unusual and a great opportunity. DAW is a highly respected publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy. DAW has published authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Roger Zelazny. DAW has published many bestselling books and they have published Hugo award winning books. They are respected and popular.
Chronicle Books is a reputable publishing house that publishes many wonderful books, however for the sake of this list, I am just focusing on their children’s line. They have published a number of books that have been nominated for the Caldecott, the most prestigious children’s book award. They publish a large number of children’s books every year and have excellent distributors.
A respected publisher of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literary young adult novels. The work they publish receives good distribution, particularly in academic circles.
Flashlight Press focuses on publishing illustrated children’s books. Their books are a lot of fun to read and very well illustrated. They have received numerous awards.
Seven Stories Press is an independent publisher that has been around for twenty years. They have published a number of highly respected books. Their books are distributed by Random House. They take their name from the seven authors whose work has most influenced and impacted Seven Stories Press .
An imprint of Scholastic Inc., Arthur A. Levine Books was founded in 1996. They publish hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children and teenagers (and discerning adults). They have published many award winning and nominated books, as well as a number of very well known and respected authors (including J.K. Rowling).
Chicago Review Press was founded over 40 years ago. They are an established independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction and memoir. They also publish books for children (but not picture books). They were founded by Curt Matthews and his wife, Linda Matthews.
This Philadelphia based press publishes just 25 books a year in a whole range of genres, from children’s books to nonfiction to science fiction. Unlike most publishers that tackle a large range of topics, Quirk books has a clear marketing plan and, to a certain degree, their books have a cohesive feel, because they all are quirky.
City Lights Books is based out of San Fransisco and is indeed part of the famous bookstore there. City Lights Books was started by the famous poet and writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti. They are most often linked to the beat poetry movement. They have published New York Times best selling books. They have been a publisher for over 60 years. They publish about a dozen books each year.