By Sian Toop 

This month, we are focusing on publishing houses that specialise in non-fiction, especially those that are open to submissions from independent authors. Getting a non-fiction book published is slightly different as you often don’t need a completed manuscript – you just need a great proposal to send! So, if you have been sitting on a great idea for a book about adventures in the natural world or you are an ancient history expert who has spotted a gap in the market, now is your time to send that proposal.  

Have a look at the list we have curated below!   

Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers

Independent publisher Shepheard-Walwyn is based in South West London, England and accepts submissions from authors from across the globe. Their submission guidelines state that they accept submissions across all non-fiction genres, but those they are most interested in: Ethical Economics, Politics, Society and Social Change, Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Art History, Literary Criticism, Environmental issues, Self-Help, Personal Development, Autobiography, Literary Memoirs. Their guidelines page offers extensive advice for authors who are considering submitting to Shepheard-Walwyn. There is a short submission form to complete, and they are happy to take a proposal or a completed manuscript. They state that authors may not hear back immediately as it takes time to review submissions, but you will hear back once a decision has been made.  

Black & White Publishing  

Black & White Publishing are an independent, Edinburgh based publishers. For non-fiction submissions, they only accept one-page proposals, and they are very clear they only want proposals within the following genres: celebrity memoirs, sports books (with a particular focus on the UK and Ireland), lifestyle, humour, gift and activity books, food and drink titles, Scottish non-fiction, Irish non-fiction, nature and wild places. Within their submission guidelines, they ask for no more than a side of A4, which should include information about yourself and your background and a summary of what your proposed book will cover. Black & White Publishing will get back to you within six months if they would like to consider your proposal for publication, but unfortunately, if you haven’t heard from them in this time, you have been unsuccessful.  

Thames & Hudson 

Specialising in more visual non-fiction texts, Thames & Hudson have offices around the world. They are searching for non-fiction proposals focusing on the genres of Art, Architecture, Photography, Design, Fashion, Popular Culture, History and Archaeology, but are open to other genres and especially love proposals from photographers, designers and illustrators as well as authors. Their website once again offers extensive submission guidelines, and they are looking for proposals as opposed to a completed text – they’re even happy to take submissions via the post! Unfortunately, Thames & Hudson can’t respond to every submission and state that if you are yet to hear from them after three months, on that occasion, your submission has been unsuccessful.  


Thread is the non-fiction imprint of digital publisher Bookouture (a division of Hachette UK). They are looking for proposals in the non-fiction genres of Self Development & Personal Growth, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, Parenting, Personal Finance, Popular Finance and Inspirational Memoir but are open to great submissions from other genres. Thread, unlike most non-fiction publishers, are only interested in finished manuscripts, but their submission guidelines offer lots of tips and advice if it’s your first time submitting. Another great thing about Thread is that they read all submissions and offer a super quick turnaround – you’ll hear from them within a month!  

Skyhorse Publishing  

Skyhorse Publishing is a US publishing house that boasts over fifty-seven New York Times bestsellers! They are looking for non-fiction proposals that fit within the following genres: Sports, Outdoor Sport, Adventure and Travel, Health and Fitness, House and Home, History, Humour, Military History, Business, Games and Gambling, Horses, Pets and Animals, Nature and Science, Food and Wine, Aviation, True Crime and Current Events. Their submission guidelines have lots of information about what they need in a proposal and how to send it. Skyhorse promises to get back to authors within 4-6 weeks if they would like to move forward with your book, but if you haven’t heard from them this time, you have been unsuccessful.