Top 10 Book Publishers in Chicago

Standing in close second to New York, Chicago has always been considered one of the country’s main hub in terms of book printing and publishing. It has 175 years of publishing experience under its belt since that fateful day in 1839 that Robert Fergus set up a publication house in the Windy City. Eclectic, collegial, and collaborative, much of the book publishers in Chicago are too deep and too dissimilar making it hard to compare which is which. Many of the long standing Chicago book publishers, however, can agree on one point, that is, publishing on this side of the country is more bread-and-butter than glitz and glamour. Over the past years, consolidations have eaten up much of the local Chicago book publishing companies in the area. If you are an author looking for one, here are the top publishing houses and independent publishers for you to start you search on.



When it comes to book publishers in Chicago, Agate Publishing has continually earned accolades from various authors and voracious readers in the market. It has 5 unique imprints that tackles business related nonfiction (B2 Books), food, nutrition and entertainment (Surrey Books), African-American fiction and nonfiction (Bolden Books), e-books (Agate Digital), and Midwestern focus (Midway Books). The Chicago-based publishing company is also recognized as one of the most progressive and highly dynamic independent publishers in America by the Publisher’s Weekly in 2012. It boasts of renowned authors awarded with the James Beard, National Book Award, and Pulitzer.

ACTA Publications 

There are quite a number of Christian book publishers in Chicago and ACTA has always been on top of the list. Located in the heart of Chicago, the book publishing company circulates books on beliefs, family life, marriage preparation, spirituality, Marian resources, work, grieving, and other topics that have great impact on life, faith, families, jobs and communities. It accepts manuscripts from authors, proofread, edit, and when desired final output is reached, print and distributes this to the reading public.

Arktoi Books 

When it comes to new publishing companies in Chicago has quite a number of new names that impress, and Arktoi Books is one of such. An imprint of Red Hen Press, this book publishing company was set up in 2006 to cater to high quality literary genius from lesbian or LGBT writers. It publishes fiction, nonfiction and poetry with manuscript submissions acceptance are perfectly timed according to subject.

GIA Publications 

Music is another long standing genre that Chicago book publishers keep all throughout the years. This cannot be helped as the city houses some of the most notable musicians and musical geniuses. GIA Publications is one of the best book publishers in Chicago that has made quite a name in the music industry. A publisher of music books, it is focused on delivering books for Georgian chant, Christian worship music, cantor, and choir books. It aims to progress music education and awareness. Take note that GIA only accepts full vocal or instrumental scores.

Loyola Press 

A Jesuit Ministry-owned publishing company based in Chicago, Illinois, Loyola Press focuses on delivering books for the Catholic faithful. It publishes approximately 20-35 books per year with focus on the Catholic Christian faith, traditions, and spiritual applications. Submission of manuscript is done via a comprehensive process to guarantee quality.

Triumph Books 

One of the topnotch nonfiction Chicago publishers, Triumph Books speak for itself in terms of publishing genre and interests. Built in the late 80s, it has nailed its significance as one must-see book publishing companies in Chicago that deliver quality sports books and creative literary takes. From biographies to collections, football and basketball, fitness and training, golf, gaming, NASCAR, NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, football, and other general interest prints, Triumph Books continually encourage writers and writing wannabes to partake in submitting their manuscripts for review and assessment.

University of Chicago Press 

With over 5,000 books in print, the University of Chicago Press has always been the pride of the Windy City. Founded in 1891, these book publishers are renowned for their high standards on traditional scholarly literature takes ranging from the American government and its political arena, the classic political thought, comparative and judicial politics, foreign policy and international relations, diplomacy, political theory, behavior and opinion, social theory, race and politics, public policy, and other traditional scholarly principles. For submission of manuscripts, this topnotch Chicago publishing company has a full list of acquisition editors designated to evaluate or review book proposals.

Visual Arts Collective Poetry 

As the title of the company implies, the Visual Arts Collective Poetry publishing company is one of the many Chicago publishers whose main aim is to deliver poetry books. Incepted in 2004, it has published more than 50 poetry collections in full-length. Aside from its poetry collections, it also has a fine press imprint – Timberline Press.

Brittany Publications

Considered one of the many traditional and independent Chicago publishing companies, Brittany Publications began its foundation in 1981 and has solidly maintained its imprint in the publishing industry up to this day. It specializes in literary fiction, marketing communications, and nonfiction writing on women’s advocacy.

Johnson Publishing Company 

The largest African-American owned publishing company in the USA, Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. is also considered as one of the top Chicago publishers. One of its most controversial books that made into publication was “Forced Into Glory:Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream.” Basically, it encourages the African-American media to showcase their writing and literary talent.

When it comes to book publishing companies in Chicago, it has approximately a hundred and twenty-five listed names on the market today. Though most of these book publishers in Chicago are traditional in nature, the demand for digital media has become so high over the years that many has developed online presence to increase awareness and encourage new authors. Some have even resort to self-publishing services to encourage the current radical yet welcoming change in the book publishing market.

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