Tennessee’s literary landscape is as diverse as its cultural heritage, boasting a legacy shaped by acclaimed authors, Pulitzer Prize winners, and unique literary genres.
From the Southern Gothic novels that have resonated with readers nationwide to an inspiring tradition of Christian and children’s literature, the state is a major center teeming with literary creativity. Supported by renowned creative writing programs in universities, numerous independent bookstores, literary festivals, and a robust public library system, Tennessee offers a nurturing environment for both emerging and established writers. Let’s explore the top publishing houses in this area.
Here’s a list of the top book publishers in Tennessee:
1. Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson is a leading publisher and provider of Christian content, with a mission to inspire the world by promoting biblical principles and honoring Jesus Christ. Publishing over 250 new original books and Bibles each year in more than 65 languages, it is globally recognized for its distribution in over 100 countries. Home to iconic authors such as Billy Graham and Max Lucado, Thomas Nelson includes imprints like Nelson Books and W Publishing Group and offers award-winning products in various formats. Founded over 200 years ago by Thomas Nelson in Edinburg, Scotland, the company has grown into an industry leader in Bibles and trade books and is now part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., based in Nashville, TN. Submission guidelines.
2. Argyle Fox Publishing
Argyle Fox Publishing was founded by Daniel Brantley in Cleveland, Tennessee, with the mission to serve authors who might otherwise face high costs and obstacles in the publishing process. The idea was born from a speaking engagement where Brantley learned of another author’s costly and unfruitful publishing experience. Determined to help authors like her, he created Argyle Fox Publishing with a team that includes artists, illustrators, and editors. Together, they handle every book with love and passion, treating authors as they would want to be treated themselves. The publishing house accepts submissions across many genres but avoids publishing graphic, pornographic, or offensive content. Submission guidelines.
3. B&H Publishing Group
B&H Publishing Group is a renowned Christian publishing house that collaborates with an array of both new and veteran writers. Some of their best-selling authors include Beth Moore, Stephen and Alex Kendrick, Thom S. Rainer, Matt Chandler, Vicki Courtney, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Eric Geiger, Kevin Peck, Dan Miller, and Henry Blackaby. In addition to publishing a wide range of books across genres like Christian Living, Leadership, Devotionals, Fiction, and Academic, they also offer a variety of Bibles, including translations such as CSB, KJV, RVR 1960, and NVI. Submission guidelines.
4. Pathway Press
Pathway Press is a Christian bookstore that offers an extensive selection of products tailored to the needs and interests of its faith-based audience. With an array of books, hymnals, and various church supplies, the organization provides essential resources for the Sunday School curriculum, small group study, discipleship, and more. Their online store also features sales and new releases, including content available on Kindle. Led by General Director David Ray, the team at Pathway Press emphasizes spirituality, customer satisfaction, and trust, committing to treating every visitor with the respect and consideration they deserve. Submission guidelines.
5. Waldenhouse Publishers
Waldenhouse Publishers, Inc., located near Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers comprehensive publishing support for authors at every stage of their project. With over 85 years of combined experience, their services range from writing assistance, editing, layout design, and typography to digital preparation, printing, indexing, and ebooks for distribution. Whether an author needs help with initial planning or final production, Waldenhouse provides tailored solutions to ensure the effective communication of ideas in both print and e-book formats. Submission guidelines.
6. Turner Publishing
Turner Publishing Company, headquartered in Nashville, TN, is an award-winning, independent publisher recognized among the top 101 in the U.S. Established in 1984, Turner publishes books spanning various genres such as business, young adult, history, romance, and wellness. They have several imprints, including Keylight Books for film-adaptable fiction, Wiley for over 1,000 acquired titles, and Ramsey & Todd for children’s books. Turner’s dedication to acquiring innovative content has led to its presence in over 55 countries and five inclusions in Publishers Weekly’s Fastest Growing Publishers List. Submission guidelines.
7. Ingram Content Group
Ingram Content Group, with over 50 years of experience, is a global leader in the distribution of books and book-related technology. Connecting readers worldwide to a vast catalog of print and digital books, Ingram has facilities and offices across the globe, ensuring they are within reach of anyone looking to read, write, publish, or sell books. Part of Ingram Industries, the company is committed to making a positive impact in the industries they serve and their local communities, emphasizing their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments. Ingram also offers a dedicated self-publishing platform, IngramSpark, that provides indie authors with tools to publish print and ebooks, access global distribution, manage sales, and access educational resources. Submission guidelines.
8. Vanderbilt University Press
Vanderbilt University Press, established in 1940, serves as the principal publishing division of Vanderbilt University, one of America’s leading research institutions. To produce scholarly publications of exceptional quality and originality, the Press emphasizes the areas of humanities, social sciences, health care, and education, publishing around twenty-five new titles each year. Falling under the administrative oversight of Vanderbilt’s Provost, the Press operates with an Editorial Committee made up of twelve university faculty members, ensuring that manuscripts are thoroughly evaluated for fit, viability, and quality. Submission guidelines.
9. University of Tennessee Press
The University of Tennessee Press, established in 1940, serves as the state’s official book publisher with a commitment to preserving and promoting knowledge about Tennessee and its region. With a focus on scholarly research, the Press has earned national recognition for its works in areas like African-American studies, Southern history, religion, Appalachian studies, and more. Several distinguished series, such as presidential papers and Voices of the Civil War, have further added to its reputation. The Press also maintains a strong regional publishing program and has embraced digital platforms, including the popular online edition of the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Submission guidelines.
10. Red Horseshoe Books
Red Horseshoe Books, a small publishing company founded by Barbara M. Lee, specializes in the design, project management, and self-publishing of books with a focus on quality craftsmanship and value. Drawing from years of experience in technical illustration and publication design, the company offers a comprehensive network of editors, illustrators, photographers, and printers to help authors produce and publish their unique works. Whether it’s a global cookbook or a cherished family recipe collection, Red Horseshoe Books consults with authors to tailor the approach to their specific goals, providing expertise and assistance in making the book a success. The name Red Horseshoe symbolizes the company’s commitment to solid, tangible craftsmanship, inspired by the founder’s beloved horse, Kitty. Submission guidelines.
11. Randall House Publications
Just like LifeWay Christian Resources and Sunday School Publishing Board, Randall House Publications is a multifaceted organization dedicated to equipping and empowering various aspects of Christian life and community. They offer specialized curricula, such as the D6 Curriculum for family alignment, Elements Kids Worship for children’s spiritual development, and Randall House Classic Curriculum, a KJV-based, in-depth Scripture study. Besides these educational resources, Randall House publishes a wide variety of books to support church and home and hosts events like the D6 Conference and the Truth & Peace leadership training conference for Free Will Baptist high school students, thus serving as a comprehensive resource for faith-based growth and leadership. Submission guidelines.
12. Abingdon Press
Abingdon Press is a prominent religious publishing imprint with a tradition spanning over 200 years. As an imprint of The United Methodist Publishing House, which has been in operation since 1789, Abingdon Press has a longstanding commitment to producing high-caliber academic, professional, inspirational, and life-affirming religious literature. Beginning in the early 1920s, the press expanded its offerings to enrich church communities across the globe, crossing denominational boundaries with thought-provoking and enjoyable books. Submission guidelines.
13. Worthy Publishing
Worthy Publishing is an inspirational publishing arm of the Hachette Nashville division of Hachette Book Group, focusing on adult and children’s titles. Specializing in Christian authors and a wide range of bestselling nonfiction and fiction books, Worthy aims to combine faith, creativity, and culture to cultivate the next generation of voices. The publisher emphasizes faith-based living, promoting books that explore the concept in various aspects of life including homes, families, communities, country, and the planet. Worthy Publishing is made up of three sub-imprints: Worthy Books, Ellie Claire, and WorthyKids/Ideals, offering a boutique list that spans inspiration, Christian fiction, Bible study, current events, devotion, leadership, biography, and personal growth. Submission guidelines.
14. AMG Publishers
AMG Publishers is the publishing arm of AMG International, founded in 1980 to serve people through Christian literature. Since its establishment, the publisher has become a prominent figure in the Christian publishing world, producing renowned works such as the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, award-winning youth fiction, comprehensive reference materials, multiple Bible studies, and patriotic literature. AMG International itself is a gospel-first global ministry that has been actively involved in various humanitarian and spiritual endeavors for over 75 years. Working closely with local leaders and churches, they strive to meet people’s deepest spiritual and physical needs, focusing on child and youth development, media evangelism, pastor training, church planting, healthcare, and disaster relief. Submission guidelines.
15. C&R Press
C&R Press, founded in 2006, is a diverse and vibrant publisher committed to promoting literature across genres such as fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Initially starting as a non-profit with a focus on poetry, the press was rescued by a new team in 2015, which expanded its reach while retaining its dedication to strong, boundary-pushing writing. With an average of eight to ten publications per year, including novels, memoirs, journals, and experimental works, C&R Press has emphasized inclusion, sustainability, and bringing independent literature to a broader audience. Submission guidelines.
16. True Vine Publishing Co
True Vine Publishing Company is a comprehensive publishing service providing a one-stop-shop experience for authors, encompassing everything from writing and manuscript coaching to printing and marketing. With an emphasis on professional quality and surpassing trade standards, True Vine offers their publishing services, in both packages and à la carte to suit various needs. The company aims to support independent authors through the entire process, including manuscript coaching and co-writing, sales and marketing coaching, and weekly writers’ workshops. Submission guidelines.
17. CamCat Books
CamCat Publishing, LLC, founded in 2019 by Sue Arroyo, is a small independent book publisher driven by a love for enthralling stories and a desire to create Books to Live In. Sue, a serial entrepreneur and passionate bookworm, brings her business acumen and lifelong passion for books to forge long-term relationships with both authors and readers. CamCat Publishing seeks quality adult and YA fiction across genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, and science fiction. With an emphasis on engagement and collaboration, CamCat involves authors and readers in everything from book selection to advertising, recognizing books not just as products but as expressions of creativity and imagination. Submission guidelines.
18. Celtic Cat Publishing
Celtic Cat Publishing, located in Knoxville, TN, is an award-winning independent publisher established in 1995, renowned for its excellence in fiction, nonfiction, independent publishing, and poetry. With accolades such as the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry, the publisher has made a significant mark in the literary world. Celtic Cat focuses on novels, poetry, and works with an East Tennessee regional flavor, showcasing unique voices and avoiding formulaic genre novels. Submissions are welcomed in Open Document Format, Word, or plain text, and the company emphasizes prior awards or publications in the process. Submission guidelines.
19. Iris Press
Iris Press was founded by Patricia Wilcox in 1975 in Binghamton, New York, and has since focused on literary quality and giving voice to underappreciated writers. With a history marked by several changes in ownership and expansion in imprints, including the addition of Tellico Books in 2003, Iris Press continues its mission of publishing high-quality works of poetry and literary prose. Its catalog includes a range of titles, from Don Revell’s “The Broken Juke” to George Scarbrough’s significant “New and Selected Poems,” maintaining its reputation as a significant force in the literary landscape. Submission guidelines.
20. Nightscape Press
Nightscape Press was established in 2012 by Jennifer and Robert S. Wilson, along with Mark C. Scioneaux, and quickly distinguished itself with a commitment to both charity and literary excellence. Building on the success of their Bram Stoker Award-nominated charity anthology, “Horror for Good,” the press has published a range of acclaimed titles, including two Bram Stoker Award-winning novels. Nightscape’s charitable focus extends to various causes, with collections like “Blood Type” supporting The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and “Fantasy for Good” contributing to The Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Submission guidelines.
In Tennessee, the literary landscape is filled with a range of book publishers committed to producing quality books that cater to various tastes and interests. From enthralling non-fiction titles that educate and inspire to cutting-edge digital content that meets the demands of the modern reader, these book publishing companies are at the forefront of literary innovation.
If you’re an author with intriguing book proposals or a reader seeking well-crafted content, the thriving book publishers in Tennessee offer an unparalleled commitment to excellence.