2017 Guide: Behind the Authors – The Top Book Publishers

After countless hours spent fine tuning an idea, putting the words on paper, erasing those words and rewriting them, you have a book and are convinced that millions of dollars will soon be coming your way. That’s great!

Unfortunately, you’re only part of the way there. Writing a book is an admirable, impressive feat, but it really is only half of the battle.

What you will need to do now is start considering what publisher companies you may want to take your manuscript to.

The problem with that is that there are so many options. There are so many book publishers that it becomes very difficult to sort through. You might be drawn to famous book publishers that you’ve heard of, but that is not always the best option. It is also important to know how publishers work and the process you will go through to finally get your book on the shelves.

Best Book Publishers

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Book Publishers

You want to choose the best publishers to review your book, but how can you decide who the top book publishers are as you sort through a list of book publishers? With a variety of options, you need to weigh location, expertise, popular genres and even whether your literary agent has an in with any of the best publishers.

When you are going through a list of book publishers, chances are that you have many questions, including:

  • What is the process of working with book publishers?
  • Where can you find a list of publishers that are a good fit for you?
  • Who are the best publishers?
  • Are the largest book publishers always the best publisher companies?

Throughout this 2017 guide, we will answer the questions you have about publishers. We will detail the publishing process, and what you need to get noticed by someone from our book publishers list. Finally, we will provide a detailed review of the six best book publishers.

The largest book publishers or most famous book publishers are not necessarily the best publisher for you. By the end of this article, you should have a better idea of what the top book publishers for you are.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Book Publishers

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the book publishers below to go directly to the detailed review section for that book publisher):

Top 6 Best Book Publishers| Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Book Publishers

Annual Revenue

Parent Company

Parent Country

Hachette Livre

$2.4 billion



Harper Collins

$1.6 billion

News Corp.

United States


$6.6 billion

Pearson PLC

United Kingdom

Penguin Random House

$4.1 billion

Bertelsmann AG


Simon & Schuster

$0.7 billion


United States

Thomson Reuters

$5.8 billion

The Woodbridge Company Ltd.


Table: Top 6 Best Top Book Publishers / Above list is sorted alphabetically

Detailed Overview: How to Get Your Book in Front of Publishers  

Having a good story idea is only the beginning. Think about the number of times you’ve heard someone you know mutter the words, “I’ve got a great idea for a story” — great ideas come to people all the time.

The real feat is taking that idea and turning it into a captivating novel. Taking your idea and turning it into words that will inspire the country, or world, is where the struggle truly lies.


Image Source: Pixabay

So, if you have an idea, a partially written book, or even an entire manuscript, it’s important to know how a book publisher works and what they are looking for.

When you are looking at the book publishers list and trying to flesh out your novel idea, these steps can help make the process flow more smoothly:

1. Read a lot. When you are writing a book, it is important to have read a lot within the genre you are writing. Make notes of what works and what doesn’t work, which means reading both good and bad books.  

2. Write an entire book. When scanning the list of publishers, know that they don’t take ideas. They will want an entire manuscript to work from, which means putting around 80,000 to 100,000 words down on paper.

3. Hire a literary agent. The largest book publishers often will not take manuscripts that come from writers without agents. If they do, and you are without an agent, you might also be taken advantage of. A literary agent is on your side and motivated by the fact that the more money you make, the more money they make.

4. Know the road is slow. Publishing is a long, arduous process. Even getting your book in front of a book publisher can take time. Add to that the year to 18-month working time with a publisher, and you can be looking at years before it sees the shelves of a book store.

5. Don’t chase a trend. This plays into the thought above. If it takes a year or two to get a book published, if you get on the post-apocalyptic, zombie, or vampire bandwagon too late, the fad will be over before your book gets to a publisher. Write what interests you; don’t just be lured in by fads.

As you can see, the process of publishing a book can be a long, trying road. Even a brilliant idea won’t help you get rich quick. There are steps to consider, including writing a stunning novel, hiring a literary agent, and perusing a list of publishers.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Book Publishers

Below, please find the detailed review of each book publisher on our list of book publishers. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these publisher companies to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Hachette Livre Review

Hachette Livre, also known as Lagardère Publishing, is one of the top book publishers on our list of book publishers. The company is based in France and published over 17,965 new titles in 2015. This company is also the leading educational publisher in France.

They are divided into six divisions: Octopus, Orion, Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Little Brown, and Hachette Children’s Books. This is what makes Hachette Livre one of the best on our list of book publishers; they are diversified in terms of genres.

They also have a valuable global impact, in case you have a story that can transcend national borders. With a presence in over 70 countries, especially China and Russia, you can reach a broader market.

Bottom Line

With books from authors like James Patterson, Stephanie Meyer and Nicholas Sparks, you can rest assured that you are safe with the book publisher Hachette Livre.

Harper Collins Review

Harper Collins, a subsidiary of NewsCorp, is headquartered in New York City. When it comes to publishers, Harper Collins is one of the top book publishers for English language books.

They own over 120 branded imprints, such as Avon, Harper, and Thomas Nelson. They also purchased Harlequin in 2014, which is the leading publisher for women’s fiction novels. This could be one of the best book publishers for authors writing in that genre.

Book Publishers

Image Source: Pixabay

If you are looking for publishers on our list of book publishers that can get the job done, consider the fact that Harper Collins has 214 books on the New York Times bestseller lists.

Bottom Line

Harper Collins has published massive bestsellers that became movies, including Divergent, America Sniper, and Heaven Is for Real. With these movie and television connections, they are one of the top book publishers.

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Pearson Review

Founded in 1844, Pearson has grown from a small building in Yorkshire to one of the world’s largest book publishers. They employ over 41,041 employees throughout 70 countries. This is great for any writers looking for a book publisher with impressive global reach.

One thing to note about Pearson is that they restructured in 2016 to shift their focus solely to education. For academic writers, Pearson is one of the best on our list of book publishers to turn to.

Revenue wise, Person pulls in impressive numbers. With 4.47 billion GBP in revenue, Pearson pulled in a net operating profit of 723 million GBP. Though they were down slightly from the year before, these numbers are still some of the best in the industry.

Bottom Line

Though they are going through some restructuring and have shifted solely to an educational focus, Pearson is still one of the top book publishers.

Penguin Random House Review

Penguin Random House is hands down one of the best book publishers in the world. With 250 imprints and brands on five different continents, Penguin Random House has a massive global reach.

They released 15,000 new titles, selling an impressive 800 million copies over the course of a year. These are impressive numbers for a publisher on our list of book publishers. With a proven record of success, this is certainly a publisher to consider.

With imprints including Viking, Doubleday, and Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House has a wide influence. They also remain a market leader in e-books, with more than 110,000 ebooks in German, English, and Spanish.

Bottom Line

If you want to see proof of Penguin Random House’s success beyond their revenues, consider that they published The Girl on the Train, hold the rights to Dr. Seuss’s books, and sold 1.2 million copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School. They truly are one of the best book publishers.

Simon & Schuster Review

Founded in 1924 in New York City, Simon & Schuster was started by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. They easily made our list of book publishers as they are considered one of the “Big Four” publishers.

In 2006, they became a publishing division of CBS and have since grown into one of the largest book publishers. They have many imprints, including Touchstone, Free Press, Howard Books, and Scribner. The publishing company releases over 2,000 books annually, across their 35 different imprints.

Just last year, Simon & Schuster entered into the world of global ebook distribution. They are also responsible for bestselling titles, including 249 New York Times bestsellers in 2015.

Bottom Line

When it comes to a prominent publisher, Simon & Schuster is one of the best on our list of book publishers. With titles like The Wright Brothers and All the Light We Cannot See, Simon & Schuster might be a good fit for you.

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Thomson Reuters Review

In 2008, the Reuters Group PLC and Thomson Corporation merged to create Thomson Reuters. This is one of the top book publishers out there. With $12.61 billion in revenue in 2015, Thomson Reuters remained relatively stable in terms of finance.

The great thing about Thomson Reuters is the global reach they have. Though over half of their revenue comes from the Americas, they also have operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa. This global reach is what makes them one of the best book publishers.

Bottom Line

With bestseller books likes The Mistress and Oprah’s new cookbook, Thomson Reuters easily makes our book publishers list. Their global reach is not something to be overlooked.

Conclusion – Top 6 Best Book Publishers

The book publishers list can be a tricky to navigate. Some companies are local, which you may prefer, but others may have more global outreach. There are so many factors to take into consideration when you are looking through the list of book publishers and trying to plan your future.

When you are looking to publish a book, there are questions to ask, including:

  • Are you chasing a fad, or is this an idea that will stand the test of time?
  • What type of payback are you looking to receive?
  • Do you want to use one of the top book publishers, or are you comfortable self-publishing?
  • Are you willing to hire a literary agent to get noticed, if it means sharing your profits?

These are all important questions to ask yourself to ensure that you know what you want heading into the realm of publishing. Self-publishing is a viable option, though it is very difficult to gain traction without the marketing, publicity, sales, and connections that the best book publishers have.

That being said, if you choose to forgo the self-publishing route, it is important to do research. Look into several companies on our list of book publishers, and do not simply jump at the first offer. If your book is good enough to draw an offer from one company, chances are that others will follow suit.

If you do receive an offer, take a moment to celebrate, but be sure to have a literary agent or attorney look it over. You do not want to fall victim to a predatory contract that can hurt your earning potential. Good luck!

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