New York City: city of opportunity, business, and insanely high rent. It’s a center for acting, finance–and publishing.
Many American publishers are based in or have major offices in New York, and it’s where many international publishing companies have American offices. This goes for everything from magazines to books of all sorts. What’s expected for any young writer or aspiring publishing professional is the big move to New York in your twenties, to really start your career.
But is it necessary? What if a young professional wants to stay closer to home, or just doesn’t want to go to New York? Is New York the only option for this career?
Well, no. Here are some other major cities that have plenty of publishers.
Number of publishers: about 20
Boston has some great publishers. Candlewick Press, a well-known children’s publisher, is located in Somerville, right outside of Boston. Hachette, Macmillan, Pearson, and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt (four of the “big five”) all have offices in Boston. Outside of trade publishing, Harvard and MIT both have presses. America’s Test Kitchen, a company with lots of media outlets, publishes cookbooks and is right in Seaport. Basically, Boston is another great option for publishing. And it’s still in the Northeast, fairly close to New York.
Number of publishers: about 40
Chicago and the greater Chicago area are full of publishers. From pamphlet publisher Prickly Paradigm Press to scholarly publishers like Ares Publishers to play publisher Dramatic Publishing Co., Chicago has loads of variety and options for someone looking to get into publishing. A lot of these companies aren’t even in Chicago proper, so if you’re more of a city-outskirts or suburb kind of person, the Chicago area could be worth looking into.
Number of publishers: about 30
Moving further west and into the mountains, the Denver and Colorado Springs area has quite a few publishers. There’s the University Press of Colorado, as well as Subito Press, a nonprofit based out of University of Colorado’s creative writing department. There are also some pretty specialized presses, like Coterie Press, an publisher focused on cars, and Roundup Press, which publishes aviation history books. Denver has plenty of smaller commercial presses, as well. No need to be in the northeast.
Number of publishers: about 20
And finally, on the west coast, San Francisco. Like Boston, some large publishers have offices in San Francisco, including Pearson, Cengage, McGraw-Hill, and HarperCollins. HarperOne is HarperCollins’ imprint based in the city, and they center around wellness and spirituality. On the other hand, there’s University of California Press and Stanford University Press, which publish in lots of subject areas. San Francisco also has a pretty lively arts scene in general, and that never hurts.
So there you have it. There are definitely places other than New York that you can go for publishing opportunities, and this list doesn’t even include all the smaller cities I found with a handful of publishers. If you’re looking for a publishing job and don’t want to go to New York, check out some of these cities.