MacMillan Publishers Review: Are They Worth It?

POSTED ON May 2, 2023

Christopher Ortiz

Written by Christopher Ortiz

Home > Blog > Publishing, Reviews > MacMillan Publishers Review: Are They Worth It?

For writers, navigating the publishing industry can be a daunting task. It is without doubt a competitive industry that can be difficult to break into, but with persistence, patience and the right strategy, it is not impossible to achieve success. One of the first steps to navigating the publishing industry is to research the market and determine what type of writing is in demand. This can help you tailor your work to fit the needs of publishers and readers.

Once writers have completed their work, they will be faced with what at first glance may appear to be a jungle of publishers all with various pros and cons, reasons for and against making a submission to them. Regardless of which publisher a writer chooses to submit to it is important to follow their guidelines and be professional in your approach. Ensuring that the Make work is polished and ready for publication before submitting it, as first impressions are crucial, will maximise the chance of success. 

One publisher that the majority of writers will have likely considered at some point in their careers making a submission to, is Macmillan. In this review, we will delve into their history, their current services they offer to writers and ultimately whether or not making a submission to them is the right decision. 


What is MacMillan Publishers?

Macmillan is a publishing company that has been in operation for over 175 years. Founded in London in 1843 by brothers Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, the company started out as a small bookstore and quickly grew into a major publishing house. Macmillan has published many notable authors over the years, including Lewis Carroll, W.B. Yeats, and Rudyard Kipling. 

During World War II, Macmillan played a key role in distributing books to troops and providing educational materials to soldiers. In 1999, the company merged with Holtzbrinck Publishing Group to form Macmillan Publishers, which now operates in over 70 countries and publishes a wide variety of books, including academic and scientific works, fiction, and children's books. Macmillan has a rich history and continues to be a major player in the publishing industry today.

And in the present day, with a wide range of imprints and divisions, Macmillan publishes everything from textbooks and academic works to fiction and nonfiction titles for adults and children. Some of their best-known imprints include St. Martin's Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Henry Holt and Company. 

Macmillan also has a strong digital presence, with e-books and audiobooks available through various online retailers. The company has been at the forefront of innovation in the publishing industry, with initiatives like the Tor online community for science fiction and fantasy fans, and the First Second graphic novel imprint. 

Macmillan is committed to diversity and inclusion in both their workplace and the books they publish, and they will likely continue to be a major force in the world of literature for the foreseeable future. 

What Type of Books does Macmillan Publish?

Macmillan has published countless notable books over the years, but just to provide an insight into the calibre and stature of these titles, below are ten of the most noteworthy

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

2. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

5. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

7. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

8. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

9. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

10. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

These books have become classics and have left an indelible mark on the literary landscape, cementing Macmillan's reputation as a premier publisher.

Who Would Benefit from Publishing with Macmillan?

Macmillan Publishers has a diverse range of imprints and divisions, and they publish a wide variety of books. As such, there are many different types of writers who could potentially benefit from publishing with Macmillan.

First and foremost, Macmillan is known for publishing literary fiction, so any writers of literary novels, Macmillan could be a great fit. They have published works by some of the most celebrated writers of the past two centuries, including Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Macmillan also has a strong presence in the world of children's literature, with imprints like Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and Roaring Brook Press. For writers of children's or young adult literature, Macmillan is likely worth consideration. 

In addition to literary fiction and children's literature, Macmillan publishes a wide range of nonfiction titles, including memoirs, biographies, and books on history, science, and politics. 

Overall, the type of writer who would benefit from publishing with Macmillan is one who is dedicated to producing high-quality, well-written books that have the potential to reach a wide audience. 

Macmillan is a respected publisher with a long history of publishing important and influential works, and writers who want to make a significant impact on the literary landscape may well find that publishing with Macmillan will allow them to achieve that goal.

What are the Alternatives to Macmillan?

While Macmillan Publishers is a prestigious and well-respected publishing house, there are several reasons why a writer may not wish to submit or publish with them. One of the main reasons is the highly competitive nature of the publishing industry. Macmillan receives thousands of submissions every year, and only a small percentage of those are ultimately selected for publication. This means that even if you are a talented writer with a great manuscript, you may not be able to secure a publishing deal with Macmillan.

Another reason why a writer may not want to publish with Macmillan is the issue of creative control. When you sign a publishing contract with a traditional publisher like Macmillan, you are essentially giving up control of your book. The publisher may make changes to your manuscript, cover design, and marketing strategy, which can be frustrating for some writers who want to have a say in how their book is presented to the world.

For these reasons and more, many writers are turning to self-publishing as an alternative to traditional publishing. Self-publishing allows writers to maintain full creative control over their work and to publish their books on their own terms. 

With the rise of online platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark, self-publishing has become more accessible than ever before.

Self-publishing also offers writers the potential to earn a higher percentage of royalties than they would with a traditional publisher like Macmillan.

Ultimately, whether to submit or publish with Macmillan or to self-publish is a personal decision that each writer must make based on their individual goals and priorities.

Macmillan Review – Final Thoughts

In short, Macmillan’s status as one of the ‘big five’ publishers is more than deserved and both their back catalogue plus forward thinking ethos is to be admired.

As stated above, however, that does not mean that making a submission makes the most sense for a writer. The truth is, that combining a submission to Macmillan, alongside plans to self publish will cover all bases and in turn keep as many doors open for the ultimate goal; a writer having their book published. 

4 Stars

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