SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Kidlit Genres => Topic started by: mary-cook on July 21, 2015, 02:04 PM

Title: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mary-cook on July 21, 2015, 02:04 PM
I have just finished a PB draft which centers on the origin of the Christmas star. It's MC is a Down Syndrome child. I am having difficulty locating inspirational/religious publishers. Any suggestions? Thank you so much! Terry
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: Anne Marie on July 21, 2015, 04:47 PM
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-christian-writers-market-guide-2014-jerry-b-jenkins/1116258484?ean=9781414387352

I don't know when the 2015 comes out.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: Vijaya on July 21, 2015, 06:19 PM
Here's a quick Google search. Several prominent houses come up: https://www.google.com/#q=christian+publishers+accepting+unsolicited+manuscripts

Good luck, Vijaya
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: Trine on July 21, 2015, 07:24 PM
Jerry B. Jenkin's 2015-16 book is available now: The Christian Writer's Market Guide. The SCBWI The Book also has a section on religious publishers for books and magazines. I also look at who has published religious books that I read. Then I go to their websites and then try to find their credibility through sources like SCBWI, Jerry Jenkin's book, Christian writer's websites and blogs.
They are out there. Happy Searching... :rainbow
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: AnneB on July 21, 2015, 08:33 PM
Also, querytracker.net would be helpful.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mary-cook on July 22, 2015, 06:03 AM
I do thank you for all your helpful advice and info!  I found my SCBWI "The Book" to be somewhat skimpy in the inspirational area. Again, my sincere thanks to you all. -T 
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mrh on July 22, 2015, 07:35 AM
Seconding or thirding THE CHRISTIAN WRITER'S MARKET GUIDE as the most comprehensive resource -- though it's much thinner these days than when Sally Stuart published it. This is a tough market, as many of the PBs (at least ones that make the bookstore shelves) are done by writers who are already names in Christian adult fiction since these have name recognition with Christian bookstore shoppers (who are mainly white, high-school-educated, middle-aged females -- not kids of any age).

As in the general market, most of the most reputable publishers are not reachable by normal query channels. Many publicize that you must use ChristianManuscriptSubmissions.com if you are not agented. Some still state outdated practices such as no simultaneous submissions. There is a lot of subsidy/co-op publishing in this market; fortunately the guide bolds these details in each house's guidelines and even puts the subsidy pubs in their own section.

Of course, EVERYTHING is a tough sell, so here's hoping the guide connects you to the right house! :)
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: AuntyBooks on July 22, 2015, 10:58 AM
The Christian market has shrunk to the point that it is almost impossible for a beginning writer to break in with a picture book. As mrh said, most picture books in that market are written by someone with a big ministry platform.

HOWEVER--don't rule out mainstream 'secular' publishers--many of them do religious children's books. Look up Christmas and Easter picture books on Amazon and make a list of the publishers.

:) eab
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mary-cook on July 23, 2015, 12:53 PM
Looking up Christian PB on Amazon is an excellent idea! I'll check out the Christian Writer's Guide as well. Again, thanks. Terry
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mary-cook on July 27, 2015, 12:46 PM
 Alright ladies, I went to Christian Manuscript Submissions to check it out. I liked what I saw but  1. Is it typical to charge a fee for doing this kind of matching up of authors/houses?   and 2.  the professional editing/critiquing fee is very steep. Do you think it is worthwhile? I already belong to a critique group and am published by a small imprint.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: carrots on August 05, 2015, 05:35 PM
Welcome to the Blueboard, Mary!!

Since you've just finished your draft, I'd definitely wait before spending the money with CMS (not that there's anything wrong with them!). First, run it by your critique group and write your revisions (and rinse and repeat). Once your ms is beautifully polished, perhaps you can research publishers again, widening the field to include secular houses that still publish Christ-based Christmas books. Maybe you could also look at publishers who are interested in diversity and including children with DS. And perhaps look at Christian agents, too - they're the gate-keepers you don't have to pay!

If you find your list of dream publishers is composed of places that require the use of CMS, then it might make more sense to get out your checkbook. If it were me, I'd wait for now.

Have fun with your story!! There's nothing cheerier than celebrating Christmas during the dog days of summer!!

 :dogwalk
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: Vijaya on August 05, 2015, 06:46 PM
I didn't know about charging fees for matching up your ms, Mary, and although it's a legit business, why pay when you can submit directly to the publishing houses?

Vijaya
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mrh on August 05, 2015, 07:34 PM
why pay when you can submit directly to the publishing houses?

In the most prestigious cases, you can't. You must be agented or go through CMS, which charges.

I should probably give the disclaimer "Don't get me started," but I would not pay this fee. I have seen a critique that was given in a case when they didn't accept the ms., because a student of mine sent a copy of hers to me. It was less than a page and very general. On the one hand, I get why CMS exists. There are an awful lot of people who think they should be able to sell to this market and are nowhere near ready. But I saw the quality of my student's writing firsthand, and she still got these few general paragraphs -- for which she paid quite a lot more than I was getting paid to give her much more, and more specific, feedback.

If they accept your ms., there is no guarantee any editor will actually see it. The editors who subscribe to the service may or may not peruse it when and if they choose to. At one point it occurred to me that if subscribing to the service costs a publisher LESS than dealing with a slush pile used to cost them, they can actually afford to ignore their subscription. Notice, I did not say for sure that they DO this -- I don't know if they do or not -- but to me it seems like a logical concern. What I do know is that a writer friend attended a Christian writer's conference and asked a panel of editors point blank whether they ever acquired a ms. through CMS. The answer in every case was no.

If I were serious about this market today, and there were agents taking my genre, I'd try to get an agent. Otherwise, I'd pore over CWMG, visit publisher websites, and compile a list of publishers that will take queries and samples, realizing that these may not be the biggest or best-known houses.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: carrots on August 06, 2015, 04:10 AM

 What I do know is that a writer friend attended a Christian writer's conference and asked a panel of editors point blank whether they ever acquired a ms. through CMS. The answer in every case was no.



Oh, my goodness!! I'd *definitely* keep my checkbook in my purse.

Best wishes, Mary.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: Vijaya on August 06, 2015, 06:51 AM
Marcia, thanks so much for explaining more about CMS and how it might (or not) work. 
Vijaya
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: karen-wolcott on August 06, 2015, 09:08 AM
I illustrated a book called Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress and the author had it published by Carpenters Son Publishing. From what I know, she had a good experience working with them. I talked with the owner a few times myself on the phone and he was very easy to work with.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: karen-wolcott on August 06, 2015, 09:09 AM
Here is a link to some info about them. http://www.christianbookservices.com/
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mrh on August 06, 2015, 11:21 AM
Hmm. Looking at their website, they don't sound like a publisher. They sound like a consulting firm. If after consultation you decide you want to try traditional publication, they will "recommend to you several literary agents we work with." While they go on to say this means no money upfront (for the agent) and 15% of advance and royalties, which was good to hear, it's good to be aware that you pay to hire this company to figure out what you should do with your book or your concept for a book. For example, you can purchase a marketing consultation or hire them to connect you with freelancers who will help create your "product." Again, it does not appear to be a publisher. While the owner and staff have good credentials and sound aboveboard, the site is attractive, and they mention several associations they have (such as distribution channels), I couldn't see any mention of Carpenters Son Publishing.

I think in general it's good to be aware that in the CBA industry you will find many, many more fee-charging companies, whether publishers or some other kind of consultant or middleman, than you do in the ABA. Not only is CBA pay lower (typically royalty is on net, not retail price), but there are more people wanting you to part with your money before you ever get to a sale. My point isn't that this is always all bad, but we need to be careful and be aware.

A publisher is in the business of serving READERS. When the business is in the business of serving AUTHORS, it's something different.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mary-cook on August 06, 2015, 12:53 PM
Thank you so much for your thoughtful, weighted replies. My inclination was to hang on to my checkbook. I will indeed continue to search out sites and find ones who allow you to submit queries, summaries, etc. My critique group has been very supportive and I will also edit, edit and edit again. I loved the "rinse and repeat advice". Again, thank you all and blessings on your own work and efforts.
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: mary-cook on August 06, 2015, 12:57 PM
PS   Thank you Karen, for the heads-up and the link to the website,  saves me precious time.  -T
Title: Re: How to locate a religious publishing house?
Post by: karen-wolcott on August 07, 2015, 08:30 AM
I didn't realize they were a consulting firm. Good to know. I just knew that the author I worked with used them.