SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Christian Early Reader/Young Readers book in the children's literature market?

Discussion started on

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
Hello!!!  :yippee :star2

I am currently seeking a literary agent who'll represent my  debut literary fiction children’s Early Reader book about a little girl who loves Jesus. It is the  first in a potential series with accompanying illustrations and is loosely based on a true story. It is approx. 1, 600 words long and is aimed at children aged 5 - 9 years old.

I just wonder whether there is a market for Christian picture books/early reader books and which literary agents to approach who will be open to the story?????

To increase my chances, is it worth making my book more mainstream?

I feel if I do this, I take away the heart of the story effectively! 

Would appreciate any advice!


 :thankyou
#1 - April 15, 2020, 06:28 AM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
There are christian publishers. https://thejohnfox.com/best-christian-publishers/  &  https://thejohnfox.com/best-christian-publishers/

Look at the books put out by each of the children's imprints of these publishers and then look at author websites to see who reps the authors, if anyone. That's one way to find out who reps christian fiction for kids. You could also Google agents christian fiction or some such. I hope this helps get you started. Oh, and I'm not sure you need a lit agent in the Christian market so see if the publishers accept subs or not.
#2 - April 15, 2020, 06:20 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wisconsin
Are you on Twitter? I would suggest searching the #FaithPitch hashtag and see which agents favorite pitches. Check out the publishers who do, also. Unfortunately, there seem to be more shady agents AND publishers looking for Christian authors than there are in the mainstream, so be sure to research everyone thoroughly. There's really no substitute for several years in this business spent learning the ins and outs and who's who. 

The Christian market is very exacting about what it will publish. The market is small, so they tend to go with proven categories that earn money for them. I am unsure if they do early readers at this time. Accepted craft choices may be narrower. For example, for one publisher I was required to write in 3rd person, keep to only one character's POV (within one book AND within a series), use only a linear timeline, etc. The different requirements at each publisher sometimes, unfortunately, make it hard for a particular manuscript to appeal broadly. This may mean fewer chances to sell any particular piece of work without making specific changes to it before you send it out again.

Getting into a legitimate Christian publishing house without an agent has gotten much harder. It's not impossible, but do be aware that most Christian agents handle mainly adult work. There's not enough money in Christian children's books to keep food on the agents' tables. It's rather typical for their agented authors who write children's to also write adult.

I would find and study as many published books like yours as you can. How long are they? For what age are they targeted? How much art is used? Who is the publisher? Are they open to manuscripts? If you *can't find* books like yours, that is telling, too. To be seriously considered, your project must fit in with the house's publishing program. If they don't have like books to shelve it with, they'll pass.  This means it can be helpful from the very start to shape your material with publishers in mind.

Here's a link to one publisher that has a good reputation and looks promising. I know they've bought both agented and unagented material. https://www.beamingbooks.com/
#3 - April 15, 2020, 07:00 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
www.marciahoehne.com

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
Thank you all so much for the amazing information you've helped provide. I appreciate the honesty and practicalities here! It's immensely useful (especially as a newbie to everything!) I have A LOT to think about now including joining Twitter!  :yeah :thankyou :thankyou :thankyou
#4 - April 17, 2020, 01:13 PM

Illustrator
Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region ksmo
I've done illustrations for the religious market so they're definitely out there. 

Good luck. 
#5 - April 17, 2020, 07:26 PM
Karen B. Jones

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
Thanks!

What sort of authors did you illustrate for, Karen?  :goldstar

It would be helpful to know their names so I can perhaps network with them?
#6 - May 25, 2020, 07:24 AM

Reader, Writer, Teacher, Wife & Mother
Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Mabel, you've rec'd good advice on how to search for potential publishers. I'll add a couple of book recommendations:
Sowing Seeds by Kathleen Muldoon and Writing for the Christian Market by Steve Laube.
Happy reading, writing, and studying.
#7 - May 25, 2020, 01:08 PM
Max & Dagny, Why in the World, Tongue-Tied, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

Illustrator
Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region ksmo
I've worked with  United Methodist Publishing House, a religious market client that works with my art rep. 
#8 - May 25, 2020, 02:04 PM
Karen B. Jones

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.