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momwrites
03-09-2005, 08:32 PM
Also, the houses Momwrites discovers very likely don't accepted unagented submissions. It sounds like she needs very basic info on agents, etc.

I'm writing for a religious market, I know 95% of them don't require an agent, but there are so few religious publishers compared to the mass market of publishers. How hard is it to find a good agent who specializes in religious authors, because ones I have sent my manuscript to couldn't understand what I was trying to write, because of the religious undertone of the book?

Sassenach
03-09-2005, 08:40 PM
I'm writing for a religious market, I know 95% of them don't require an agent, but there are so few religious publishers compared to the mass market of publishers. How hard is it to find a good agent who specializes in religious authors, because ones I have sent my manuscript to couldn't understand what I was trying to write, because of the religious undertone of the book?

What religion? If you're writing for the Christian market, there are lots of writers groups [including a thread here at AW] and a Christian Writer's Market volume.

There are also agents specializing in those markets.

James D. Macdonald
03-09-2005, 08:52 PM
There's religious, and there's religious.

The Red Tent was published by Picador.
Queenmaker was published by St. Martin's.

If you're talking about books that only appear in Christian bookstores (for example), rather than in B&N, go into one and see what's on the shelf that resembles what you've written.

Don't dismiss the larger mainstream publishers just because your book is religious. If they think they can sell it effectively, they'll buy it.

The research isn't difficult, but it is tedious, and selling your book can be frustrating. Don't go for the fast and easy sale; go for the best.

momwrites
03-09-2005, 09:10 PM
What religion? If you're writing for the Christian market, there are lots of writers groups [including a thread here at AW] and a Christian Writer's Market volume.

There are also agents specializing in those markets.

I write for the LDS market and they only have about 10 publishers. I have sent my manuscript to many mainstream big publishers, but their response has been "There is not enough interest in religious books or "we don't think we can make a best seller out of your book." My guess is that many, many publishers never even pick up the book, if it is religious or a small niche market.

I agree about not letting the author write their own blurb. :Ssh: When I write for magazines, they are the ones who put the teaser at the beginning, not me.

James D. Macdonald
03-09-2005, 09:17 PM
If there are only 10 publishers, then you know who to write to.

What is your book other than "religious"? Is it only an explication of one particular religion? Or is it something else, for example a fantasy or a mystery in addition to being religious?

Orson Scott Card writes religious books, and that doesn't slow him down.

Are there any books on the shelves that resemble yours? Who publishes them?

Sassenach
03-09-2005, 09:26 PM
I write for the LDS market and they only have about 10 publishers. I have sent my manuscript to many mainstream big publishers, but their response has been "There is not enough interest in religious books or "we don't think we can make a best seller out of your book." My guess is that many, many publishers never even pick up the book, if it is religious or a small niche market.



Maybe it's the heat [I'm in the tropics], various deadlines, my future ex-husband complaining in the next room, but...for pete's sake, use your common sense. If you think your book will appeal only to LDS readers, why are you sending it to mainstream publishers??

A 'small niche market' is the polar opposite of 'mainstream.' I'm sure you know this.


Orson Scott Card is a Mormon who writes novels. Sounds like you're a Mormon who write Mormon books.

akaa1a
03-09-2005, 10:11 PM
Hi MomWrites!

I totally understand about the series dilemma! Think I may have a place for you to check out...
http://www.bjup.com/books/freelance.html

They do alot of Christian publishing!
Hope it helps...and remember, no problem is too big that a sypathetic ear and sound advice can't help!
Welcome to you...:Hug2:

Sassenach
03-09-2005, 10:21 PM
I think not akaa1a...Bob Jones Univ and the Mormon Church aren't exactly buddies.

momwrites
03-09-2005, 10:34 PM
Its a young adult novel-it chronicles the life of a convert who joins the church and yes I know who to write to; problem is, there are so many LDS authors now, that the market is swamped with LDS books. They are extremely picky!




If there are only 10 publishers, then you know who to write to.

What is your book other than "religious"? Is it only an explication of one particular religion? Or is it something else, for example a fantasy or a mystery in addition to being religious?

Orson Scott Card writes religious books, and that doesn't slow him down.

Are there any books on the shelves that resemble yours? Who publishes them?

momwrites
03-09-2005, 10:39 PM
Maybe it's the heat [I'm in the tropics], various deadlines, my future ex-husband complaining in the next room, but...for pete's sake, use your common sense. If you think your book will appeal only to LDS readers, why are you sending it to mainstream publishers??


A 'small niche market' is the polar opposite of 'mainstream.' I'm sure you know this.

Orson Scott Card is a Mormon who writes novels. Sounds like you're a Mormon who write Mormon books.

I haven't submitted to mainstream publishers; James was just suggesting I do so, because many publishers will publish religious fiction and yes I am LDS and do write for that market usually, however; my father and I are collabarating on a children's chapter series called The Crystal Locket and it is not LDS at all.

Sassenach
03-09-2005, 10:47 PM
In 'Inspirational' Romance, particular denominations are never mentioned--everything is generic Christian. No particular church is mentioned.

Your first book [the convert story] sounds like a book for an LDS publisher.

You wrote: children's chapter series. I don't know what you mean by that term.

momwrites
03-09-2005, 10:56 PM
In 'Inspirational' Romance, particular denominations are never mentioned--everything is generic Christian. No particular church is mentioned.

Your first book [the convert story] sounds like a book for an LDS publisher.

You wrote: children's chapter series. I don't know what you mean by that term.

What I mean is that it is a chapter book for children with 12 books in a series.

Sassenach
03-09-2005, 10:59 PM
What I mean is that it is a chapter book for children with 12 books in a series.

What's a 'chapter book'? A book that has chapters?

Uncarved
03-09-2005, 11:02 PM
Its a young adult novel-it chronicles the life of a convert who joins the church and yes I know who to write to; problem is, there are so many LDS authors now, that the market is swamped with LDS books. They are extremely picky!

I'd just like to say that all good publishers ARE extremely picky. You are either good enough to break in or you aren't. The trick is to keep writing and keep submitting until you are.

momwrites
03-09-2005, 11:04 PM
I appreciate all the helpful advice you guys have given me, as it sounds like you all have traditional publishing under your belt, however; maybe I need to talk to someone who writes for the Christian public. I know this is a hard market to penetrate and just need some advice for someone who's been there.

Any takers?

victoriastrauss
03-10-2005, 01:19 AM
Momwrites, at least one publisher that advertises itself as an LDS publisher is questionable: American Book Publishing. It charges a "setup" fee of $780, and puts heavy pressure on its authors to buy bulk quantities of their own books.

Another thing to watch out for: submissions services, where you pay a fee for a brief listing of your book that goes into a catalogue supposedly circulated to publishers. There are several of these services targeted to the Christian market. But publishers really don't pay attention to these catalogues. They're pretty much a waste of money.

- Victoria

momwrites
03-10-2005, 01:31 AM
I got a contract with American Book Publishing but thank goodness didn't sign it! I will NEVER pay to have my book in print-my first book was published with Xlibris, when they did it for FREE!! How gulliable do they think we are? VERY~




Momwrites, at least one publisher that advertises itself as an LDS publisher is questionable: American Book Publishing. It charges a "setup" fee of $780, and puts heavy pressure on its authors to buy bulk quantities of their own books.

Another thing to watch out for: submissions services, where you pay a fee for a brief listing of your book that goes into a catalogue supposedly circulated to publishers. There are several of these services targeted to the Christian market. But publishers really don't pay attention to these catalogues. They're pretty much a waste of money.

- Victoria

Dancre
03-10-2005, 10:12 PM
Ya know, mom, at another board i frequent is a writer named Barb Huff who writes childrens' novels. i'm going to post your original question and see what she says. i'll post her answer, ok?
kim

Pat~
03-10-2005, 11:16 PM
I appreciate all the helpful advice you guys have given me, as it sounds like you all have traditional publishing under your belt, however; maybe I need to talk to someone who writes for the Christian public. I know this is a hard market to penetrate and just need some advice for someone who's been there.

Any takers?

I write for the Christian public; however, you should be aware that most mainstream Christian publishers will not consider an LDS book as "Christian" in that it would never line up with the publisher's statement of faith. You need to probably concentrate on the LDS or secular markets.

Betty W01
03-11-2005, 01:55 AM
I agree with Pat. Bob Jones is not the right place for an LSD manuscript. Mormon theology is not considered to be sound Christian theology by mainstream publishers that bill themselves as "Christian" (for reasons that should probably be discussed over on "Take It Outside") and submitting to any of them will just be a waste of time on everyone's part.

Having said that, a LDS publisher is really your best bet, unless you can sell your book to a secular mainstream publisher. Orson Scott Card said in the foreword to a collection of the best sci fi stories of the 80's that sci fi is the only type of fiction that is still open to spiritual issues worked out in story form. His books contain a thread of LSD beliefs, but they are such good stories that they appeal even to sci fi readers who are mainstream Christian (me, for example).

Keep looking, Momwriter, you'll find the right combination. Try checking to see if the houses that have published Card in the past also publish whatever it is you're writing. Or look for publishing houses that lean towards all sorts of spiritual beliefs, not just Christian. There are a number of places that publish what I call "Jesus and..." books. ("Jesus and Accupuncture", "Jesus and the Social Gospel", "Jesus and Tarot Cards", "Jesus and Feng Shui", etc. - books that stray from standard mainstream Christian doctrine to include something else an author considers legitimate, equally as important as the beliefs the Christian church stands for, and worthy of adding to the plain truth of the gospel.) Those houses and their books are not my cup of tea, for sure, since I don't believe a saving faith in God comes out of "Design-your-own-religion" beliefs, but they're out there, and here in the US, writers do have the right to write (and attempt to get published) whatever they want.

Good luck, Momwriter!

Gravity
03-11-2005, 02:28 AM
Thank, Betty. You said what I was planning to say to the lady, and with plenty of grace and tact.

John

Vipersniper
03-27-2005, 05:13 AM
:Clap: I agree that Betty handled the subject with tact. One place that did accept a story and does not have any particular religious belief in mind is Guideposts. In that I have read some beautiful stories from the Catholics, Jewish authors, and anyone who has a story to write with an inspiring story of faith. Plus many are accepted into the daily scripture reading books published for the entire year. Another publication is Ideals magazine. Just a few that I do know of. I have submitted to Modern Maturity and Upper Room. Of course there is Our Daily Bread. My theory right now is to start small. I did send a novel about abuse with the outcome of it done in a Christian manner to a publisher but I got this well we put blah, blah, money into it and you should pay what amounted to $4,000.00 for 25 books, I turned it down and will work on editing it some more because I think that particular publisher is really about money for themselves. So I search the internet and here for publishers. I am happy to say some of my work has had success and will be published.