Small Christian Publishing Houses: What’s Not to Love?

2013 April 16
by faylamb

bigstock-heart-of-the-book-s-pages-41849578Small publishing isn’t the world that most would have you believe. I both work for and write for two of the best companies in the Christian industry. Neither have brick and mortar offices where they can entertain authors or agents. They’re run on a small budget, and they offer the best product that I’ve seen in the industry. More importantly, they have opened the doors that have long been closed to authors, and they help us to reach our dreams.

Make no mistake about it. An author still must present exceptional material for consideration, but the doors of the small publisher are open and writer friendly.

There is no gatekeeper or agent blocking the door to submissions. The owners are friendly and available to the authors, and the editors they hire are personable. As one of those editors, I hope that I am considered personable.

Small publishers have made my dreams come true. In high school, I was given an aptitude test. The result: I would either be a librarian or a writer. Secretly, I also wanted to become an editor. I remember watching an old black-and-white movie starting Lauren Bacall as an acquisitions editor, and I thought how wonderful it would be to work with authors. Now, I have a  place where I can do just that: with a small Christian publisher.

However, before I could write, I wanted to be a storyteller. I’ve told some whoppers in my life, and God is so good to set my desires on writing fiction, which is much better than telling tales. I write complex stories, and I write simple stories, but God has given me the venue in which I can entertain with both: a small Christian publisher.

I’ve written much about the Christian industry lately because exposing facts and fallacies has been placed upon my heart.

This week, I’m asking my readers to take a look at the small Christian presses. Get to know them: Find out more about Write Integrity Press, Pix-N-Pens, Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing, Harbourlight Books, Watershed Books), OakTara, White Fire, and others like them who are holding firmly to the Truth in this industry. Look at the names of the authors they have signed. You might be surprised at how many of them you know. You’ll also find that these writers have been given contracts because they write exceptionally well.

Also, take a look at the folks behind the small Christian publishers. Owners, editors-in-chief, and their staff. What you’ll find is a group of people who have a common goal: to see God glorified in the stories that their authors tell. You’ll also find a desire to reach outside the wagons circled around the Christian reader and to bring the non-Christian reader into the circle. They do this by taking chances on books that might not see the light of day outside the small-publishing world.

Still, look even closer at the writers for these houses. What you will also find is a kinship. A sense of belonging. A family of sorts. Writers helping writers. In some instances, you see writers from one small publisher working with a writer from another small publishing house. Why? It goes back to the common goal: glorifying God.

Dog-eat-dog does not glorify God.

We need to get the word out about small Christian presses: the ones who are writer friendly and produce good books. Five Write Integrity Press/Pix-N-Pens authors have been offered an incredible chance to do just that at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in St. Louis this coming June. Dianne E. Butts, Marie Contu, Peggy Cunningham, Vicki Tiede, and yours truly want to not only represent Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens, we want to represent the authors who have had their dreams come true because a small press opened their doors to them, recognized their talents, and signed them to a contract.

We have a Meet Us in St. Louis 2013 fundraiser going on right now. We’re not asking for something for nothing. We have some awesome awards for those who help us make our way to St. Louis where we can stand with the big boys in the publishing industry and proclaim that small Christian publishers and their authors are the ones to watch. Those publishers are on the cutting edge with room to grow and many, many stories to tell and lessons to teach.

Visit Faithfunder and see the rewards. You might just find the perfect reward and help us spread the word.

And if you haven’t heard—I have taken the dare, and my editor has taken the double dare. If someone donates the full amount of the $3,500, I will travel anywhere to speak to a group…and editor Tracy Ruckman will come along. Two nuts for the price of one. I dare you to take the dare.

10 Responses leave one →
  1. April 16, 2013

    Thanks, Fay. I hope we all get to St. Louis. We have a ways to go with the fundraising, but I’m so very grateful to everyone who has given.

    Yes, we want to stand with the big publishers!!

    • April 16, 2013

      Dianne:

      I am thankful, too. What big hearts we have. And I want to take that stand as well. There are wonderful writers in both the large venues and the smaller ones, and I want readers to know that the up-and-coming names are with small presses like WIP, Pelican, OakTara, and White Fire.

  2. April 16, 2013

    Good. Article. Tweeted and liked and praying for lots of favor for MUISL.

  3. April 16, 2013

    GREAT post, Fay. Back in my secular romance days, I wrote for one of “the big boys” – Kensington. They were great, don’t get me wrong. However, I now write Christian romance and fiction exclusively, and have to say, I’ve never been happier. Pelican Book Group is my home, and the authors, and staff, own my heart. Smaller CAN be better. I’ve never worked for more responsive and caring editors/marketers. As indie authors, we uplift and support one another when we have releases, events, joys, frustrations—I’m delighted you trained a spotlight on the topic! Blessings to you, my friend!

    • April 17, 2013

      Marianne: I know without a doubt that Pelican Book Group loves you!

  4. April 17, 2013

    Alas, dear one, if I had that full amount, the check would have been in the mail from the beginning. Sigh…. My heart encourages you and holds you close on this venture. Hug.

    • April 17, 2013

      Annie:

      I think you’re in North Florida, so if you want me to come and speak somewhere, you let me know. If it’s a Bible study, I prefer women only, but if it’s about writing or my books, you set it up, and I’ll be happy to visit.

  5. April 17, 2013

    Wonderful thoughts! You’ve convinced me 🙂

    • April 17, 2013

      Thanks, Jen. You know my heart. I’m not saying all large publishers act the same way, and I know some awesome writers published by large presses. Their hearts are set on God, and they have a message to share. God has given them a different venue, but somewhere along the line (self-preservation maybe), large presses and their advocates begin to snarl at small traditional publishing. I think it is because small publishers can do a lot overall for their authors and large houses have to choose where to spend the most money. We all have to market. It’s not possible that all authors have the type of following of some authors…even though there are many, many great authors out there who have just not been discovered by the public. They are published in large and small houses, and we need to let readers know where and who they are. I hope any readers who come to the page will share the names of some of the authors they have discovered (large press, small press, it doesn’t matter).

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