• Is Book Writing Right For You?

    Introduction

    So you are interested in book writing? This is a worthy calling, one that reflects the image of God. God is the Creator, the One who made all that there was, is, and will be. When one engages in writing, it is an act of creation. For example, J. R. R. Tolkien created an entire world that captivates readers to this day. He invented languages and cultures, people and countries, mirroring God’s creation of our own world.

    If one is writing non-fiction, then he or she too is engaging in creation. The act of writing in itself is a work of creation as one is creating words through the compilation of markings, then sentences, paragraphs, and chapters from combinations of those words, spinning ideas together. This culminates in the creation of the book itself, a new creation that conveys the ideas of the author. A writer also engages in co-creation because he or she is writing about an aspect of God’s creation. Nothing is outside the purview of His dominion, so any writing is ultimately writing about or utilizing something He has already created. All writing is co-creation, using God’s creation to mimic Him and create something else.1

    Being a writer is an honorable calling, but it is not right for everyone. As with all vocations, one must be called to it by God in order to truly succeed. However, an interest and desire to write, along with the desire to increase one’s writing skills, are a good indicator of God’s call. It may not be a call to professional writing but it at least indicates a call to engage in lay writing. In either case, below are five traits one must have to be a good book writer.

    1. Time

    First, one must be able to put in the time when book writing. Writing a book is a great undertaking, taking a considerable amount of time to research and then complete the rough draft. One must then work on researching which publishers accept their topic, would be a good fit, and are currently accepting manuscripts (assuming the author does not have an agent but that is another discussion).

    Many publishers also want the manuscript proposal to contain certain information and be formatted a certain way. As it is an author’s chance to catch the publisher’s attention, these proposals can take considerable time on their own. Once a manuscript has been accepted, there are then rounds of editing, designing, formatting, and layout before the work goes to print. One must be in it for the long haul if he or she wishes to write a book as it can take well over a year from beginning work on the book to seeing a finished print.

    2. Qualifications

    Second, one must be qualified to write a book. One may have the desire and skill to write a book but may not have the qualifications. Qualifications are not everything, there have been several famous authors who had little to no formal education (e.g. G. K. Chesterton, a Christian intellect of the 19th-20th century whose higher education consisted of a few years of art school). However, publishers may refuse to consider a proposal from one they believe is unqualified. Whether through experience or education (or both!) publishers want to know the author knows what he or she is talking about.

    Publishers expect authors to present their qualifications with the proposal. This is usually done by including a short biography and one’s resume/CV. Each publisher has its own qualification requirements, though the most respected publishers usually only want to publish respected authors. As such, publishers often look for those who have a good amount of experience and education. Your book may be well done but if you do not have the right qualifications you may find large publishers will not pick up the book.

    Therefore, when writing, it is best to consider two aspects of one’s qualifications. First, do I know enough about this topic? Second, which publishers will consider my qualifications? Aim your writing towards the publishers who will consider your proposal and demonstrate your knowledge of the subject through careful and well-researched writing. If the right publisher will not pick up the book, consider waiting a few years and trying again with more on your resume/CV.

    3. Audience

    Third, one must have an audience to whom he or she can market the book. Publishers often expect authors to take part in the marketing of their books. Often, this involves an author having an idea of an audience to whom he or she can market directly. This is often related to the previous requirement as qualifications usually come with a certain audience. If one is a professor, then their classes, their colleagues, and those who read their other works would be an audience he or she can market to directly.

    In the age of social media, one’s online following can also be a great marketing target. If one has 500 followers on social media or 500 subscribers to their blog, then that is 500 potential buyers for the book. The author already has their ear, he or she just needs to tell them. While the author reaches out to people directly, the publisher works on getting the book out where people can find it. While an audience is not a necessity for book writing, most publishers want to work with someone who can assist in marketing their book.

    4. Perseverance

    Fourth, one must be able to persevere through rejection and changes. Publishers accept few of the manuscripts sent to them, meaning there is a high chance at least one publisher will decline your proposal. Most of the time, the publisher will not provide an elaborate reason for the refusal either, offering only a few words or just silence. This means months of work followed by weeks of waiting can result in a flat refusal with little explanation. An author has to be able to take the rejection and persevere through it.

    A refusal does not mean one’s work is bad, just that it is not right for that publisher. However, if a publisher does accept the manuscript, then the author must be willing to persevere through the changes. Publishers will assign the author an editor who will guide the author through editing the book. While these edits may be small stylistic edits, they can be large content edits as well. The author must be willing to persevere through the editing process, realizing the editor is there to help make the book as good as possible.

    5. Heart for Ministry

    Lastly, one must have a heart for ministry. This is a question of motive. Why do you want to write a book? Why do you want to be published? If the answer is to get rich, you are in the wrong field. The writers who make a fortune are those who sell millions of copies. Often, writing does not net a huge profit.

    Maybe your motive is time. You desire a passive income or a flexible schedule. While book writing does check both desires, it is more complicated. As mentioned above, book writing is a major time commitment and publishers do set deadlines. Writing is a job and not for those seeking to get rich quickly or lay around.

    One may even wish to publish in order to be famous. He or she desires the book signings, the interviews, the recognition. While this is a possibility, it is like making money as a writer. One may become famous to their readers, but wide fame and recognition require millions of copies sold.

    Not only are these poor motives, but they could also be the results of sin, greed, laziness, pride, etc. They represent one centered on him or herself. Instead, one’s goal in writing should be to minister to others. Writing should be done out of love for God and other people. It is an act of service.

    Conclusion

    Book writing is a worthy calling. As with all callings, God uses it to spread His kingdom and His work through the earth. This article discussed five needed traits to be a good book writer, but do not worry if you are missing one or more. God equips those He has called. If God has truly called you to book writing, and a strong passion and desire for it is a good clue, then He will either give you these traits or overcome them to show you His power. Follow God’s leading and He will guide you along the way.

    Notes

    1. Lucretia B. Yaghjian, Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers, 2nd ed. (New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), 145.

  • Preparing a Book Proposal

    Introduction:

    Writing a book proposal can be an intimidating experience. Publishers require a lot of information which can leave one feeling as if he or she is writing a small book on their book. With publishers each having different requirements for their proposal, it can be overwhelming. Yet, if one breaks down the information and prepares one master proposal, he or she can then copy the information from that proposal and reformat it to fit the needs of each publisher to which the work is submitted. Below are some of the most common pieces of information a publisher asks for in a proposal with explanations of what the publisher wants in that section.

    Information on the Book

    Working Title

    The first step in writing a book proposal is to decide on the working title of the book. While the publisher may later desire to change the title based on marketing, this gives the project a temporary name. A working title makes the project easier to refer to and a catchy title can draw a publisher’s attention.

    Short Summary

    Second, publishers want a brief description of the book in the proposal. The emphasis here is on brief. Publishers set a limit to how long the summary can be, usually a few sentences or a few hundred words at most. This means an author must have a thorough understanding of what he or she is writing and be able to express it in a concise manner. A specific and well-written thesis statement is a huge help in writing this summary.

    Genre and Topic

    Third, one must describe the genre and topic of the book. Publishers typically publish books within a set genre and on certain topics. Authors should review their submission guidelines as well as books the publisher has published in the past to get an idea of accepted genres and topics. I have seen many publishers who want the genre and topic in the title of the email itself, front and center. Authors should put in the research to make sure they are submitting a book the publisher will accept.

    Reason & Purpose

    The fourth step in crafting a book proposal is to defend why the publisher should publish the book. This entails describing why you wrote the book, a.k.a why you think it should be read. You should also explore what makes your book different from other books on the market, what makes it unique? Does it contribute anything new or does it just repeat what is already written? This is your chance to argue for your book and show the publisher why your book was worth writing and is worth publishing.

    Audience

    Fifth, publishers want to know who the book was written for. The primary and secondary audience affects how the book was written. If one is writing for a younger audience, then the word use and narrative are entirely different than writing for academics. Some publishers want more academic works whereas others want a more laid-back tone. Again, authors should review what the publisher has published before to get an idea of who their primary audience is.

    The audience also plays a role in how the work is marketed. Academics look for books in different places than teenagers. In order to put the book in front of the right people, the publisher needs to know who you intended to read the book.

    Estimated Length

    The length of a work affects the size, marketing strategy, and cost of a book. Some publishers want shorter books that can be easily read whereas others look for longer works that could even be split into a multi-volume set. As such, they want to know upfront how long the author thinks the book will be once it is done. Generally, the publisher does not want a page count (book pages are different than average pages) but a word count. Some even desire the author to break the word count down for main content, notes, appendices, etc. Make sure to check the submission guidelines to see if a publisher will refuse works that are outside a certain length.

    Special Inclusions

    Seventh, authors should mention in their book proposal whether their book requires any special inclusions. These are things such as charts, graphs, illustrations, callout boxes, etc. These take extra time to design and layout before the book goes to print, so publishers usually want to know upfront if these are present.

    Table of Contents Explained

    The eighth segment is one of the most important as it is a summary of the book’s contents. Publishers almost always ask the author to provide a table of contents with a few sentences explaining each chapter and section. This is one’s best chance to sell a publisher on the content and argument of their book.

    Sample Chapters

    While the table of contents is one’s best chance to sell the publisher on the structure and content of the book, the sample chapters are where one sells their writing skills. One should include the introduction and a chapter from the main body of their work and the conclusion if able. The introduction shows the thesis of the work, what one intends to write on, while the chapter from the main body shows the content itself. Yet, in both chapters, the publisher will be focusing on how one presents the content, if he or she is writing at the level of the intended audience, and how advanced the writer is at grammar and spelling. While it does not ensure the work will be rejected, one may wish to have their sample chapters edited by others if their writing skills are not the strongest.

    Estimated Completion Date

    If turning in a sample chapter or an incomplete manuscript, publishers will want to know when you will finish the work. Make sure to give yourself adequate time to finish the work but not far enough out that the publisher will want to wait on the project.

    Information About Yourself

    Biography & Contact Information

    In addition to information on the book, publishers will want information on you, the author, as well. This will start with a short bio and contact information. It is one’s chance to make a good first impression by introducing themselves and giving the publisher the information they need to respond. That said, make sure the contact information is correct, up to date, and professional. If one’s email is unprofessional, he or she should create a new business email and use that with the publisher.

    Contribution to Marketing

    Next, publishers often want to know how the author can contribute to the marketing campaign of the work. For example, does the author have a strong social media following that he or she can market to? Does he or she teach a course at a college where he or she can promote the book as a textbook? Can the author do book signings and interviews? This section is about what you can contribute to getting your book out to the world.

    Resume/CV

    In addition to how one can help market the book, the publisher will also want to know one’s qualifications in writing the book. This is done by submitting one’s resume or curriculum vitae along with the book proposal. These are documents that show one’s work and research experience, as well as any prior publications. If you have not made a resume or CV before, then make sure to research how to write one and have another look it over. Mistakes in one’s resume/CV are just as bad as mistakes in the sample chapters.

    Endorsements

    Lastly, publishers want to know who may endorse your book. These people are experts in a field related to your book or an authority in society (politician, religious leader, college president, etc.). Think of people you may know as well as authors who were cited in or inspired your work that the publisher can reach out to.

    Conclusion

    Crafting a book proposal is hard work. Authors may enjoy writing their manuscript but dread writing the proposal itself. Yet, without the book proposal, how will a publisher ever find the book? While the book proposal may be hard, it is best just to push through it. On the bright side, once finished, one can reformat the proposal with the same information for each publisher to which he or she submits the work. The important thing is to just persevere!

    Sources Consulted

    In addition to the submission guidelines page of several publishers, the following source was consulted:

    AUPresses Faculty Outreach Committee, “What Should I Include In My Proposal?” Ask UP: Authors Seeking Knowledge From University Presses, April 13, 2020, https://ask.up.hcommons.org/what-should-i-include-in-my-proposal/, accessed August 15, 2022.

  • Tips to Improve as a Book Writer

    Tips to Improve as a Book Writer
    Introduction

    Book writing is an art. Like a new painter, a new book writer has to work to build their skills. This can be a hard and long practice, lasting a lifetime. One should not get discouraged along the way, however, as all great writers started at the beginning. Here are a few tips to help one improve as a book writer.

    Read (A Lot!)

    The first and best way to improve as a book writer is to read. Reading is the best means to improve as a writer because it helps one learn how, and what, other authors are writing. Every author has their own style of writing and means of conveying their information/story. Think of Scripture. Paul writes in a formal, educated way while Peter is rough around the edges. Luke writes detailed records while John writes more poetic. Each writer is conveying the Gospel but each brings a unique view and voice to the material.

    By reading the works of others, a young author learns how a story, whether fiction or not, is told in an engaging way. Now, in order to do this, the author must be both picky and not picky with what he or she reads. Authors should be picky and read the “classics,” the works that have stood the test of time. These books have lasted for centuries for a reason and are a must-read for any author.

    However, authors must also not be picky but well-read on a variety of subjects. Authors should not just read what interests them, especially if they are fiction writers. They should read a variety of subjects from a variety of authors. This will help them see how different information is presented in different ways and give them ideas for their own writing. Fiction writers can also use this information in constructing their world, making it more structured and realistic for the reader.

    A new book writer should also read books on writing. Many expert writers have written books to help new and experienced authors improve their craft. Writing is an art form, and the best way to improve one’s art is to study the great works of others and learn how they did it.

    Talk with Authors

    The best means to learn how another author wrote their book is simply to talk to them. Now, this is easier said than done. While most authors love hearing from readers, they can be easily overwhelmed by readers. Yet, if you enjoy a particular writer’s work, send an email or letter to him or her. If they respond that is great, if not then they are probably busy and one should not continue to contact them.

    The number of authors in one’s vicinity may also be surprising. If one has attended or is near a college or university, the faculty often have published authors among them. They may not even be the English faculty. At the college I attended the professor of business was the author of a series of mystery novels. One may have an easier time approaching these authors and asking for advice than they would reaching out through email or letter.

    Practice Writing

    Like any art, once someone studies the works of others and how they did it, it is time for them to try it out. Practicing one’s art is still the best means of improving it. One should not jump straight into the deep end and write an 800-page novel. Start out with small articles, blog posts, essays, etc., that only take a few hours to research and write. After a few days, return to the article and tear your own writing apart, seeing how you could improve. Most importantly, create a habit of writing and editing a little every day. Whether 10 minutes, 30, or an hour, take time to write. If you get stuck, move on to a different project and work there for a while. Just keep practicing your art.

    Have Your Writing Edited

    My high school band director always taught us that practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. If one practices their art incorrectly, then he or she is cementing bad art rather than improving. While practicing writing and editing is important, authors tend to go blind to certain aspects of their own work. As the brain recalls writing, it fills in what it remembers writing so the author ends up speed reading the sentence rather than moving slowly through it. As such, grammatical, spelling, and stylistic errors creep in and go unnoticed.

    These writing blinders are why aspiring authors should always get someone else to review their work for them. This proofreader should be someone who will take the work seriously and has a decent grasp of writing. It would also be beneficial if this person is in the target audience of your work. This way, they can give serious feedback on your work, correcting errors and suggesting improvements to better your writing and better reach your audience.

    I have often heard people who were surprised at the errors in their work, saying they had multiple people read over it. Who one chooses to edit their work is important. One wants someone who will improve him or her as a writer, not someone who will read the work quickly to say he or she helped out.

    Volunteer to Read Others’ Work

    The inverse of the previous point is that new book writers should volunteer to edit the works of others as well. Editing the works of others helps practice the art of editing while also accomplishing the first and second tips. The writer is reading the work of another, thereby learning from him or her, and will talk with them afterward about their work. In this way, even if the work he or she is editing is by another new writer, the new book writer is practicing their art. Talking with another author about your editing of their work also helps one see the difference between an error, a place for improvement, and one’s writing style. It is a great way to quickly improve one’s editing.

    See What a Publisher Has to Say

    Lastly, after practicing one’s art through all the above tips, one should try writing a book-length work and sending it to a publisher. While most publishers do not have the time to respond in depth to a submission, they may give at least a few words to help the author improve. Who knows, the publisher may even accept the work and publish you!

    Conclusion

    Writing is an art one must practice continually. Like any art, this is a life-long process. One will never reach a point where he or she can not improve on their writing. One should be constantly reading, writing, editing, and receiving critique. In so doing, one will continue to improve as a book writer.

    Want to make some money while practicing your writing and editing? Consider signing up as an author/editor for us at Kontent Network here.

  • Why Theology Matters for Life

    INTRODUCTION

                When I began taking theology classes in college, I quickly decided that I wanted to complete them and be done with them. The topics covered were confusing and I did not comprehend why one would need this information. However, as time passed, my perspective changed. Theology became not solely for the grey-haired man hunched over his books in the ivory tower but for everyone. As servants of God, we must be students of theology. Whether a pastor in the pulpit or a member in the pew, theology matters for life.

    EVERYONE IS A THEOLOGIAN

                F. Leroy Forlines discusses what he refers to as the “inescapable questions of life.”[1] These are the questions all people, regardless of their background, seek to have answered. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What will happen once I die? These are questions everyone answers to some degree. Whether one’s purpose is to serve a deity in order to enter a land of rest or to further human society and its well-being before their body decays, everyone provides some answers to these questions.[2]

                How one answers these questions depends upon their theology. They are making decisions concerning a higher power and its role in the world. Some decide this higher power is real while others decide it is illogical. This solution then informs how they understand their purpose in the world and where they will go upon their death. People, when thinking on and answering these questions, are performing theology.[3]

                As all people contemplate the inescapable questions of life, they are contemplating theology and are thereby a form of theologian.[4] Whether they decide that God exists or not, they are still making a theological decision. Therefore, everyone is a theologian to some extent. How then is Christian theology different from secular theology?

    CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY IS RELATIONAL

                In searching for answers to life’s questions, many turn to religion for answers. Many religions require certain actions, usually rules and steps one must follow. However, God requests something different. Yes, there are the commandments to live a moral life and avoid sin, yet this is not the focus of the Gospel. Instead, it discusses how humanity cannot do good. It presents humanity as incapable of ever being perfect on its own.

                This presentation of human depravity then creates a new life question, what am I to do with my sin? Thankfully, God has an answer for that as well. He will handle it. He gave His only Son, offering Him as the spotless sacrificial lamb (John 3:16). Through this, all of our sins were taken from us and placed upon Him and all His righteousness placed upon us (2 Corinthians 5:21). We stand before God righteous because Christ paid the penalty for us.

                All of the moral commands of Scripture find their foundation in this sacrifice. God desires righteous living because He paid the price for us to be free from sin and be able to live righteously. We then lovingly obey Him because He loved us enough to die so we would not. This loving obedience to God is what Christ referred to as the greatest commandment, followed by the command to love others. All of the other commands, even the Ten Commandments, are life applications of these two relational commands, to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:36–40).

                God’s commandments, therefore, are not a long list to be checked off. Rather, it is centered on how we may build a relationship with God and with others. The former of these two, building a relationship with God, is theology. In order to build a relationship with someone, one must get to know them. They must learn their likes, dislikes, who they are, what they like to do, etc. They must learn who that person is. Building a relationship with God is similar (interesting since He gave us our ability to form relationships). In order to build a relationship with God, we must learn about who He is. Theology is the desire to understand God better.[5]

    PROPER CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

                Christians must be concerned with theology for it is the manner in which they learn about God. When one reads Scripture, listens to a sermon, or even discusses spiritual matters with a friend or family member, he or she is being a theologian. The Christian life is the life of a theologian; theology matters for life. However, there is a difference between knowing of someone and actually knowing them. Relationships cannot be built upon the most basic information nor only on what one has heard from others. Relationships must be built upon two people engaging with each other.

                Christians must thereby abstain from what Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson refer to as “folk theology.”[6] They define folk theology as “unreflective believing based on blind faith in a tradition of some kind.”[7] Folk theology is when one’s relationship with God is built solely upon what others have told him or her to believe. Rather than build their own relationship with God, he or she uses a premade mold. Folk theology is dangerous because it promotes nominal Christianity (a Christian in name only) as well as stagnant and apathetic Christians. It is not that they do not believe that theology matters for life, just that they have never thought about it. They go through the motions of a Christian but have never had or have a shallow personal relationship with God.[8]

                Another theology that is just as dangerous is academic theology. Academic theology refers to theological thoughts that are speculative and philosophical with little to no application to the Christian life. Academic theology is what many think of when they think of theology. It is the old man hunched over his books in the ivory tower. He contemplates theology in order to study God, not to build a relationship with Him. Likewise, the fruit of His labor is purely academic and offers little to no application for life.[9] They have turned theology from a relationship into an intellectual exercise, thereby separating theology from its purpose. For these theologians, theology is only for the mind, whether theology matters for life or not is irrelevant.

                Where one wants to be is in the three theologies that lie between folk theology and academic theology. They are lay theology, ministerial theology, and professional theology.[10] Lay theology is when ordinary believers, regardless of their vocation, seek to understand their faith better. They do not need to purchase numerous books on the subject. Rather, it is simply when ordinary believers try to understand God better.[11] They cease to be passive observers but become active participants. This theology is important because it is the calling of every Christian. It is a call to have a growing and healthy relationship with the God who loves you. This relationship then carries over as the layperson begins serving more in their church and culture, furthering God’s kingdom.

                The next theology is ministerial theology. Ministerial theology does not refer only to pastors but to all those who study God and His Scriptures with the purpose of teaching others in a local church. They are the pastors, Sunday School teachers, VBS workers, small group leaders, etc. This theology is more formalized as students of it often reference commentaries, lesson plans, or other resources in order to gain a deeper understanding of what they are to teach.[12] Yet, as with lay theology, this is vital to the growth of the church as they train the lay leaders who then serve within the church and within the culture, growing God’s kingdom.

                Lastly is professional theology. Professional theologians are those who dedicate their lives to the study of theology. They are professors and teachers within educational institutions that write books and articles as well as lectures in order to train others. However, they are distinct from academic theologians as their purpose is to equip ministerial and lay theologians. They provide the tools that the other two use.

                There is no hierarchy between the three theologies. Rather, it is similar to how Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God provided the increase. Professional theologians educate and give resources that ministerial theologians use to train the lay theologians who go forth into their respective jobs, social groups, and communities, their respective mission fields, in order to preach the Gospel and advance Christ’s kingdom.[13] Theology is about having a deeper relationship with God and helping others to grow in their relationship as well.

    CONCLUSION

                Therefore, our goal is not to be academic theologians offering information with no purpose nor folk theologians who are apathetic to deeper thinking. Rather, one’s goal should be to develop a relationship with the God who loves them enough to die for them and then go forth and serve His kingdom. Theology is not only a field of study but crucial to how one lives their life, answering the questions everyone wrestles with. Theology matters for life.

    NOTES
    1. F. Leroy Forlines, Quest for Truth: Theology for Postmodern Times (Nashville, Randall House, 2006), 1.
    2. For a further discussion of these “inescapable questions” and their role in human thought, cf. Forlines, 1; Stanley J. Grenz, and Roger E. Olson, Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 15–16.
    3. Grenz, 13–15.
    4. Ibid., 15.
    5. Ibid., 38.
    6. Ibid., 27.
    7. Ibid.
    8. Ibid., 27–29.
    9. Ibid., 33–34.
    10. Ibid., 26.
    11. Ibid., 29–31.
    12. Ibid., 31.
    13. Ibid., 31–33.
  • Christian Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts

    Introduction

    One of the greatest hurdles for new authors is finding a publisher who will accept their work. Due to the rise in potential authors, most publishers have adopted stricter submission guidelines. Unfortunately, these guidelines often exclude new authors. Publishers often only view manuscripts sent by an agent, a known author, or a writer an acquisitions editor contacted directly.

    New authors often lack all three of these requirements unless they previously spent time networking. As such, it can be hard for new authors to get their books before a publisher. Self or partner publishing is an option to spread one’s name, but these are pricey options.

    Unsolicited Manuscripts

    New authors should not give up hope though! While most publishers have strict submission guidelines, there are still many who accept unsolicited manuscripts. An unsolicited manuscript is a proposal sent to a publisher who did not previously request it. One can think of it as a cold call to the publisher. Few major publishers accept such proposals, but listed below are large and small Christian publishers who will consider them. For more information on how to prepare a proposal, see our article here.

    (Updated August 1, 2022; entries are in no particular order.)

    Wipf & Stock Publishers

    Wipf & Stock is a respected Christian publisher that accepts a variety of proposals. They are also a good publisher if one is looking to publish their dissertation/thesis or a series. The average response time is 4 to 8 weeks.

    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

    Eerdmans is another well-respected Christian publisher. They also accept a variety of proposals, though have a separate imprint for children’s works. The average response time is 8 weeks.

    Zondervan Academic/Reflective

    Currently, only two of Zondervan’s imprints are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Zondervan Academic publishes mostly textbooks and reference books whereas Zondervan Reflective is primarily practical. The average response time is 6 weeks.

    Crossway

    There is a bit of a disclaimer with Crossway. Crossway does not currently accept unsolicited proposals. However, they do accept unsolicited ideas which can lead to them requesting a proposal. They accept a variety of proposals but decline prophetic, biographical, poetic, and fiction works. The average response time is 6 weeks.

    Westminster John Knox Press

    WJK is a Presbyterian publisher that publishes works for Protestant educators and pastors. The average response time is 8 to 12 weeks.

    Chosen Books – Baker

    Chosen Books is an imprint of the Baker Publishing Group. Like Crossway, they request an idea before a proposal. They have a specific spiritual theme that they publish so authors should review their guidelines and published works prior to submitting their proposal. The average response time is 4 weeks.

    Flyaway Books

    Flyaway Books is a partner imprint of Westminster John Knox Press and specializes in publishing children’s picture books. The average response time is 6 weeks.

    Herald Press – MennoMedia

    Herald Press is an Anabaptist publisher that accepts a variety of proposals (including cookbooks). The average response time is within 6 months.

    Dove Christian Publishers

    Dove Christian Publishers likes to work with new authors but has submission guidelines that may restrict some writers. They ask that authors have an online presence of 500 followers with a 1-year track record. They also request the work be professionally copyedited prior to submission. Professional copyeditors can charge per word, per page, or per hour so longer works can get expensive. If an author has a media following and some upfront money, DCP may be a good option. The average response time is 4 to 6 weeks.

    Crosslink is a smaller publisher that only works with North American authors. They also only accept manuscripts between 12,000 and 60,000 words. If one meets both these criteria, then Crosslink accepts a variety of proposals and has a simple proposal form. They do not list their average response time.

    Abingdon Press

    Abingdon Press is a Methodist publisher that accepts a variety of proposals, though curriculum submissions are done by assignment. They do not list an average response time.

    Ignatius Press

    Ignatius press accepts a variety of proposals but has strict submission guidelines. Manuscripts must be 100 pages minimum and both a physical and electronic copy must be submitted. The average response time is 3 to 4 months.

    Concordia Publishing House

    Concordia is the publisher of the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod). They accept a variety of proposals (including music) and have a well-organized proposal form. Their average response time is within 8 weeks.

    CKN Christian Publishing

    CKN is a fiction publisher that only considers works within specific genres. As such, authors should review what they are currently accepting prior to preparing a proposal. They also prefer series over individual works. The average response time is within 90 days.

    Paulist Press

    Paulist Press is a Catholic publisher that accepts a variety of proposals. The average response time is 6 to 8 weeks.

    Crossroad Publishing

    Crossroad accepts very few proposals but still welcomes submissions. New authors should be prepared to explain their qualifications but are still welcome to submit a proposal. The average response time is 6 to 8 weeks.

    Christian Publishing House

    CPH accepts a variety of proposals. They do require authors to subscribe to a set statement of faith and will drop authors should they ever change their views. They also require authors to order 30 copies of their own book at a discounted rate, requiring some up-front money. Their average response time is quick, listed as 1 to 2 weeks.

    Randall House Publishing

    Randall House is the publishing arm of the Free Will Baptists. They do not accept full manuscripts unsolicited but welcome a variety of proposals. Their listed response time is 12 weeks.

    Mercer University Press

    Mercer University Press publishes topics on religion, philosophy, and topics related to the South. Submissions must be sent via mail to the Editor-in-Chief. The average response time is 3 to 4 months.

    Dancing with Bears Publishers

    DWB is a traditional Christian publisher that declines work submitted by agents. Submissions closed in 2021 but authors may check back from time to time to see if submissions have opened again.

    Alternate Options

    Christian Book Proposals

    Christian Book Proposals is part of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Authors can submit a proposal that can then be viewed by dozens of publishers within the ECPA. There is a one-time fee of $98 dollars and the proposal listing is active for 6 months. They offer further proposal help for an additional cost. Many publishers who no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts check this site to fill publishing schedules.

    Writer’s Edge

    Writer’s Edge is a service similar to CBP above. Authors submit a proposal that is then reviewed. If approved, the proposal is added to a list of proposals that are sent to 75 Christian publishing companies. There is a fee for this service.

    Conclusion

    Finding a publisher can be a great hurdle for new authors. While large publishers may have adopted stricter guidelines, there are still plenty of publishers who will work with authors just starting out. Yet, even if one does not get accepted, he or she should not get discouraged. A rejection does not mean one’s work is bad, just that it is a bad fit or needs improvement. Keep following God’s will in your writing and seeking how your book can further His kingdom.

    Sources Consulted

    In addition to the websites of the publishers listed above, the following sources were consulted in the preparation of this article.

    Hiten Vyas, “11 Top Christian Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts,” accessed July 27, 2022, https://writingtipsoasis.com/christian-publishers-accepting-unsolicited-manuscripts/.

    Tom Corson-Knowles, “31 Christian Book Publishers Accepting Submissions,” TCK Publishing, accessed July 27, 2022, https://www.tckpublishing.com/christian-publishers/.

  • Feed the Poor

    Giving feed to the bird

    While we are starting up, Kontent won’t have enough money to be able to feed the poor. However, once Kontent starts earning money and we have caught up on all payments to the people who helped get Kontent up and running, we will have money left over to be able to provide for the poor.

    When we feed the poor, we are not just going to give them food or money. Instead, we are going to give them something to help them provide for their food for many years to come. For instance, we could give them a cow. They drink some of the milk and sell the rest so they can buy food for themselves and the cow. Once the cow dies, they can cook and eat the cow.

    With this strategy and other similar ones, we can provide for poor people for years to come. Also, we can give a job to people that aren’t quite getting enough money to provide for their families. One of the great things about Kontent is that it doesn’t take a lot of experience to work here. You just need to know how to operate a computer and write interesting content or content ideas. However, those are not the only ways that you could earn some money by helping Kontent grow.

    Other ways include SEO editing, content editing, promotion, etc. Some of these may not seem that big, but in reality, they are all huge. For instance, promotion may not seem that big—you aren’t even helping with the website, content, or anything. However, a website that shines like the top of the Chrysler building is of no use if nobody sees it.

    If you are interested in helping Kontent reach the point of being able to feed the poor, consider signing up.

  • Make Money Doing What You Love!

    If you are a 14 to 24-year-old, what does “making money doing what you love” mean to you?

    If you are 25+ ask a few people in that age range what this means to them. I think we are in for a big surprise!

    Doing what you love was the dream of gen X and the demand of millennials, but what about post-millennials? Is this a thing anymore? What do post-millennials want in a job?

    Is this a dream that will ever happen? Or, is this just a setup for selling some educational product, an advice post, or even something totally unrelated?

    “Make Money Doing What You Love!” …sounds like a sales pitch, right?

    What if we really did start a company just to help you gain experience in a field you care about? Ever notice that even entry-level jobs require years of experience? What if we found a way to pay you while you get that experience?

    How can we find you and others interested in good pay for an entry-level job in a field you are interested in? Specifically, what keywords are you using when trying to find a job? Also, what keywords or phrases in an advertisement would get your attention?

    Will you?

    • Take our survey about keywords
    • Share with friends who are 14-24
    • Sign-up to help make this dream come true
    • Sign-up for updates on our progress
    • Comment on this post with suggestions

    Thanks!

  • Virtual Cow: Help Us Provide for the Poor

    Virtual Cow: Help Us Provide for the Poor

    While we are starting up, Kontent won’t have enough money to be able to provide for the poor. However, once Kontent starts earning money and we have caught up on all payments to the people who helped us get Kontent up and running, we will have money left over to be able to provide for the poor.

    When we feed the poor, we are not going to just give the poor money or food. We are going to give them something that will help to provide for their food for many years to come. For instance, we could give them a cow so that they can drink the milk and sell the leftover so that they can afford food for themselves and the cow. Once the cow dies, they can cook and eat the cow.

    With this strategy and other similar ones, we can provide for poor people for years to come. Also, we can give a job to people that aren’t quite getting enough money to provide for their families. One of the great things about Kontent is that it doesn’t take a lot of experience to work here. You need to know how to operate a computer and write interesting content or content ideas.

    Want to help us help the poor? Join us!