Friday, November 30, 2007


I heard from a writer recently who had a book manuscript ready to submit, but was asking if he should send it now, or wait until after the holidays. He was right to be concerned about the timing of his submission. Things tend to be a little hectic in publishing offices as people prepare for the holiday break. Many do not work up until Christmas eve, but leave earlier for holiday trips or whatever. Likewise, the first of January can also be a hectic/busy time as editors come back to the work that piled up while they were away. I would suggest waiting to send a new proposal until about the middle of January, when things start getting back to normal.


I have to chuckle to myself when I hear from writers in the summer or fall who have a Christmas book or article that they are determined to see published for that Christmas. What they fail to realize is that a book will take 18 months to 2 years to get published, and even a magazine could be working a year or more ahead. Actually now is a good time to submit a holiday piece--but for publication next year. The market guide will tell you how far ahead each publication wants their holiday or seasonal pieces--for Christmas or any holiday.


This time of year you may be thinking about sending holiday gifts to your editors. If so, there are a few things to keep in mind. The tax deduction for business-related gifts is limited to $25 per person. Such gifts should never be personal in nature--such as clothing or jewelry. Appropriate gifts are things like pens, books, or food items. I send tins of homemade fudge. You will likely want to limit such gifts to book editors, agents, or related people, or magazine editors you write for on a regular basis--such as those you write a column for or sell to regularly. I send to my agent, book editor (who negotiated the contract), editor who oversees the editing process on the guide, editor who does the line editing, and the person who handles my book orders during the year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Xyzzy Press (pronounced zi-zee), Nashville TN,; New publisher launched by former Ingram executive, Jim Stewart. Publishing nonfiction titles on such topics as spiritual growth, health, lifestyle, religion, cooking, nutrition, family, hobbies and interests, leadership, social issues, politics, poetry, and community involvement. Prefers electronic submissions to the above e-mail. Include cover letter, outline of book, and several sample chapters. Guidelines on Website.


The purpose of Bread for God's Children magazine is to help Christian families learn to apply God's Word in their everyday living. Looking for writers who have a solid knowledge of biblical principles and are concerned about today's youth keeping those principles. Stories must be from a child's viewpoint, well-written, with the story itself getting the message across--no preaching, moralizing, or tag endings. Realistic plot and characters. No talking animals, or other forms of fantasy. Uses two stories each issue--one for older children and teens, to 1,800 words; and one for young children, to 800 words. Also uses articles for both age groups, to 800 words. Pays $50 for teen story, $40 for child story, $25 for articles, and $10 for short fillers. Buys 1st rts. Will consider reprints depending on where they were published. Judith M. Gibbs, editor. Mail submissions to: Bread Ministries, Inc., PO Box 1017, Arcadia FL 34265-1017.


If you are planning a book tour to promote your latest title, can help. This is a free, online service that connects authors on tour to potential audiences of all sorts, from book lovers to professional groups. You create your own page (biography, books, tour dates, and availability) and any group looking for a speaker can find you and contact you directly to set up an appearance. Just visit their Website to set up your author page. If you have general questions, contact Kevin Smokler at; or for technical questions contact Adam Goldstein at


If you are needed business cards that reflect your writing pursuits, here are a couple of companies where you can order them easily and free or fairly inexpensively:

** - $25 for 1,ooo cards; four-color.

** - Free; thousands of designs; design them the way you want.

You can also print up your own by using Microsoft Publisher, or buy blank cards at an office supply store and use their template to design your own card.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


In case you missed the announcements, this has been a year of expansion for Janet Kobobel Grant's Books & Such Literary Agency. In July, Kathleen Y'Barbo became their in-house publicist. In September, Etta Wilson, came onboard as an agent specializing in representing young adult and children's books. An established agent with nearly two decades of experience, Wilson works with publishers in both the general and Christian markets. And then, in October, Rachel Zurakowski was added as an associate agent, representing writers who are in their twenties and thirties.


When checking out a potential book publisher for your next project, one of the big projects is checking out what other books, and competing books the publisher might have already published. Crossway Books has made that job a lot easier with their moblie browsing site. You can use your computer or iPhone to access and browse 130 Crossway titles, plus view up to 30 pages of text and do searches. Go to:


When I started in this industry, David C. Cook was a well-established name for a children's curriculum house. However, as the company expanded and bought up other companies, they went to a number of different imprint names and an over-all company name of Cook Communications Ministries. However, recently the company made a major switch back to the David C. Cook name, and added a new positioning statement: "Transforming Lives Together." The change came after an intensive year-long study that indicated people like the David C. Cook name. As a result, all of their products, with the exception of Honor Books, will carry the new David C. Cook brand. Victor, RiverOak, Life Journey, FaithKidz, and NexGen brands will gradually be phased out. Cook Communications Canada is now David C. Cook Distribution Canada.


HarperSanFrancisco (religious imprint of HarperCollins) recently announced a name change to HarperOne. The change was primarily to avoid the impression that they published regional titles only. HarperOne publishes a wide range of religious titles, including Christian books by authors such as Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, and Billy Graham. However, they publish across a wide spectrum of religious books and prefer Christian books of interest to Christians across all Christian denominations--not just evangelical.
HarperOne is also working with Avon Books to provide editorial and marketing support for Avon Inspire, a line of inspirational romances in trade paperback. The new fiction line will include 8-10 titles per year, with 2 or 3 titles--at least one historical and one contemporary romance--releasing each season. Future releases could include suspense romance, chick-lit romance, and other subgenres, including children's novels. Agented submissions only.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've noticed a trend toward more creative forms of book promotion--especially using the Web. One such promotion is for Robin Parrish's "Dominion Trilogy." Bethany House and Parrish have placed installments of a 4-part web-only comic story, called Guardian, at The comic is based on characters from the trilogy, filling the gap between the first two books, and introduces the story to come in the third book. A new chapter appeared every two weeks.


In an effort to get the word out and help promote fellow Christian fiction authors, Jill Eileen Smith compiles a monthly, alphabetical list of new Christian fiction releases. The list includes links to the various author's Websites and goes to a number of other places the first of each month. Jill does this in connection with the American Christian Fiction Writers. In an ongoing effort to get more exposure for Christian fiction, Jill is also open to providing a copy of the list to include on your Website or blog. If you have a new novel coming out soon, or are interested in posting the list, e-mail Jill at jewordsmith at gmail dot com. Here's what you need to send her:
* Name of book Number of book in the series and name of the series, if applicable
* Name of publisher
* Your name and url
* Release month
* A ONE sentence summary of the story (maximum 30 words - preferably 15-20 words) - please NO lengthy back cover blurbs.
* For novella collections - please include the following:
*Name of Collection
*Name of Publisher
*Names and URLs for each author
*Release month
*A ONE sentence summary (maximum 30 words, preferably 15-20 words) of the entire collection, not the individual stories.
*Please, do NOT put titles or anything else in all caps or special fonts or colors.
*Please take care to follow these directions. If information is missing or summaries are longer than one sentence, it creates too much work to track it down, and details will be left unfinished.


Each year when I update the market guide, I begin to notice some trends as far as what changes editors seem to be asking for as far as their dealings with authors. This year was no exception. We have reached the point where the majority of the editors prefer e-mail submissions--although they still have their preferences. Some want the material sent as an attachment, while others prefer the material be included in the body of the e-mail. The market guide will tell you which--and they expect you to do as asked.
One new trend I've noticed this year, is that many more publishers are asking that electronic submissions be made only through a form provided on their Website. They all seem to be working against the onslaught of spam by taking more control of the submissions that come to them. Using the form also separates your submission from all the other e-mails that arrive in their box.
One overarching trend seems to be that publishers, more than ever, expect writers to abide by their guidelines. The consensus seems to be that if an author can't follow the rules they will dismiss you and your ideas out of hand. Never try to submit to a publisher without carefully studying those guidelines--and seeing a sample copy or their catalog.
I've also been watching what's happening with e-books. I've expected that the number of publishers producing e-books would grow each year, but at least for now, that growth seems stagnant.


Tyndale House has launced a new imprint called Picket Fence Press. They have signed Kathy Peel, best-selling author and family-management expert, as editor-at-large and author for this line of books. Peel will help acquire other authors and titles for the imprint, which was developed to provide resources to serve the needs of women juggling their priorities inside and outside the home.

Monday, November 26, 2007


If you are interested in researching or writing about the controversial issues surrounding this topic, you will want to check out a new Website: . This site was launched in response to a new movie scheduled for a 2008 release called, Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed, starring Ben Stein. The site is designed to help students, teachers, pastors, youth leaders, and organizations--as well as writers--who want to learn more. You'll also find free resource downloads and information on related events.


Barbour Publishing has announced that George Kourkounakis has been promoted to president and COO--as of January 1, 2008. Kourkounakis has been with the company for the last ten years. Mary Burns has also be promoted to publishing VP.


I'm always on the lookout for new agents. Here's one not listed even in the 2008 market guide: Kelly L. Mortimer, agent; Mortimer Literary Agency, 52645 Paui Road, Aguanga, CA 92536; 951-332-8206;; Mortimer Literary Agency was Nominated for the American Christian Fiction Writers "Agent of the Year" Award. So--add her to your list.


One of the most challenging tasks in submitting material is being sure you get the editor's name right--which is not always easy. Below are a few changes you'll want to make note of:

** Harvest House Publishers - Rod Morris, senior editor; LaRae Weikert, VP of Editorial.
** Moody Publishers - Lisa Major, head of Spiritual Growth product line.
** WaterBrook Multnomah - Dudley Delffs has left to become VP-Publisher Trade Books for Zondervan.
** ZonderKids - Annette Bourland, VP-Publisher for its children's product group.
** William Carey Library - Naomi Breadley, editorial manager.
** Pauline Books & Media - Sr. Maria Grace Dateno, FSP, editor.
** Episcopal Life Magazine - Robert Williams, print edition editor.
** The Way of St. Francis - Sharon Melberg, editor
** Kid’s Ministry Ideas - Candy DeVore, editor.
** InSite - Alison Phillips, editor;;
** Let’s Worship - Craig Adams, editor-in-chief;
** Sharing the Practice - Rev. Dr. Robert Cornwall, editor-in-chief.
** J.A.M.: Jesus and Me - C. Kathy Steward, editor;
** Spirit - drop Constance Fourre, editor.
** Student Life Publishing - Andy Blanks, executive editor;
** ChurchWoman - Julie Drews, editor.
** The Handmaiden - Katherine Grace Bond, poetry editor.
** Journey - Susan Nelson, devotions editor.
** P31 Woman - Submissions to Janet Burke, assistant editor;
** Today’s Christian Woman - Camerin Courtney, managing editor.
** Women Alive! - Pam Enderby, managing editor;
** Adam W. Smith, editorial director (; Winona Rasheed, managing editor (
** Byline - Robbi Hess, editor, PO Box 111, Albion NY 14411-0111; Donna Marbach, poetry editor.
** Northwest Christian Author - Mike Owens, acquisitions editor; PO Box 825, Enumclaw WA 98022.
** B & H Publishing - Leonard Goss, no longer senior acquisitions editor.
** GuidepostsBooks and Ideals Publications - Marty Flanagan, group publisher for the children’s product line in the Nashville office; Beth Adams, editor in the New York office.
** Thomas Nelson - David Dunham resigned as senior VP and group publisher.
** Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) - Andrea Doering, senior acquisitions editor for fiction and nonfiction.
** Tyndale Espanol - Rafael Serrano, senior editor, Bibles and reference.
** St. Anthony Messenger Press - Fr. Dan Kroger, O.F.M., new publisher.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Unfortunately, Jordan Books--which was the Christian imprint for Meredith Books--is no longer accepting submissions or publishing Christian/inspirational books. Meredith is refocusing on their core home and garden subjects. Hated to lose this one. Drop them from your guide.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is an organization of 150+ members who do weekly blog tours for the latest in mainstream published Christian fiction. They usually prefer to do blog tours as soon as there is a publication date, preferably 8-10 months ahead of time. Contact: BonnieCalhoun@christianfictionblogalliance or stop by their Website at .


The Copyright Office has made available on its website an updated version of “Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code.” This edition contains the text of title 17 U.S.C., including all amendments enacted through the end of the second session of the 109th Congress in 2006. It includes the Copyright Act of 1976 and all subsequent amendments to copyright law; the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, as amended; and the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, as amended. In addition, the appendix includes transitional and supplementary copyright provisions that do not amend title 17. (Go to pdf or html format).
To purchase a bound volume from the Superintendent of Documents, go to the U.S. Government Bookstore or call 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area: 202-512-1800). The stock number is 030-002-00198-5.

Friday, November 23, 2007


December 20, 2007 is the deadline for the Writer's Digest Poetry Awards! Regardless of style—rhyming, free verse, haiku and more—if your poems are 32 lines or fewer, they want them all. Your words could be worth cold hard cash! First Place: $500 Second Place: $250 Third Place: $100 Fourth Through Tenth Place: $25 Eleventh Through Twenty-Fifth Place: $50 gift certificate to Writer's Digest Books Plus, the names and poem titles of all First- through Tenth-Place winners will be printed in an upcoming issue of Writer's Digest, and all winners will receive a copy of the 2008 Poet's Market. Details on Website:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


December 12, 2007 is the deadline for entries in the annual Christy Awards. These awards, given in 9 different categories, honor books of Christian fiction. The award was established in 1999 and named after the well-known book written by Catherine Marshall and honoring her contribution to Christian fiction. Winners are announced prior to the International Christian Retail Show (this year July 12, 2008 in Orlando FL). Nominations are made by the publishers. For details, visit their Website:, or e-mail Donna Kehoe at:


I hear from writers all the time who have legal concerns associated with their writing. Sometimes it's a copyright question, something to do with permissions to quote from other's materials or even more serious issues. Every writer needs a volume nearby to help answer all those sticky legal questions. The best book I've found on the subject is Author Law A - Z: A Desktop Guide to Writers' Rights and Responsibilities, by Sallie Randolph. It covers such subjects as kill fees, negotiating an advance, finding an agent, agent's and publisher's contracts, copyright infringement, tips for smart negotiating--and so much more. You can order this must-have resource in my online bookstore. Go to, click on "Bookstore." then "Legal Issues," and scroll down to the title.
If you are having more serious legal problems and need a lawyer versed in publishing law, I can also recommend Sallie Randolph who will advise you or your lawyer on this specialized area of law. Contact her at;


God Allows U-Turns is putting out a new series called the "Boomer Babes Rock Book Series." These are compilation books, so they are looking for true stories by, for, and about baby-boomer women. They pay $25-50 for 500-1,500 words. Submit to Editor. You will find full guidelines and sample stories on their Website. Contact information: Boomer Babes Rock Book Series, c/o God Allows U-Turns, PO Box 717, Faribault MN 55021;;


Jim Watkins is new editor at Vista, and is looking for submissions of nonfiction and fiction (500-550 words), and humor pieces (250-300 words). Submissions can be on any subject related to Christian growth. This publication hasn't been open to freelance submissions for awhile, so does not have a listing in the market guide. Their address is PO Box 50434, Indianapolis IN 46250. Jim's e-mail is


The following publications have changed names:

* Good News in RI to The Good News Today

* Pointing the World to Jesus Christ to Mustard Seed Ministries Devotionals

* Regent Business Review to Regent Global Business Review

* to Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

* YouthCulture@Today to ENGAGE: The Journal of Youth Culture

* CoLaborer to Together With God

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


*February 16, 2008 is the date of a new event called National Christian Writers Conference and Book Expo, to be held in Virginia. It will be held at the Mount Gilead Baptist Church, 1057 Kennedy St., Norfolk VA 23513; Director is Antonio L. Crawford, Contact information: PO Box 415, Highland Springs VA 23075; 804-998-8014. Details on Website.
* Another new event scheduled for April 16-18, 2008, is called Journalism Through the Eyes of Faith: Advocacy, Ethics, and Faith in an Election Year, and will be held at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Featured speakers are Ray Suarez, Jerry Mitchell, Jennifer Arul, and Ted Olsen. To register contact: Phyllis Alsdurf, Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication at Bethel University;; 651-638-6149; or visit:


The following periodicals have gone out of business:
* Christian Library Journal
* Church Educator
* Home-Based Mom: Audiozine
* Hope for Women
* Horizons (Canada)
* Wesleyan World (asked to be deleted)
* Great Mystery and Suspense Magazine

The following book publishers are out of business or not open to freelance:
* Opine Publishing (currently on hold)
* Scarecrow Press (no freelance)
* Treble Heart Books (no freelance)


My big news today is that the 2008 Christian Writers' Market Guide has gone to press and will be available the first week of January. If you aren't already signed up to get it automatically every year (see below), then you can order your copy anytime now. The automatic and paid orders go out first, so you might want to consider paying for your copy when you order it. You can either order it on my Website ( - click on Bookstore) with a credit card through PayPal, or if you'd rather pay by check, just send a check for $39 to the address on my Website.
If you want to get the guide automatically every year as soon as it is available, you will freeze your price at the current level ($34.99, plus postage) for all future editions--no matter how much the price goes up in the future. You may cancel your automatic order at any time, but will lose your frozen price if it has gone up since you signed up.
The 2008 edition includes 406 book publishers (43 new) and 677 periodicals (53 new), plus hundreds of new resources to make you job easier.


Welcome to the brand new blog for those wanting to keep up with what is happening in the Christian writing industry. These days changes happen so quickly that this seems the best way to keep you up to date on the news and views that will keep you selling. Because I have put together the annual Christian Writers' Market Guide for the last 23 years, I have my thumb on the pulse of much that happens in this industry--and I like nothing more than to share that information with you. I am just getting started with this blog, so may be playing around with the format in the next few weeks to come up with an arrangement that makes it most helpful for you. I'm certainly open to any suggestions or input you'd like to send my way.
It is not my intention to report all the news here, but will focus on those things that need to get out to you earlier than you will get them in my usual marketing column in the Christian Communicator ( )--items with a short deadline or that you'll want to know about right away. For all the news, you'll want to subscribe to that publication.
Now--let's get started.