Christian Fiction

Does anybody here have any experience with Christian fiction publishing? I have a project in the works, and would like some orientation as to where to start in the publication process.

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mmarprelate's picture

I am working on Novel number six. I primarily write Christian Science Fiction. It is not the most marketable of genres. Christian fiction readership is made up mainly of middle-aged women and so publishers are looking for works which appeal to that category. Almost no publisher accepts unsolicited manuscripts any more. Here's the general procedure (and I am not speaking from experience since I have yet to get anything published).

1. Write. Write a lot. Finish books. Edit them. Rewrite them. Polish them. Write. Write.
2. Market yourself. Set up a web site or blog featuring you and your writing. Attract a following.
3. Find an agent (this is not easy either).
4. If the agent is able to place your work, be prepared to market it again.

Alternatively you can self-publish. Go to Lulu or something like that where you can print short runs of your books. Set up your own personal ecommerce business using Amazon or Yahoo to sell the books. Use plenty of keywords on your web site and try to build "buzz." If you can get Amazon to pick up the book as one their SKUs, you may see some volume. If you have a successful book (greater than several hundred copies sold), a publishing house may pick you up.

If you have any talent for writing Christian youth fiction, try submitting to JourneyForth (BJU Press). They will review unsolicited submissions and are actively looking for youth fiction. I tried that and discovered I don't have a particular talent for writing youth fiction (it's a lot harder than it looks). I will probably recast that novel as adult Christian fiction at some point.

Also, one thing that helps me, is to cultivate a group of friends willing to read and honestly review your work. There are 8 or 10 folks who get my stuff chapter by chapter. If they like it, it serves as an ego booster to encourage you to continue writing. Another thing I am contemplating is coughing up the $300 to attend a Christian writers conference. There are some attended by writers and publishers which gives you some face time with the people you need to meet.

Finally... keep writing. That's how you learn it.

Hope this helps.

MM

Andrew Comings's picture

Thank you so much for your comments. I have read similar things, but you really laid it out for me in terms I could understand. I especially appreciated your details about the self-publishing route.

Thanks again!

Missionary in Brazil, author of "The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max" Online at: http://www.comingstobrazil.com http://cadernoteologico.wordpress.com

Deb Brammer's picture

I have just joined SharperIron and this is my first post. I have written for Christian publication for 30 years. Regular Baptist Press has published over 125 of my articles and Bob Jones University Press has published 4 of my fiction books. A few years ago I felt the Lord leading me to help mentor Christian writers so I started a website that gives lots of detailed help for new writers. I have 37 articles so far which talk about many aspects of writing including how to get started in publication, marketing, writing for a market, and if you should write a book. I suggest you start there and see if that helps. http://www.DebBrammer.com/writers-circle/writing-articles/

Deb Brammer

Deb Brammer