f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Day 3 of Our CBA Publishing Tour—Those on the Fringe

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Day 3 of Our CBA Publishing Tour—Those on the Fringe

Kregel Publishers – They’re really not on the fringe, but I forgot them yesterday. Another publisher based out of Grand Rapids, they have a fairly small fiction line.

The rest of the publishers somehow don’t fit the full, unstated definition of CBA publisher. They typically do some interesting projects or have a more significant general market presence.

Paraclete - This is an ECPA publisher who never is treated as a CBA publisher because their books aim almost exclusively away from the evangelical market. They have a fiction line and are announcing the winner of a “first-novel contest” at the Festival of Faith and Writing.

Doubleday Religion - Though they have mostly nonfiction on their website, I know their intention is to begin building a fiction line. We’ll see how they do and what line is drawn between their books and Waterbrook’s books, who Random House/Doubleday already owns. Doubleday also publishes John Grisham, who can be Christian when he wants to, and Dan Brown who fictionalize Christian history to just this side of blasphemy.

Random House - Technically Random House and Doubleday are owned by the same group, so I don’t know the exact distinction between them, but Random House does their own small amount of Christian publishing. Mostly they pick up the big names who they think can cross boundaries. They paid through the nose for Babylon Rising, Tim LaHaye’s follow-up to Left Behind and also released Davis Bunn’s Great Divide.

Penguin - Penguin/Putnam is a huge publishing group that just happens to be home to one Jan Karon. You’ve probably heard of her. She released them originally with a tiny publisher, but nothing happened with them. Penguin picked them up and Mitford made it to the map. Penguin also did some books with the Thoene’s.

Warner Faith - Warner Books is part of the Time Warner conglomerate that also owns Little, Brown. They publish some fiction including some novels by Patricia Hickman, Lisa Samson, and T.D. Jakes, which put them in the mainstream of CBA. They also have an interesting co-publishing agreement with Walk Worthy Press, publishing house for African-American Christian women.

Ignatius Press - One of the premier Catholic publishers in the country, Ignatius doesn’t get much of a glance from CBA readers, but they do some wonderful books including the Father Brown mysteries by G. K. Chesterton and the works of Michael O’Brien.

Harper San Francisco - Nothing gets evangelicals more in a knot than a publisher like Harper San Francisco who dares to publish “religion and spirituality” books from a wide swath of ideologies. They picked up Phillip Gulley and his Harmony after Multnomah dropped him for saying everyone eventually goes to Heaven. They also publish beloved author Frederick Buechner and I’m sure a lot of other Christian writers who don’t get much face time in CBA stores. HarperCollins the parent company did Lamb, Mr. Ive’s Christmas, Ron Hansen’s fiction, and has Bridge of San Luis Rey in the fold.

Like HarperCollins, most of the major publishers have a handful or even more than a handful of books that fit the bill of faith in fiction. The books are everywhere. The matter is simply to find an editor somewhere who’ll read your work, support it, and pitch it to his publisher with only its success in mind.

I’m that guy here. If you’ve a book idea, contact me and we’ll begin chatting. Otherwise, keep writing and see where the story takes you.