f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: The Books Themselves

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

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Books Themselves

You are new. You are reading this site trying to figure out if your book might be of interest to me and to Bethany House. To make it simple, here’s what I’m seeking:

1. Gripping story.
2. Superior to excellent writing.
3. Writers with a built-in audience that will help sell books.

The problem is that every publisher in the world is seeking these things. So I’ll come at you in another way.

My job is built on filling acquisitions needs in two areas.

The first is mainstream CBA fiction.

Bethany House is a very reputable and successful publisher of CBA fiction. We bring years of expertise to this role. If you have an ORIGINAL, well-written, and mostly completed book, I’ll talk to you about most anything. Probably not end-times fiction. Probably not hard-core science-fiction. Biblical fiction is tough.

My particular areas of acquisitions tend toward the genres: suspense, mystery, thrillers, men’s fiction, romance, fantasy, plus general and literary fiction. Women’s fiction historical and historical fiction, I’ll always read, but may pass you to another editor down the road.

The second area is emergent or crossover or postmodern Christian fiction, or whatever the new term is for the branch off this main trunk.

This is the writing that leaves the mainstream and ends up on the margins. There is no definitive line for when that happens.

They can be—in theme, structure, or craft—different or more challenging from the norm. They should not be as much about providing definitive answers to questions of faith, as simply raising and thinking through questions of faith. They can with intention and purpose, push and/or examine some of the content boundaries infamous in CBA. Though they need to be Christian, they can be written from a perspective outside American evangelical Christianity. They can be urban, multi-racial, international, or anything outside our somewhat homogenized fiction offerings.

They are the Gileads, the Peace Like a Rivers, the Godrics. The Lying Awakes and the Saint Maybes.

Frankly, they face a tougher road and need to be even better written and more compelling than those straight down the heart of CBA. They may be stories we’re still not able to pick up. But given BHP’s devotion to Christian literature and Baker Publishing Group’s greater devotion to providing quality books to the widest variety of readers, there are now far broader opportunities within the company as a whole to approach titles that might not otherwise seem like a match with Bethany.

For more questions, feel free to email me. I’m working through a backlog at the moment, but I’ll get to you.