My father, Keith Rothra, recently received word that LifeWay’s self-publishing service, CrossBooks, is closing its doors. This is quite disappointing considering his book was supposed to be released next month. That, however, will not happen, at least not with CrossBooks.
With CrossBook’s closing, man authors, like my father, are probably now wondering where to go. The good news is there are multiple avenues available both in traditional and self-publishing. I’ll outline a few below.
Traditional Publishers Tate is a Christian company that offers traditional publishing. You can submit part of your manuscript for their evaluation and, if they are interested, they will contact you. Note: I use Tate Publishing, but I receive no compensation for recommending them, nor any affiliate benefits.
UPDATE: As of June 2017 I am no longer using Tate. I terminated my contract with them for multiple reasons. You can see some Tate’s issues here.
WestBow Press – a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan
WestBow is a Christian self-publishing company that offers a variety of self-publishing packages to those seeking their services.
A privately held self-publishing company, CrossHouse is recommended by Hannibal Book Publishers (a Christian traditional publisher who is not accepting manuscripts at this time).
Xulon boasts that they are the “largest, most experienced Christian owned and operated print-on-demand self publisher of Christian books.” Some of the professors at my alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, have used Xulon. However, when I looked into them, I was left with the impression that Xulon loves… well, Xulon.
Whoever you choose to go with, whether one of these listed here or someone else, I recommend they meet the following criteria:
- Christian or Christian-based. Generally, Christian publishers will publish exclusively Christian works, whereas Christian-based companies might publish non-religious materials. In either case, both should adhere to orthodox evangelical Christian doctrine.
- They make you feel important. Some companies leave you with the impression that they love themselves (as in my experience with Xulon). Some make you feel like you matter, though the publisher does want to make money, too. Tate fulfilled this one (actually, they fulfilled all these criteria).
- Will work with you. Some publishers may have a take-it-or-leave-it approach, and there is little room for flexibility (not a good business practice in my view). However, a good publisher will work to help you in every aspect of the process. They will offer various levels of features (and costs) and help educate you about the process.
- Can get your work into online and brick-and-mortar stores. Some publishers do one, both, or none. For Christian authors, the publisher needs to be able to get your book to the big five: LifeWay, Mardel, Family Christian, ChristianBook.com, and Amazon. If they use Spring Arbor/Ingram for distribution, then all five book sellers have easy access to your work (though there are other distribution networks, Spring Arbor/Ingram is one of the biggest).
As stated, Tate met all of these criteria, and that’s why I went with them. You don’t have to use Tate. You can use any publisher you choose. However, I think the ones listed above are worth considering.
What are your thoughts? Is there a traditional (must be accepting manuscripts) or self-publishing company I overlooked? Who do you use? What’s your experience with them? Comment below, then share this story with others!