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 Publishing

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.

Self-Publishing

WestBow Pressa 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.

CrossHouse Publishing

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 Press

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!

John L. Rothra

John, or "Dr. J" as is friends call him, is an author, speaker, blogger, and YouTuber. He's also a bassist and a huge Buffalo Bills fan. He creates online content to inspire and inform to help improve lives. John holds a PhD in evangelism, pastored/preached for over a decade, and currently serves as Web Administrator for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. John is available for speaking engagements.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. My book, “Mr. Newheart”‘ the story of my 1991 heart transplant was published by Infinity Publishing. The do an excellent job for about $850.

    I also made an E-book of it at no cost with lulu.com – http://www.lulu.com/dshollar.

    I do not see the advantage of using a Christian publisher when their prices are so high.

  2. I discovered your post this October and wonder if those who did publish with CrossBooks automatically get their rights back to their title as a result of this publisher going out of business? My title, Winds Of Change, David C Russell, was to be referred to WestBow who have yet to contact me. I would like to get the book back out there again but will look for a publisher who is not going to close shop anytime soon. Or, arrange to have printed and sell copies myself. Thank you for your post about this.
    David

    1. David, I hope you have received answers to your questions. If you have not, you can contact Redemption Press.We have a lot of experience helping authors get their books back into print after other publishing companies have closed doors. Redemption Press is here to stay as the owner has been in the industry for over 20 years! You can call us at (844) 273-3336 Mon-Fri 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM PST

  3. CrossHouse Publishing was my publisher for my first two books. I contacted them today to send my third manuscript and they TOO are closing their doors as of January 1, 2016. I am sad to know this because they were so very good to work with and Katie Welch (the owner) was a real professional. Now, that leaves only WestBow and Xulon on your list above.

    1. Hello J.D. If you have yet to find a new publisher, I encourage you to contact Redemption Press to see if we can meet your needs. Redemption Press is here to stay as the owner has been in the industry for over 20 years! You can call us at (844) 273-3336 Mon-Fri 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM PST

  4. There is also Redemption Press. It is a Christian company that believes in putting the author first.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Brenda!

  5. There is also Scribe (www.scribenet.com) that offers professional services to a large number of Christian publishers as well as individual authors. Scribe’s services are not a cookie-cutter alternative to Amazon. Rather, they offer professional publisher services to ensure that your book is to the highest publication standards.

  6. Tate is not a traditonal publisher. Clever advertising, but far from a reputable traditional publisher.

  7. Hey John – thanks for mentioning WestBow Press! We’ve offered to continue distribution of any CrossBooks title at no additional cost to the author for updating and resubmitting your print and ebook files. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or help in any way.

    1. Pardon my delayed replay, Pete. Thank you for your assistance with those who were with CrossBooks. I know that while CrossBooks, WestBow, and others are technically competitors in the market, they are partners in a much, much larger cause: the gospel of Jesus Christ. God bless you, WestBow, and the entire HarperCollins family!

    2. I would like to hear from WestBow Press. I have published 2 books with CrossHouse Publishing and they are not publishing anymore as of 1/1/16. I have my third book ready for publishing. My first two were entitled, “Faith in Rhyme” and “Faith in Rhyme Volume 2” I now have the third book completed which I anticipated calling simply,
      “Faith in Rhyme Volume 3” but I’m not sure where I go from here.
      J.D. Baskin
      jdb@townecos.com

    3. My mother published 3 books with Crossbow and has contacted WestBow about them and they act like they never heard of them. Please, email comment to RAE.Phil.4.8@gmail.com. She has her 4th book ready to be published.

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