Why Go with an LDS Publishing House?

I have been reading the posts and comments on your site and the more I read, the more apprehensive I become about submitting my manuscript to an LDS publishing house. From what I have gleaned, 1) books are published with less attention to grammar and quality than regular publishers, 2) royalties are very low, if not non-existent, and 3)the financial burden of publicity is carried mostly by the author. These problems don’t lend a lot of confidence in the LDS publishing industry. Since my manuscript is not themed heavily with LDS doctrine and could be accepted as regular fiction elsewhere, 4) could you give me any reason why I should consider LDS publishing houses? I would love to be surrounded by those who share my religious views, but I’m not certain if the trade-off is worth it.

  1. Some are; some aren’t. Depends on the publisher. Some national (“regular”) publishers are just as bad as the worst LDS publishers. Some LDS publishers are every bit as good as national publishers. What you have to do is take a sampling from the different publishers and decide which ones meet your standards of editing and quality.
  2. As far as I know, all LDS publishers pay royalties, so they do exist. That’s the good news. The bad news is, yes, in many cases royalties in our niche market are lower than what you would get from a national publisher, as they are in any niche market. Not only is the royalty percentage often lower than for a national equivalent, but so is the audience, which means the number of books that can be reasonably expected to sell is fewer.
  3. Again, depends on the publisher. General rule of thumb: the smaller the publisher, the less they spend on marketing and promotion. Also, the less your book sells, the smaller the slice of the marketing pie it gets. The better it sells, the more the publisher will invest in it. That’s also true of national publishers.
  4. The one and only reason to go with an LDS publisher is because your heart is there—you want to write books specifically targeted to and written about members of the LDS church.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

6 thoughts on “Why Go with an LDS Publishing House?”

  1. Excellent answer LDS Publisher. Another point to consider is the amount of time an LDS book remains on bookstore shelves compared to national market shelf life. I have friends who publish with Harlequin and Berkley who say their books only remain on bookstore shelves for 45 days. That limits sales and impacts royalties too.

  2. I don't know that the comment about LDS publishers giving less attention to grammar and quality is accurate. I just read Jeffrey Needle's review for Traci Hunter Abramson's new book, Crossfire. In it Needle writes, "It always pleases me when I see a book that is produced handsomely and solidly, still priced reasonably, and edited with care and precision. I didn't find a single typo in this book. And the production is top drawer. This book will last a long, long time."

    Sounds like someone was paying attention to quality and grammar.

  3. As LDS Publisher said, some LDS companies are better than others, and that applies to editing as well as to everything else. Abramson's book was very well edited, but others in the LDS market aren't. You've got to take it book by book.

  4. Sorry – I should have said, "some others in the LDS market are not." I didn't mean to say that Abramson's is the only one that is. 🙂

  5. LDSP's #4 hits the nail on the head. You write for the LDS market because that's where your heart is.

    I think the LDS market offers excellent books that are every bit as good (and sometimes much better) than those in the national market. We have top-notch authors that I'm sure could write for the national market but still choose to write for the LDS market.

  6. I want to publish within the realm of LDS publishers. While I write about non LDS subjects, (Assassins and non LDS religions) I want to write where I can write clean LDS friendly work and not have the "add some ***** here and here and we'll publish it"

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