Please forgive me if my question is not typical for your blog.
It was recommended to me that because I am LDS, I might have more success in finding someone who will publish or represent my YA fantasy novel if I submit my manuscript to LDS publishers.
My understanding of LDS publishers is that they prefer their material to appeal to members of the LDS faith.
The only elements in the novel that I think would make it more desirable (not necessarily marketable) to an LDS YA audience over a non-LDS market, is the lack of profanity/suggestive themes/ gratuitous violence etc… (which is inherent in my writing because I am LDS). My question is if this is grounds enough to query my MS to an LDS publisher, of if I should stick with seeking a traditional agent/publisher. I imagine the worst that can happen if I did, is that my query won’t garner any reply. However, I should hate to waste the editor’s time if I should have known in advance they won’t consider my work since there’s nothing that would really make it specific to the LDS market.
Also, were I to consider submitting a query/MS, would it be better to cater my query to the particular editor, or to send out my generic query and include a separate cover sheet with an explanation of why my novel will appeal to an LDS market?
Many LDS publishers will consider fiction that has no overt LDS message or characters. A few recent examples from the big three LDS publishers are:
- The 13th Reality series by James Dashner, published by Shadow Mountain (imprint of Deseret Book)
- A Time to Die by Jeffrey S. Savage, published by Covenant
- Flecks of Gold by Alicia Buck, published by Cedar Fort
There are also quite a few LDS authors writing books with clean content that are being picked up by national publishers. These four are YA, three of them fantasy.
- The Limit by Kristen Landon, published by Aladdin
- The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson, published by Scholastic
- Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George, published by Bloomsbury
- My Double Life by Janette Rallison, published by Putnam
So the answer to your first question is yes. Yes, there are national publishers who are looking for clean YA fantasy. Yes, there are LDS publishers looking for clean YA fantasy with no LDS references.
The answer to your second question is that you should ALWAYS customize your query to your specific editor, publisher or agent. Always.
8 thoughts on “Clean YA Fantasy”
Good to know! I always wonder about whether I should go for the national market or the LDS market, seeing as my work isn't LDS-themed, but is still clean and uplifting. Thanks for the advice!
Um, in A Time to Die, the main character (Shandra) is Mormon. It only comes up a couple of times, though.
what makes a story LDS themed? Does it have to talk about the gospel? Talk about wards and stakes and patriarchal blessings? Can it simply have LDS characters and be considered LDS themed?
From what I understand, LDS themed would be something that is of more interest to members of the LDS church than the general public. It's a vague answer, I know, but it's the best I've got!
You have LDS characters and an LDS publisher. I have read several of your books and I believe they could be categorized as appealing an LDS and non-LDS audience. How do you view your work as far as intended audience is concerned?
I know I have a lot of readers who are not LDS. Even though I have an LDS publisher, I try to write books that both audiences can enjoy.
That is how I try to write my novels. I want to attract the widest possible audience possible.
Just be careful to define your work in terms of what it IS–uplifting, fun, exciting, original, whatever. Not just in terms of what it doesn't have in it.
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