National Publishing

Hi, I’m a fiction writer. I want to query one or more of the LDS publishers, but I don’t know which ones are the largest and with which one I would have the best chance of getting into the national market. I have already been rejected by Shadow Mountain. I’m thinking Covenant or Cedar Fort. Am I right? If so, which? (My book is absolutely clean, no profanity etc., but contains no references to LDS history, doctrine, or anything else LDS.) Is there anywhere to be found, a list of rankings of LDS publishers in terms of size, books published per year etc.?

In terms of size and name recognition, it goes

  1. Deseret Book (with its Shadow Mountain imprint)
  2. Covenant (also owned by Deseret Book; does not have a national market)
  3. Cedar Fort (has both LDS and national imprints)

In terms of the number of fiction titles released each year, flip that list upside down and you’ve got it.

There is also WiDo Publishing, a smaller new publishing company which markets nationally.

But I guess my question is, if you really want to hit the national market, why are you looking at LDS publishers? Look for a national publisher instead.


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Not too long ago, I was at a writers conference. During the lunch break, the people sitting at my table were talking about their publishing credentials and the state of the publishing industry in general. One person was obnoxiously bragging about her national publisher and how wonderful they are—specifically, how quick they were to recognize the quality of her work and to accept her, when all of the LDS publishers had turned her down (one of which had the audacity to tell her that her writing was not up to par).

I could tell that some of the others at the table were very impressed with her, particularly one struggling unpublished author. When the bragging published author offered to connect the newbie with her publisher, I spoke up and asked who her publisher was.

Author House.

I could see most of the other people at the table mentally realigning their assessment of her and her talent.

But the newbie didn’t know what Author House was, so she wrote down the URL the author gave her, excitedly promising to look them up as soon as she got home.

I didn’t say anything at the table. In my experience, it doesn’t do any good to tell an author like that the “truth” about her experience, but I did take the newbie aside before the conference was over. Not sure I convinced her not to try it but at least I did my civic duty, right?

So one more time for the record (and I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir here), Author House is not a real publisher. It is a vanity/subsidy press. So is Publish America. And iUniverse, and Vantage Press, and Xlibris, and. . . there’s no way I can put a complete list here.

But I’ve talked about vanity presses before here and here.

And you can find more info on them here

Is there a time when a vanity press is a good choice? Yes. I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

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LDS or National Market?

September 29, 2008

I love reading your LDS Publisher blog, and have a question I hope you’ll consider for the blog. I’m LDS, and I’ve written a fluffy romantic comedy. My book has characters who are LDS, who behave in ways that are consistent with LDS values, but the book itself isn’t an LDS book. It doesn’t use […]

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LDS Content, National Market

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Suppose an author has a finely written, solid manuscript that that deals with universal issues (family, friends, self-worth, love, etc) and is set in an LDS community and has mainly LDS characters. Assume you believe the story would sell well in the LDS niche, but would also have some appeal to the mainstream market. In […]

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