Publishing Credentials

Do you judge LDS authors by LDS standards even when they are writing for the national market?

I’m LDS. That is part of what defines me as an individual. As such, I judge everything by LDS standards. There are certain standards I expect in the books that I read, as well as in books that I publish. Those standards are strongly influenced by my religious beliefs. There are lines that I cannot cross. Regardless of the author’s religious beliefs, or lack of them, I have serious issues with pornography, graphic violence, and situations where behaviors condemned by my religion are promoted and upheld as the ideal. My line in the sand is drawn in the same spot for all authors, regardless of the market for which they are writing.

That said, the intended readership influences what is acceptable in an LDS book versus what is acceptable in the national market. For example, in my opinion, frequent and vile profanity is inappropriate regardless of the market. However, in the national market, an occasional h** and d** is tolerable for me, as well as for most readers in that market, including readers who also happen to be LDS. I would not have a problem if an LDS author included some light swearing in their national books, although, personally, I don’t think it’s necessary. In the LDS market, any amount of swearing can be a problem because it will offend the majority of the intended readership.

[Now, if you’re asking if I think Stephenie Meyer should have kept the boyfriend (vampire or otherwise) out of her main character’s bedroom at night or if I think the fact that the girl is silly, immature, manipulative and lies to her father shows a disloyalty to Meyer’s LDS values, my answer is, give it a rest! I am so tired of hearing about this. First, spend your energy talking to your children about what types of behaviors are and are not appropriate, and worry about keeping the boyfriends out of your own daughter’s bedroom rather than worrying about whether or not Meyer is a good enough Mormon. And second, if your daughter is reading Twilight (which is incredibly tame by national standards and not too far off base for LDS standards—aside from the whole vampires don’t exist thing), be grateful she’s not reading others in the same genre (such as Sunshine by Robin McKinley.)]

Would you publish an LDS author in the LDS market after that author had written national books that didn’t support LDS standards?

It depends on how offensive I found their national books. (Read here.)

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Question: how do you define “published”? If something has been published but it’s not fiction, and therefore not in the genre we’re testing waters in now, does that count as being published?

For the purposes of the Christmas contest (details to be announced soon), published means:

  • fiction only
  • book, newspaper, magazine, or paid online publication
  • traditional publisher or self-published

For the purposes of submission, it usually means anything that someone besides your mother has paid you real money for the rights print. Self-publishing doesn’t count unless you’ve sold several thousand.

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Sordid Pasts

September 13, 2007

This is a little embarrassing. Thank you for letting us be anonymous. I have previously published some stories where the main characters’ behaviors are–uh–not quite up to LDS standards. It was a long time ago and I sort of regret it now, but what’s done is done. I haven’t written anything in several years, but […]

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Legitimate Contests

May 8, 2007

Do you think we can use [winning the question contest] on our cover letters? No. Very few of my colleagues even know this blog exists, so they would have no idea what you were talking about. Besides, this is not a legit writing contest. I know you were joking, but here’s what you can use–legitimate […]

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High Risk Manuscripts

April 3, 2007

Hi LDS Publisher, How much impact does a first-time author’s sales from their first novel have on your decision to accept another manuscript from them? If a book sells only about 600 copies in the first year, would you be hesitant to accept their next manuscript, if that manuscript was good? Thanks. Unless I am […]

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Contest Creds

December 6, 2006

Dear LDSpublisher, I’ve been thinking about entering some writing contests. I fully understand that these contests, in order to protect their rights to the first-place pieces, often request you withdraw your piece from submission circulation until their winners are announced. For some competitions, that can mean a wait of 6, 7, or 8 months from […]

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