Who's the Best?

I'm a writer, and after I put together my proposal I felt that maybe I should look into the world of LDS publishing because of the subject matter in my book. Which is the best publisher for LDS authors?

First, if it's fiction, you'll need more than a proposal. You'll need the full manuscript. If it's non-fiction, a proposal may be enough (check the publishers' websites for submission guidelines) but you'll need to be able to show sample chapters soon after, if they're interested.

Now for the rest of your question. It depends on your book, it's content, and what you want to do with it.

Deseret Book is generally considered the "best" publisher for LDS authors of books with LDS content because they've been in business the longest. They are very well established in the minds of the customer and they have a reputation for good products. They also have the largest distribution network for LDS books AND a zillion of their own stores.

For getting your book on LDS bookstore shelves and in front of the LDS reader, Deseret Book is arguably the "best"—if they accept your book.

But. Here's the downside.

Because DB is at the top of the list in the minds of most LDS authors and readers, they also receive the most submissions and, therefore, send out the most rejections. The competition for acceptance at DB is fierce.

After an author is rejected from Deseret Book (I'm not saying that you WILL be rejected, just talking probabilities based on numbers), there are quite a few other LDS publishers to consider. I am not going to recommend any here. You need to do your own research.

Start by Googling "LDS Publishers" and see what pops up. Talk to published LDS authors about their experiences—which publishers they'd recommend and which they didn't care for. Then find a match for you and submit!


Steve Westover said...

Every publisher has its strengths and weaknesses, just like every author. Your advice is good, each author should research which publisher is the right fit for their manuscript and work from there.

Marny said...

Deseret Book also publishes less fiction than other companies, so it's harder to get accepted. (They published 19 novels last year, compared to 30 from Covenant and 34 from Cedar Fort.)

Look at publishers that publish the same type of book as yours--that may be the "best" publisher.

Annette Lyon said...

What Marny said. :)

To some extend, Covenant is the leader in LDS fiction as far as number of novels produced and distribution.

Every publisher definitely has pros and cons.

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

When I prepared to submit my first LDS novel, I spent a decent amount of time looking through titles at the nearest LDS bookstore to see which company had published titles that were similar to what I had written, both in style and genre. I ranked the different publishers and found that Covenant was the best fit for me. I've been with them ever since.

Rebecca Talley said...

"Best" is in the eye of the beholder. You'll find satisfied and dissatisfied authors at all publishing houses, including the national ones. Define your goals for your work and then find a publisher that you feel will best meet those goals.

Good advice, LDSP.