The Big Dogs
MY HISTORY WITH TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS (OTHER THAN AMBASSADOR): In 2007, one of my devotions was included in The One Year Life Verse Devotional by Jay Payleitner and Tyndale House Publishers. In 2012, I was interviewed by Jocelyn Green for a book by her, Karen Whiting, and God & Country Press (an imprint of AMG Publishers), Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front. And in 2016, I was invited to join the team of authors to write devotions and prayers for the Military Families Bible for Holman Bible Publishers (B & H Publishing Group).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Big 5?
The five biggest trade publishers in America (in terms of books sold), commonly called the Big 5, are: Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan. Many of the publishing house names that we know are divisions of these five. Scholastic, one many of us know from school book sales, is ranked number six. The big Christian publishing houses, like B & H Publishing or Tyndale House, are farther down the list.
How do I sell my manuscript to them?
How much input do I get into cover design and editing changes?
This depends on your contract and the publisher. Some allow their authors more than others; some allow very little. Ask detailed questions about the process and the parts most important for you to retain some control over before you sign on the dotted line.
What if I don't like the decisions that are being made?
First, try to remember that everyone is on the same team. Everyone at the publishing house, including the editor and cover designer, want your book to succeed. They have knowledge and experience that you don’t. Give them the benefit of the doubt whenever you can. If something really bothers you, start a discussion. If you went through an agent, you can start by sharing your concerns or questions with him or her. If it’s a problem with editing, talk with your editor, or if it’s with the cover design, talk to the designer. Ask why certain decisions are being made, listening for insight to the market that you may not understand. Finally, if you really don’t like what’s being done, refer to your contract. Often, a paragraph will be included as to how disputes will be handled.