Traditional Publishing – Questions Answered

small me2Hello, lovely readers.  Ginger here.

Today I’m going to reveal to you what I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks as I prepared for my post on traditional publishing.

Aren’t you excited?

Since I’m not published, traditionally or otherwise, I couldn’t speak from experience on this one, so I went to my fellow authors for some feedback. I asked them six questions about their experiences with traditional publishing. I’ve compiled their answers below.

Question 1: With whom are you traditionally published?

Some of these were duplicated among the authors who responded to my poll. This is by no means a complete list of traditional publishers.

Avalon(now out of business), Barbour, Summerside Press, Guideposts, B&H(no longer doing fiction), Abingdon, Bethany House, Baker/Revell, Zondervan/Harper Collins, Harlequin, Waterbrook Press, Harvest House, River North(Moody Publishers), Whitaker House, Leafwood Publishers, and Tyndale House

Question 2: How many books do you have published traditionally?

The number of books published varied from one to forty-nine. What a plethora of experience.

Question 3: Do you also publish with a small press or self-publish? Why or why not?

Most answered that they did not have a book published by a small press or self-pubbed because they liked the power of the traditional publisher name, and the book advance. 🙂

A few of the authors have done both or are considering doing so in the future.

Question 4: What do you feel is the best thing about being published with a traditional publisher?

This answer sparked a variety of answers. Here’s the list:

  • Power of the name
  • Notice by big-name bookstores
  • Advertising
  • Marketing support
  • Overseas sales
  • Editing
  • Cover art
  • Team effort
  • Monetary advance
  • They take all the risk

Question 5: What is the worst?

Again this list varied according to the author. Here are some of their answers:

  • Disagreeing with editor over story content, especially faith issues
  • Bad cover art
  • Not guaranteed a next contract *side note by Ginger – this also applies to small presses
  • Waiting for the book to release
  • Limitations in what’s acceptable, which varies according to publisher

Question 6: Approximately how long does it take from the signing of your contract to release date?

One author had her novel released in e-book format in four months, but the average time from contract to release date varied from nine to eighteen months, with the longest being three years.


Before I close, I did a little more research on the submission guidelines for the above mentioned publishers. Here’s the list(correct as of this posting date, but subject to change):

Tyndale House, Whitaker House, Moody Publishers, Harvest House, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing, Abingdon Press, Baker Books, Bethany House, and Revell do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. To submit to them, you must have an agent or have met with a representative at a conference.

Summerside Press is to be discontinued, announced this past week. You can read more here.

Guideposts also accepts submissions through their website. Visit here to learn more. Also see above link for Summerside Press as Guideposts non-fiction trade has also been discontinued.

Zondervan accepts unsolicited manuscripts in a few non-fiction categories. If you write non-fiction, click here for more information.

HarperCollins does not accept unsolicited manuscripts except for their Avon romance line. Click here for that information.

Harlequin has an extensive system set up to accept submissions. You can find it here.

Leafwood Press accepts submissions. Here are their guidelines.

If you are published with a traditional publishing house other than the ones I’ve listed, please feel free to post their name, and whether they accept unsolicited submissions (please no links, we can google).

Writing Prompt: Leisa clicked the cursor over her e-mail program. Would today be the day? Scrolling through, she squealed when the editor’s name appeared in her inbox….

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