Publisher Panel

Panel members:

Christopher Bigelow – Zarahemla Books
Lisa Mangum – Deseret Books
Kammi Rencher – Cedar Fort Inc.
Kirk Shaw – Covenant Communications

A question was asked about why there are not agents in the LDS market, and if the publishers would work with them, should an author get them. Resoundingly the publishers said yes, they would work with them. However, since the LDS market is so small, there just aren’t that many agents in the market.

A question was asked about what kind of historical fiction is DB looking for. Lisa Mangum says anything, with the exception of Book of Mormon historical fiction. Kirk says that Covenant likes to look at books with a ‘unique look’ on history. Things that haven’t been done.

A question was asked about ‘is there a particular content you don’t allow in your books’? Zarahemla says, “we allow anything in our books.” Then laughed. That is not true, but he does say that they tend to allow things that the other publishers do not allow. He says that Zarahemla allows things a little more ‘earthy’. DB says that don’t like swearing, graphic sex, etc. They want PG topics. Kammi says the same thing. She says there are things that we may need to discuss, but it needs to be done tactfully. Kirk says they had a great book sent to them about polygamy, but since they don’t publish that topic, they couldn’t accept it. Plus, no mountain dew.

A questions was asked, “does .99999999999 (repeating, of course) really equal 1?” The answer came back, “I’m not sure. The answer is yes.

Chris Bigelow says they are looking for quality books that were rejected by DB, Covenant, etc., because they were a bit too ‘adventurous’.

When sending manuscripts to Christian publishers, do you have to hide your Utah address? Lisa says the sad truth is that sometimes you do. Utah has a reputation among Christian publishers and book sellers.

What is expected of an author in regards to doing their own marketing? Authors should do a lot, if not the majority. Here is my problem, I hate to market my stuff. Lisa says, “we want you to do as much as you can do.” Covenant says, “we have found that book signing doesn’t do much.” They prefer their authors to come in and talk with their marketing team, find ways that they can push their book.

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One Response to Publisher Panel

  1. Josi says:

    I didn’t make it to the publisher panel so thanks for the report–also, everyone’s been commenting on how young Mathew looks, honestly he looks about 22 years old–and he’s got 5 kids, wow.

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