When you decide to author a Christian book, whether fiction or nonfiction, you are likely driven by the fervor of your faith beliefs. Writing faith-based books can almost feel like a calling. But, no matter what your goals are for the book — whether you decide to write a wholesome novel on Christian living, a devotional book, or a book on theology — you’ll need to know how to get a Christian book published.
When writing in this niche, it is helpful to gather guidance right from the outset. Understanding the steps to create a stellar manuscript is of paramount importance. In this article, we’ve outlined the steps to set you up for success during the writing and publishing process.
Here’s How To Get a Christian Book Published
Deciding to pen a novel or a Christian nonfiction book is both an exciting and demanding endeavor. To ensure that the process of authoring and publishing a Christian book goes smoothly, it is important to follow these steps.
Before Getting a Christian Book Published
- Flesh out your ideas. Before you begin to write, take the time to ponder the purpose of your book and the central message you wish to convey. Ask yourself the questions: who, what, when, where, and why to refine the book’s focus. Additionally, identify who your audience is within the Christian community or decide if you want to target a wider audience. Keep a notebook with a page dedicated to each of these items, and continue to sharpen the details.
- Create a book outline. A book outline can help you organize your thoughts about your book idea and flesh out some details. Create a list of chapter titles, sections, and topics. Scribble some notes about plot points, characters, and social issues that you might want to cover as ideas pop into your head. List any source materials you plan to incorporate into the book and begin gathering and organizing them.
Steps To Publishing a Christian Book
- Begin the writing process. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part of the whole project. Pray about the project, and push through any insecure feelings. As you begin typing the manuscript, be sure to understand the correct way to set up your Word document to avoid extra book formatting changes later. Decide on the point of view you will use and be consistent (i.e., first-person singular or plural, second person, or third person).
- Set up a writing schedule. Make a plan to write at a certain time each day or produce a certain number of words daily. By committing to a writing schedule and remaining disciplined, you will progress toward the finished product.
- Spruce it up. Once the first draft is completed, rewriting comes next. It is quite common for authors to complete three or four drafts before sending their book proposal or even the entire work off to a self-publishing service. Fine-tune the manuscript one chapter at a time until the copy flows smoothly, and each chapter connects with the next for a compelling read.
- Enlist a beta reader. Once you feel that your manuscript is ready, go ahead and get some eyes on it. Enlist the services of a Christian beta reader or two to give your book a once-over and provide some useful suggestions.
- Select a self-publisher. This critical step requires patience and due diligence. Use this handy rating guide published by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) to help you discern whether a particular self-publisher is a legitimate top Christian book publisher or is flatly unreliable. You will find that ALLi has rated Gatekeeper Press as “recommended.”
- Refine the book. Once a self-publisher has been selected, the real editing process begins. The self-publishing service will provide a range of editorial services to help refine the manuscript, including proofreading, copyediting, or a developmental edit. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough how important the editing phase is. Skipping this step can result in typos and grammatical errors that cause embarrassment and a loss of author credibility.
- Hire a cover designer. There is simply no way to overstate this: Your cover design is extremely important to the success of your book! Cover design can make or break how your book is received and how well it sells. Enlist the professional services of a book cover designer. This person will create a stunning cover that conveys the essence of the Christian genre and captures the tone and message of your book.
- Book design. Filling your Word document with Times New Roman 12 pt. content and turning it into a visually compelling Christian book is the last step prior to publication. Book design starts with selecting a design template. With hundreds of templates to choose from, it is best to hire a book formatter for this step. They will select a couple of complementary and readable fonts, some graphic embellishments, and decide on the finished trim size.
What To Do After Selecting a Christian Book Publisher
- Plan a book-signing event. Once you have access to hard copies of your book, your marketing plan comes into play — and it can start with a book-signing event. Reach out to your local independent bookstores or Barnes & Noble to arrange a date and begin making the preparations.
- Send copies to influencers. Select five Christian bloggers or social media influencers in industries related to your book’s topic or genre and connect with them. Offer to mail them a copy of the book and ask if they could create a blurb or even review it on their platform.
- Promote the book. Start to implement your book promotion strategy. Create some inexpensive Facebook ads that target your reader profile. Other ad platforms to consider for promotions are BookBub and Amazon advertising.
5 Christian Book Publishers
Writing a book in the Christian genre means that your book is part of a specialty niche. Whether you self-publish or go through a traditional publisher, it is always helpful to utilize the services of trusted Christian publishing companies for your faith-centered book.
Consider these five Christian publishers:
Gatekeeper Press. Gatekeeper Press is a smart and affordable publisher option. They have released a large number of books on and about the Christian faith and offer a wide array of editing and design services and book distribution.
Redemption Press. Redemption Press is a Christian publisher that provides a full range of author services, including distribution.
New Harbor Press. New Harbor Press is part of Crosslink Publishing, a respected Christian publisher specializing in e-books.
Inscript Books. Inscript Books is a subsidiary of Dove Christian Publishers, an independent publishing house. Inscript provides author-subsidized publishing services for independent Christian authors.
Abingdon Press. Abingdon Press is under the wing of the United Methodist Publishing House and specializes in nonfiction book genres across all Christian denominations.
How Much Does It Cost To Publish a Christian Book?
When you embark on your Christian book project, it is wise to create a budget at the beginning.
Consider these costs as an investment in an asset — your book — which will continue to produce income for years to come. If you want your Christian fiction or nonfiction book to be competitive with those from traditional publishers, it is essential to invest in high-quality, professional services.
The costs associated with self-publishing can vary from one provider to another. Design decisions and the book’s page count can also influence costs. The total costs for self-publishing a 60,000-word book can range from $2000 to $5000. Here is a sample breakdown:
Developmental editing: $1200 – $2000
Copy editing (also referred to as line editing): $800 – $1000
Proofreading: $500 – $700
Book formatting: $400 – $900
Cover design (e-book covers are low cost vs. print): $200 – $1200
Marketing (this varies widely by author): $50 – $800
Learn More About How To Publish a Christian Book
Your future Christian book is too amazing to put in the hands of a substandard or shady self-publishing service.
Want to know more about how to get a Christian book published? Have this special book carefully nurtured through the editing and publishing services provided by Gatekeeper Press. Gatekeeper Press is a trustworthy and reliable publishing partner that will ensure your book has the very best chance of succeeding. Reach out to them today!