Once you could get published by a royalty-paying house if you had something to say and could write. Now you need a platform on the scale of a megachurch pastor.
I started as an unknown, but a publisher liked my writing and took a chance. That hardly happens today.
Why not traditional publishing?
As owner of the Christian Writers Guild for twelve years, I’ve been trying to get people from unknown and unpublished to where they’re ready to land a contract. But times have changed. Most of them still can’t get published.
Traditional publishers have tightened their belts, and they keep demanding bigger platforms. The market is missing out on books that should be published.
Why not traditional self-publishing?
I’ve opposed self-publishing because so often it meant a writer had sent somebody a check and their manuscript — and the company printed virtually whatever they received.
I’d see Foreword misspelled as if we’re moving forward, Acknowledgments with the British spelling, and sans serif body type — which everyone in publishing knows is hard to read.
Those usually signal poorly written books with little or no editing or proofreading. Even if the message is sound, the cover and internal typography shout to potential readers that this is an amateur effort.
In Writing for the Soul I say, “You’re not being published. You’re just being printed. And you’re paying for it.”
Frustrated writers would say, “That’s easy for you to say because you have a name.” Today good writing has become less important than platform. And even if you succeed in building an audience, traditional publishers are publishing fewer titles.
Why not something better?
For months I wrestled with how I could help. What I came up with is neither traditional publishing nor the usual self-publishing. I call it:
● come-alongside publishing
● mentored publishing
● educated publishing
The Christian Writers Guild has launched a new course called Published. We’ll teach you everything you need to know so that when you complete the course and send us your manuscript, CWG Publishing will publish your book.
You’ll get a mentor for the course, and then for your manuscript you’ll get:
● an editor
● a proofreader
● a cover designer
● a type designer and typesetter
● e-book formatting.
Beyond that, we offer a free package of social media, marketing, and publicity tips.
At the end of the process you’ll have a published book you can be proud of — and that is worthy to compete against any traditionally published title.
Jerry B. Jenkins is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 180 books, including the best-selling Left Behind series. He owns the Christian Writers Guild (www.ChristianWritersGuild.com). His latest release is The Breakthrough (Tyndale).