How to Submit Your Book Proposal
Bethany House is no longer able to accept unsolicited manuscripts, proposals or queries by mail, telephone, e-mail, or fax.
We will consider unsolicited work only through one of the following avenues. Materials sent to our editorial staff through a professional literary agent will be considered. In addition, our staff attend various writers' conferences in which prospective authors can develop relationships with those in the publishing industry.
If you are interested in having an editor view your work, we recommend submitting it to one of two manuscript services: The Writer's Edge, available both online and in print, or ChristianManuscriptSubmissions.com, an online service of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
Note: We are no longer accepting submissions for novellas (novels under 65,000 words), poetry, memoirs, or picture books.
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Adult Fiction Guidelines
Bethany House is a leading publisher of Christian fiction. Our guiding principle is that great stories will always find an audience, and thus we consider nearly all styles and genres of fiction.
We are actively publishing and acquiring authors in the following genres:
Historical Fiction—Examples include: Ladies of Liberty series by Tracie Peterson, Daughters of Blessing series by Lauraine Snelling, A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin, Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
Historical Romance—Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist, From a Distance by Tamera Alexander, Whirlwind by Cathy Marie Hake.
Contemporary Fiction—In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols, A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman, Where My Heart Belongs by Tracie Peterson, Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer
Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense—Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann, All Through the Night by Davis Bunn, Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate
Suspense/Mystery—Road to Nowhere by Paul Robertson, Winter Haven by Athol Dickson
Supernatural Suspense—Merciless by Robin Parrish, The Watchers by Mark Andrew Olsen, Waking Lazarus by T. L. Hines
Fantasy—Legends of the Guardian-King series by Karen Hancock
Literary—Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner, Danny Gospel by David Athey.
We are not currently seeking the following genres: Western, End-Times, Spiritual Warfare, or Chick-Lit.
Successful BHP novels include the following elements:
- an intriguing, well-written story with well-developed characters, a compelling plot, colorful description, and a strong authorial voice
- a coherent, identifiable theme and/or particular characters who reflect Christian values or teachings without being preachy
- historical/geographical/social accuracy
- relationships that portray the true meaning of love—commitment and responsibility rather than merely emotional and physical attraction
- clever, original ideas and use of words
Before seeking publication by Bethany House, please read a couple of our recently published novels in your genre of interest to familiarize yourself with what/who/how we publish. Our books may be ordered directly from the Bethany House website, via other major online bookstores, or from your local bookstore.
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Non-Fiction Writer's Guidelines
Bethany House is an evangelical publisher of books in a broad range of categories. Non-fiction bestsellers include Becoming A Vessel God Can Use, I'm Too Young To Be This Old, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, Telling Yourself the Truth, Where Does A Mother Go to Resign? and The Kingdom of the Cults. (BHP publishes no poetry or music.)
We are seeking well-planned and developed books in the following categories:
Books that help the lay person apply biblical truths to everyday life. (e.g. Roll Away Your Stone, Beyond the Lie)
Unique, stimulating approaches geared to specific audiences. (e.g. Grace for Each Hour, Quiet Moments in the Presence of God)
Marriage and Family
Biblical principles for roles and relationships which will nurture love and communication. (e.g. Creating an Intimate Marriage, The Smart Stepfamily)
Books written by women, for women on various topics of concern to today's Christian woman. (e.g., Here for You, Prayer Starters for Busy Moms)
Thoughtful, challenging books for those who desire a deeper walk with God. (e.g. Authority in Prayer, Jesus: An Intimate Portrait)
Theological topics investigated and explained for the lay person with practical application. (e.g. King James Only Controversy, Scripture Alone)
An exploration of timely subjects from a uniquely Christian view point. (e.g. Compassionate Caregiving, May I Walk You Home, Out of Mormonism)
Manuscripts generally range between 35,000 and 65,000 words, depending on the type of book. Once a contracted manuscript satisfies our editorial requirements, we assume all costs of production and distribution (the author is responsible for expenses incurred on inside art or photos). The author receives a royalty on each book sold, the rate being comparable with that paid by other publishers.
Our books are promoted through our trade catalog, dealer mailings, and ads in booksellers' journals and leading Christian magazines. The books are sold to bookstores by a nationwide network of sales representatives, by major American and Canadian distributors, and by distributors in over twenty foreign countries.
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Children's and Teen Books Fiction
Bethany House is an evangelical publisher of books in a broad range of categories, from preschool to adult. As the premier publisher of youth fiction in the Christian market, our list contains many bestselling series, including Three Cousins Detective Club®, Mandie® Books, and Holly's Heart..
We do not accept unsolicited proposals for full-color picture books, nor do we publish cartoons, biographies, poetry, or short stories.
Middle-Grade Readers (ages 8-13)
Bethany has several strong-selling series for middle readers. Although we are scaling back in this area, we will consider unique, imaginative stories (40,000 to 60,000 words) with believable characters who grow and change as a result of the events in the story. A Christian theme should be delicately woven into each book. Examples: Friends For a Season, Accidental Detectives.
Teens (ages 12 and up)
Fiction manuscripts for preteens and teens should be at least 60,000 words and should contain believable characters with real-life appeal; contemporary issues woven into a strong plot; and circumstances with which young adults identify. Scriptural themes should be skillfully crafted into the story in a way that is not preachy or tacked on. We are looking for suspenseful stories with strong take-away value. Successful series include Stranger in the Chatroom.
About Your Youth Fiction Manuscript:
- Is the language appropriate for the intended age group?
- Have you checked your facts?
- Is the plot too complex? too simplistic?
- Is the theme realistic and meaningful to today's youth?
- Are there books in the market similar to your idea? If so, what makes yours unique?
- Does your main character have a clearly defined goal he or she is trying to achieve?
- Does your story build to a natural, effective climax?
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Bethany House has a history of publishing strong, relevant nonfiction for children and teens of all ages. A sampling of bestselling titles includes Could Someone Wake Me Up Before I Drool on the Desk?; Hero Tales; and Under God. We are seeking well-planned and thoughtfully developed books with an outstanding ability to communicate with youth.
We're looking for unique, stimulating tools for middle readers and early and late teens to use in their personal quiet times or in youth group settings. Titles include Total Devotion, Wake Up and Smell the Pizza, and Living Under God.
Information on and answers to the issues most relevant to today's youth. University of Destruction and What's the Deal With Wicca? are examples of topics we've published in the past.
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Do Your Homework:
Familiarize yourself with our company and what types of books we publish. Study our catalog and your local Christian bookstore shelves to determine where there might be a need. (To obtain a copy of our catalog, send an 11 x 14 self-addressed envelope with five first-class stamps affixed.)