Best-selling Christian author and founder of the Christian Writers Guild, Jerry Jenkins, has recently announced that he has launched a self-publishing company.
For many years, Jerry Jenkins has discouraged new writers from self-publishing, but in a recent about-face, Jerry reports that too many good new authors are ignored by Christian royalty publishing houses because they are unknown. To help this problem, Jerry has launched Christian Writers Guild Publishing.
However, I question Jerry’s real motives. I think he is out to make money and a lot of money.
The article I recently read in Publishers’ Weekly stated that if an author is accepted by Christian Writers Guild Publishing to have a book published, they must pay $10,000 – yes, you heard that right. The $10,000 fee includes a six-month writing course and mentoring by a published author.
Folks, I have one warning for you: BEWARE.
In today’s day and age, you do not need to go into debt or sell your car to publish a book. Really! No book is ever going to recoup you the $10,000 you pay to get it printed (okay, there have been a few, a very few, exceptions to this rule).
Before you spend this kind of money on self-publishing a book, I encourage you to do your research.
The most affordable way to publish a book (other than finding a royalty publishing house to produce it) is to do it yourself. Purchase an ISBN, then hire an editor, a proofreader, a typesetter (check out Crest Publisher Services), a cover designer (or use a software program like BookCoverPro Software), and then use a print-on-demand service such as Lightning Source, Snowfall Press, or CreateSpace to print and distribute your book. This can all be done for much less than $10,000.
If you truly don’t want to do all the work yourself, there are other more affordable services out there. Some of the member publishers of Christian Small Publishers Association offer authors self-publishing options. For example, Halo Publishing offers self-publishing packages that range from $800 to $5,000. Truth Book Publishers offers book publishing packages that run from $800 to $2500. These services help authors bring their book to print at a much more affordable price.
Of course, whatever route you choose, to sell books, you must market them. The marketing will be your responsibility. If that is the case, I encourage you to arm yourself with knowledge in this area. Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace (which won an award and was brought to print for less than $1,000) was designed to help you do just that.
No one should have to dig themselves out of a five-figure hole just to publish a book. God does not sanction debt.