Are you trying to find the best Christian publishers for your faith-based book?
It’s impossible to separate Christianity from book publishing. From the original Gutenberg Bible to the expression ‘the good book’, the two go hand in hand.
Related: How to Write A Book
In today’s market, Christian publishing is a true success story. Typically, faith-based books tend to outperform the publishing market as a whole, showing above-average growth compared to other genres.
To help you find the way forward as a faith-based author, we’ve gathered essential information about 37 of the best Christian publishers in business today.
Abingdon Press has been in operation for over two centuries. The company aims to reach across denominational divides to inspire and provoke thought in Christians from many different backgrounds. Although the company is a division of The United Methodist Publishing House, authors don’t need to necessarily be Methodists themselves.
If you are interested in publishing your book with Abingdon Press, it is recommended to submit a summary of the book’s topic and purpose, a full outline of its contents, some information on the intended audience, details of your existing platform as an author as well as your bio, thoughts on how you intend to market the book, and two samples chapters including the book’s opening chapter.
B and H Publishing
B and H Publishing is a Christian book publisher with an admirably diverse author base. Some of their current authors include Priscilla Shirer, Russell Moore, and Jackie Hill Perry. The company is an imprint of LifeWay Christian Resources and aims to share books that help readers to cultivate a stronger faith and a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ.
At this time, indie authors are unable to submit their work to B and H Publishing unless they are represented by an agent. Occasionally, publishers such as B and H will make an exception to this rule if you are vouched for by one of their existing authors, so this might be something worth exploring if your heart is set on B and H.
Baker Books is one imprint of the Baker Publishing Group, with other imprints such as Chosen and Revell covered elsewhere in this guide. Baker Books intends to reach lay Christians through books such as Praying Women by Sheila Walsh, and also provides resources to pastors and church leaders.
At this time the Baker Books imprint is not able to accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors. However, if you have an agent, Baker Books is willing to liaise with them. The company is also willing to connect with authors face to face at writers’ conferences and consider their books after forming that initial relationship. Baker Books also suggests writers submit their work to Christian Book Proposals, a service that acts as a middleman between aspiring authors and publishers.
Baylor University Press
Baylor University Press has a prestigious track record as the publishing arm of Baylor University dating back to 1897. Unsurprisingly, the focus for Baylor University Press is on academic faith-based books, either solely focused on religion, or exploring the intersection between religion and other academic disciplines.
It might be surprising to learn that such a prestigious publisher is willing to accept submissions, although the criteria is a lot stricter than at some other Christian publishers. Authors are encouraged to reach out to Baylor University Press before submitting a proposal to form an initial relationship.
Beaming Books is a Christian book publisher that aims to serve younger Christians through children’s books. Topics include learning about faith but also other matters related to living positively such as being kind and building self-esteem.
If you want to submit a book to Beaming Books, check regularly to see if they have any open calls for submissions. At the time of writing, there are no open calls, but this is liable to change. If you have an agent for your work, Beaming Books is always willing to hear from you.
Bethany House has over five decades of experience in publishing bestselling Christian fiction. They are part of the Baker Publishing Group and publish over 75 titles annually. Their repertoire extends beyond Christian fiction, also offering nonfiction books focusing on family and other Christian themes.
At this time, like some of the other imprints in the Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House isn’t looking to receive unsolicited manuscripts. Instead, they suggest going through an agent, connecting with them at a writers’ conference, or going through the Christian Book Proposals liaison service.
Chosen is the first imprint of the Baker Publishing Group featured on this list that is currently accepting proposals. The stated mission of Chosen is to share well-crafted books based around the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
To submit your book to Chosen, take some time to browse their existing books and make sure yours is a good fit for the imprint. After that, you can fill out a proposal form. Be sure to follow their guidelines and suggestions carefully. Chosen states they are happy for authors to contact their editorial team with any questions or issues before submitting a proposal.
CKN Christian Publishing
CKN Christian Publishing started out firmly in the indie author world, originally providing news and special offers relating to Christian ebooks on the Kindle platform. Today, CKN has evolved to act as a publisher of fresh Christian work.
Thankfully, CKN Christian Publishing is willing to accept unsolicited manuscripts. The company states that they are particularly interested in hearing from authors that have a back catalog and the rights to publish it, but first-time authors are also welcome to submit. You can check out full details about submitting your manuscript to CKN here.
Concordia Publishing House
Unlike some of the other Christian book publishers in this guide, Concordia Publishing House has a strong denominational focus, as the company is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
At this time, Concordia is not accepting unsolicited manuscripts or book proposals, but they are willing to hear from authors represented by an agent. However, if you want your book to be considered by Concordia, you need to make sure it is aligned with the doctrine and beliefs of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, as it will not be considered otherwise.
Crosslink Publishing is one of the companies most strongly aligned with the indie author community in this entire guide. They are a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association as well as the Christian Indie Publishing Association. Crosslink Publishing has partnerships with many different distribution channels to help their authors’ books find a wide reach.
Indie authors are welcome to submit their manuscript to Crosslink Publishing. However, the company only works with North American authors with books between 12,000 and 60,000 words. The company is not interested in picture books, poetry, or autobiographies.
Crossway was founded back in 1938 and is a not-for-profit ministry that aims to spread the word of the Gospel through books and tracts. Crossway Books was founded in 1979 under the leadership of one of the sons of the original Crossway founders.
Authors are welcome to submit either proposals or full manuscripts to Crossway but are strongly encouraged to send an initial email query first. Any books submitted to Crossway should be in line with Evangelical Christianity. Crossway is not interested in receiving fiction, end time prophecy books, or personal experience stories.
Dancing with Bear Publishing
Dancing with Bear Publishing is one of the newer companies found in this guide, first publishing back in 2011. The company is intended to be a wholesome publisher of Christian fiction and nonfiction for every age group.
Dancing with Bear specifically welcomes first-time authors and are willing to consider unsolicited manuscripts. When you submit to Dancing with Bear Publishing, you are required to submit your first chapter, the final chapter, and a middle chapter of your choice. Books should be at least 30,000 words in length, while picture books need to be at least 35 pages long.
Dove Christian Publishers
Dove Christian Publishers used to go by the name Conquest Publishers. The company has roots going back to 1998 but first started publishing seriously in 2006. Dove’s stated mission is to glorify Jesus Christ while entertaining, edifying, and encouraging.
If you are an author with a social media platform of over 500 people, or you have an email list of the same number, you can submit your work to Dove. The company also has a pay to publish arm known as Inscript Books that is covered later in this guide.
Eerdmans is a Christian Publishing company founded back in 1911, currently operating out of Michigan. The company is dedicated to offering the widest possible spectrum of faith-based thought, encouraging viewpoints from different denominations and philosophical standpoints.
If you like the sound of Eerdmans, you’re in luck, as the company is willing to consider submissions from authors. You can submit either a full manuscript or one or two sample chapters for consideration. Eerdmans aims to respond to you within 8 weeks.
Enclave Publishing is an example of the superb diversity that exists within the Christian Publishing industry, as it focuses exclusively on Christian fantasy and science fiction books. Enclave is a fine example of how Christian publishing can cover any genre or readership, not just what most people might imagine a faith-based book to be.
Authors are welcome to submit their work to Enclave Publishing, provided that it falls within the fantasy or science fiction genres and is in line with an evangelical Christian worldview. Manuscripts need to be between 75,000 and 140,000 words in length.
Faithwords is an imprint of one of the world’s biggest publishers, as it falls under the umbrella of the Hachette Book Group. They have published work from some of the biggest names in all of contemporary Christian thought, including Joel Osteen.
Like all imprints of Hachette, Faithwords is unwilling to consider unsolicited manuscripts. However, authors with an agent are more than welcome to get in touch with Faithwords.
Gilead Books Publishing
Gilead Books is a not-for-profit Christian book publisher that has been operating since 2007. They state that their focus is on first-time authors who may have had a hard time getting published elsewhere.
Gilead Books is not a vanity publisher and they state they only work with a small percentage of the manuscripts they receive. At this time, Gilead Books is closed to new submissions, due to being inundated with manuscripts. However, they state they will welcome submissions in the future once they have cleared their backlog.
Herald Press is a publisher focused on providing books in line with the Anabaptist school of thought, examples of which are Mennonites and Amish denominations. Herald is an arm of MennoMedia which is in turn owned by the Mennonite Church USA.
You can send a book submission to Herald Press, provided it is in line with their guidelines. The company wishes to receive summaries rather than full manuscripts, and authors are requested to refrain from sending manuscripts until specifically requested to. Proposals should include a one-page book summary, a list of chapters and chapter descriptions, the first full chapter, another full chapter of the author’s choosing, the author’s resume, and reference to which edition of the Bible has been used in creating the book.
Harvest House Publishers
Harvest House Publishers started back in 1974 with five titles initially. The company aims to glorify God by providing high-quality books that are in line with Biblical values. Harvest House offers both fiction and nonfiction as well as kids’ books.
At this time, Harvest House is not accepting unsolicited manuscripts from unagented authors. However, like many of the other publishers in this guide, they suggest authors go through the Christian Book Proposals liaison service.
Ignatius Press has its roots in the 1970s when Father Joseph Fessio came back to the United States after studying theology in Europe. Today, Ignatius is a publisher of a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and kids’ books that are in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
If you’re interested in having your work published by Ignatius Press, the company is willing to accept unsolicited manuscripts. Authors are required to send in a hard copy as well as an electronic copy of their work. Ignatius is not interested in receiving poetry or prayer books or academic theses. Due to the large volume of submissions, it may take several months for authors to receive a reply from Ignatius Press.
Inscript Books is associated with Dove Christian Publishers and is intended for authors lacking the platform requirements to publish with Dove. Inscript charges authors to publish their books, but insists it isn’t a vanity press due to having strict standards regarding both book quality and compatibility with Christian values.
If you are interested in having your book published through Inscript Publishing, you can get all the information you need here. You need to make sure your book is at least 32,000 words long and is suitable for a Christian audience. Both fiction and nonfiction Christian books are welcomed by Inscript.
InterVarsity Press has a long history of publishing Christian books, having been in operation for over 70 years. The company is an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and seeks to influence both the university world and contemporary society in general. InterVarsity Press also has a strong commitment to environmental ethics.
At this time, InterVarsity Press are not interested in receiving unsolicited manuscripts from authors. However, if you have an existing relationship with an InterVarsity Press editor, you may be able to submit your work for consideration. All books submitted to InterVarsity Press should be in line with the purpose and doctrinal statement of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Kharis Publishing describes itself as an inspirational and faith publisher that accepts queries from first-time and unpublished authors. They are based in the Greater Chicago area and have a large number of titles aligned with Christian theology.
Kharis Publishing proudly states they accept unsolicited manuscripts and are particularly willing to work with underrepresented authors such as women and authors of color. They publish both nonfiction and fiction. Authors should send an initial query, and if the Kharis Publishing team is interested, they will request a full manuscript.
Kregel Publications entered the world of Christian publishing back in 1949 with the mission of sharing solidly evangelical works with the world. Today, the company states that it wishes to maximize the impact of quality, life-changing Christian resources that are based on Biblical teachings.
At this time, Kregel does not accept unsolicited manuscripts directly. However, the company has a list of services it recommends authors use instead, such as The Writer’s Edge. Also, if you are represented by a professional literary agent, you are welcome to submit your work to Kregel.
Lighthouse Christian Publishing
Although Lighthouse Christian Publishing states they are a Christian publishing company, they are also willing to publish books without an explicitly Christian message, as long as they don’t go against Christian values. Lighthouse publishes a wide range of different book types, from fiction through to works on health and science.
At this time, Lighthouse Christian Publishing doesn’t explicitly state whether they are willing to receive and consider manuscripts on an unsolicited basis. However, authors can reach out and get in touch with Lighthouse via their online contact page.
Moody Publishers is one of the more famous names on this list, having been a major publisher of Bibles and other Christian works since being founded in 1894. Moody ensures that all profits made from its publishing division are funneled back to The Moody Bible Institute which aims to help prepare Christians for ministry.
At this time, Moody is unwilling to consider unsolicited manuscripts. However, if you have a professional literary agent, or you’ve worked with Moody in the past, they may be willing to consider your work. Moody Publishers are also willing to consider work from associates of a Moody Bible Institute Ministry or an author who has made personal contact at a writers’ conference.
Paraclete Press states that they aim to communicate beauty and truth through the arts to all corners of the world. Their books reflect the full range of Christian thought and denomination, from Protestant to Catholic and Orthodox.
Paraclete Press welcomes submissions from authors. Be sure to follow their guidelines on the type of book proposal they want to receive. At this time, Paraclete have stated they are not interested in receiving proposals related to cookbooks, poetry, current events and politics, sermons, pop psychology, or Bible commentaries.
Paulist Press has been sharing their work since 1865 and focuses on books that further Catholic thought. The company doesn’t focus solely on Catholic writing – they also aim to encourage interfaith dialogue and the sharing of perspectives that transcend denominational boundaries.
At this time, new authors can submit their work to Paulist Press. Instead of sending a full manuscript, the company wishes to receive a book proposal that is in line with their guidelines. Specific guidelines exist depending on whether you’re sending an academic, children’s, popular, or professional Christian book. Your submission should include 15-25 sample pages. The company is not interested in receiving fiction, memoirs, or poetry.
Revell is part of the Baker Publishing Group, like several other publishers on this list. Revell has a simply stated mission, namely to offer practical books for everyday life. All of Revell’s titles are in line with the company’s core values of relevance, integrity, and excellence.
Like several, although not all, of the Baker Publishing Group imprints, Revell is not accepting unsolicited manuscripts at this time. Instead, Revell suggests that writers make use of the Christian Book Proposals service. If you’re interested in Revell, and are represented by an agent, they will be willing to consider your work. You can also form a relationship with them at a writers’ conference and go from there.
The Crossroad Publishing Company
The Crossroad Publishing Company traces its roots back to 1798, as it has grown from the heritage of the publishing house of Herder. Today, The Crossroad Publishing Company aims to share books that are in line with Judeo-Christian values with a focus on Catholic thought.
Authors are welcome to submit unsolicited manuscripts and book proposals to The Crossroad Publishing Company. Proposals should include either a full manuscript or one which is mostly finished. You should submit your work via email only and expect a response from Crossroad Publishing within six to eight weeks on average.
The Upper Room
The Upper Room describes itself as a global ministry that exists to support the spiritual life of Christians. Originally providing a daily devotional, The Upper Room today provides a series of books and articles aligned with its Christian mission.
There is no specific information given at this time on the type of work that The Upper Room is looking to receive. However, authors are welcome to reach out and contact The Upper Room to establish a future publishing relationship.
Thomas Nelson is one of the most famous names found in this entire guide and has a serious level of prestige when it comes to publishing Christian books. Thomas Nelson has published books by some of the biggest names out there, including Billy Graham and Dave Ramsey.
At this time, Thomas Nelson is not willing to consider unsolicited submissions. However, the company encourages readers to check out the self-publishing imprints of Zondervan. You can check out our full guide to Zondervan here, and there is a summary of the company towards the end of this guide.
Tyndale House publishes a full range of Christian books, from various Bibles through to works of nonfiction and fiction, including the incredibly successful Left Behind series by Jerry Jenkins. Tyndale states that they aim to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world.
Tyndale House is unwilling to accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors at this time. However, if you are represented by a literary agent, Tyndale is willing to consider your work. You can also have your manuscript considered for publication by Tyndale if it is introduced to the company by one of their existing authors, or by a person of prominence within the Christian publishing industry.
WaterBrook and Multnomah
WaterBrook and Multnomah are imprints of Penguin Random House, and as such have serious publishing power behind their titles. The companies state they offer books to invite readers into a deeper relationship with God.
WaterBrook and Multnomah do not accept unsolicited manuscripts from unagented authors at this time. However, they do have a submissions form where manuscripts can be attached, which implies there is a chance they might consider such work, even if it’s their official policy that they do not.
Westminster John Knox Press
Westminster John Knox Press has a history of publishing Christian books dating back to 1838. Although the company is part of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, it publishes titles that are outside of the Presbyterian way of thinking. Explicitly Presbyterian books are offered under the Geneva Press imprint.
Authors can submit their work for consideration to Westminster John Knox Press. The company is looking for books aligned with mainstream Protestant thought, while Presbyterian books might be considered for Geneva Press. WJK Press prefers to receive submissions electronically and states that they take between eight to twelve weeks on average to review. Westminster John Knox is not interested in receiving fiction, memoir, or poetry. Check out the submissions page above to read the full guidelines for academic proposals, professionally proposals, and lay book proposals.
Wipf and Stock
Wipf and Stock state that they are committed to publishing a diverse range of different books, with the guiding principle that titles should honor imagination, intellect, and heart. Wipf and Stock have been serving Christian readers since 1995.
If you are interested in submitting your book to Wipf and Stock, you can do so on an unsolicited basis. You should complete a full proposal form, include your resume and a sample chapter, and attach a full manuscript if you have reached that stage of your project. Wipf and Stock state they will respond to authors within four to eight weeks, which is one of the faster response times found in this guide.
Zondervan is associated with Thomas Nelson, and is a more accessible place to publish compared to the larger company. If you are interested in learning more about Zondervan, you can check out our guide to everything they offer here.
At this time, authors are welcome to submit unsolicited manuscripts to two of the main Zondervan imprints – Zondervan Reflective and Zondervan Academic. Proposals should include a succinct description of the book, a table of contents, information on who the intended reader is, and a justification of why you are the right author for the book.
Christian Publisher VS Self-Publishing
Should you really use a Christian Publisher to take control of your book production and publishing process?
Or are you an author who appreciates having full creative control of your faith-based book?
If you choose to self-publish your Christian book, there is a plethora of resources and self-publishing courses out there to show you the ropes.
Self-publishing is a great option if you can be your own project manager for your book – this includes having a budget for self-publishing costs (it’s often cheaper than paying for publishing packages with a company).
Plus, you get full creative control, and full royalties.
If you plan to publish more than one book in your lifetime, or if you want to build an author career, opt for an author education program rather than a publishing package.
Why You Should Self-Publish Your Christian Book
If you’re looking for the best way to get your Christian book out into the world, you should consider full self-publishing as an alternative to working with one of the publishers in our guide.
Self-publishing has many benefits for authors, including:
- Faster. You’ll notice many of the Christian book publishers on this list have a response time of several months. That’s just to reply! Actually publishing your book will take far longer. When you self-publish, you can get your book out into the world faster, and entirely at your own pace.
- More royalties. Traditional publishers offer authors a small cut of any royalties received. When you self-publish, you can keep all of the royalties for yourself. Use this book royalties calculator to compare.
- Creative control. When you work with a publisher, you have limited creative freedom. You may have to compromise on edits to your book, or even its book cover. When you choose self-publishing, you have full creative freedom to do things exactly the way you want to.
- No gatekeepers. The traditional publishing industry is often elitist and doesn’t serve minority authors well at all. When you self-publish, you don’t have to go through gatekeepers to get your Christian book released. It’s entirely down to you.
If you’re interested in learning more about the self-published route for your faith-based book, check out this totally free masterclass from our partners at Self-Publishing School.
- Self-Publishing Platforms – 12 Retailers & Aggregators for Authors - May 22, 2021
- Self-Publishing Programs – 9 Teaching & Tech Resources - May 10, 2021
- How to Sell Your Novel - May 5, 2021