In all areas of society, we are seeing progressive changes being made. Whether that is through business, education or indeed the environment, which perhaps may be considered the most important of all. The very future of the planet is at stake, as is the human race. But certain industries have a more difficult time making positive steps to change than others, whether through reluctance or the nature of their industry being dependent on old fashioned mindsets and methodologies. Many would consider the publishing industry one of those with huge amounts of resources dedicated to printing paper, distribution and so forth.
One company looking to buck the trend and do things differently is Christopher Matthews Publishing which not only operates as a ‘cloud publisher’ but also has a very transparent commitment to making said progressive changes in their business operations. We will touch on both of those points in due course, but it is also necessary to evaluate their offering as a business and whether or not they are worth consideration for a writer seeking to work with a publisher.
Therefore, this review will be a comprehensive look at Christopher Matthews Publishing. What their backstory is, what services they offer writers and regardless of their progressive commitments whether or not writers would do well to consider using their services.
What is Christopher Matthews Publishing?
Christopher Matthews Publishing operates under the hybrid publishing model which acts as a middle man for writers looking to get their work to market. Writers are able to maintain their autonomy and creative control whilst enlisting the services abs expertise of a publisher, by paying a fee. This pathway is often considered a happy medium between making a submission to a traditional publisher and fully self-publishing.
Christopher Matthews Publishing has over 40 years of publishing experience and aim to bring this into all aspects of both trade and academic publishing. They say that they know the traditional as well as the new paradigms and technologies and bring that knowledge to help writers get published, as well as to publish books that are well-designed, well-edited, and a pleasure to read.
Besides having successfully shepherded scores of authors through the publishing process, founder Jeremy Soldevilla is an author as well. Having written several novels, he experienced the other side of publishing, namely the writer’s struggle to find an agent or a publisher and get published. Realizing that there are many excellent writers who have been frustrated with trying to find an agent, and publisher, the query process and maybe even given up on seeing their hard work published, he formed Christopher Matthews Publishing and its Young Adult/New Adult imprint Soul Fire Press, specifically with those writers in mind. Their overall goal is to help talented writers see their work in print instead of giving up.
With regards to their progressive outlook, Christopher Matthews Publishing operates as a ‘Cloud Publisher’ which means their work force and staff is fully remote with teams dotted across the USA. This reduces commute time and allows for increased flexibility as well as office space costs. For a writer working with them however they may feel the remote nature is a positive sign of a forward thinking business or feel that it is a miss not having that face to face and in person connection.
On top of this, all of their books are printed on recycled paper and only print on demand as opposed to engaging in what is a fairly standard industry practice of printing large quantities in anticipation of sales. For the writer again, this ethos may align with their own personal outlook or may be a negative that the publisher isn’t prepared to invest in an advance number of copies.
What does Christopher Matthews Publishing Publish?
There is unfortunately little information on the website regarding the types of books that they look to publish, which may well mean they are open to any and every genre and subject. Nor in fact do they have a catalogue of titles they have released. A quick online search however does show titles published under the Christopher Matthews Publishing umbrella available. A selection of these titles can be found below to fill in some of the gaps from their website.
Mesquita’s Reflections – Marco Lobo
Free Men – Edward Louis Henry
Thanks a Lot, God – Mark Gengler
Time of Death – Carrie Merrill
Beneath a Crescent Moon – Mark Macedonia
Tales From the Wedding Altar – Rev James
The Sons of Summer – Michael Dault
Group Six and the River – Ron Richard
The First Thing We Do – Bertram Gibbs
Cayote Point Casino – Rick Zalon
These titles range from fantasy and thriller to memoir and romance, so it does in fact seem that Christopher Matthews Publishing is open to any genre although clarity would likely need to be sought from any writer as they progress through the process.
How Do Writers Submit to Christopher Matthews Publishing?
As explained above, unlike traditional publishers, hybrid publishers' entire business model depends on working with writers who make submissions. Therefore the process is fairly straightforward.
Writers wishing to enlist their services must simply follow the submission guidelines as per the website which covers all of the usual things such as query letters, manuscripts, and formatting etc. If a submission is accepted then the fee to pay will be $2999 which covers proofreading, ISBN numbers and everything else one needs to fully publish their book in a professional manner.
It goes on to state that currently they are accepting submissions in mystery, thriller or suspense novels, historical fiction and fantasy and magic. A response time of around 8 to 12 weeks is to be expected with no guarantee of acceptance.
What are the Alternatives to Christopher Matthews Publishing?
There would be 3 primary alternatives for a writer if they felt Christopher Matthews Publishing was not for them.
Firstly, a writer would have the option to make a submission to a traditional publisher. The prestige, financial reward and lack of paying any upfront fee make this an attractive option but the stiff competition and ambiguity around response or acceptance can be difficult to deal with.
Secondly, a writer could make a submission to a different hybrid publisher. If the genre restrictions or any reason made them look elsewhere, the hybrid publishing model is increasingly popular which means there is no shortage of companies offering up similar services.
Finally, a writer could fully self publish. This retains all the benefits of a hybrid publisher without paying any fee. It does however result in all the responsibilities being placed on the writer which may or not suit them.
Christopher Matthews Publishing Review – Final Verdict
In summary, then, Christopher Matthews Publishing has established itself as a successful hybrid publisher, and the length of its experience in the industry is incredibly strong.
However, the restrictions regarding gender, expensive fees for writers and uncertainty around the success of previous publishing efforts they have made should give most writers some pause.
If a writer has the finances to make such a submission, as well as knowing that their work falls into the right category then this could be a good option and worth exploring in more detail.
If however these criteria cannot be met, then making a submission elsewhere or indeed pursuing self publishing may be the best path forwards.