Certain things in life require an extra degree of sensitivity and understanding. Whether this is as a result of personal experience, choice of lifestyle or indeed religion. It can be difficult for those without first hand knowledge of the others expertise to fully understand where they are coming from and the life they have lived. This is especially the case when it comes to writing and publishing.
For a publisher to be on the same page as their writers os not just desirable but a necessity in a religious context. This way both parties are happy and can proceed with confidence as the writer knows the publisher they are working with fully understands them and will be attuned to their work.
Simultaneously the publisher knows that the writers work will fit in with their own ethos and will sit nicely within their back catalogue of books as well as resonate with their readership.
One such company doing just this is Fruitbearer Publishing who are part of the Christian Indie Publishing Association. In this review we will take a closer look at their backstory, what services they offer and whether not they are worth consideration for a writer to work with when seeking to have their work published.
What is Fruitbearer Publishing?
Fruitbearer Publihsing was founded by Candy Abbott whose inspiration to start a publishing company began with a desire to help other authors get their God-inspired work into print. Her own book, Fruitbearer: What Can I Do For You, Lord? took ten years to write and she received many rejections, but something about Candy’s writing and sincerity compelled editors to offer suggestions to strengthen the book. In the end, she decided to self-publish. In 1994, she presented a self-publishing workshop at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.
Beginning writers were eager for the tips she shared, and overall she felt highly affirmed, but an acquisitions editor said something that stung: “Maybe someday you’ll have a real publisher.” Today, Candy has become a “real publisher,” serving as a springboard for authors whose books are touching lives and making a difference in the kingdom of God.
Candy and her husband, Drew, began the company in 1999, which is founded on the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). Their motto, “Small Seeds for a Great Harvest,” is based on Zechariah 4:10 and John 15:1-17.
Candy still personally oversees every project but now has a team of editors, artists, proofreaders, and designers. Fruitbearer’s mission is to offer a professional, personalized approach, unashamedly catering to Christian authors. Poised to stay abreast of the latest publishing industry standards and technology, Fruitbearer is careful to guard the author’s voice and vision. The goal, purpose, and passion of Fruitbearer Publishing is to produce quality publications that will influence society and glorify God.
What Books do Fruitbearer Publishing publish?
As will come as no surprise to learn, Fruitbearer Publishing strictly publish Christian books although these can be both fiction and non fiction as well as different genres. A selection of titles to provide further insight can be found below.
Die to Me – Joan Fetterman
There’s Fire in the House – Anna Buckler
Joseph – Jessie Seneca
Severed Yet Whole – Lewis Kasperski
Always Remember to Breathe – Sharon Louth
Bubba the Busy Beaver – Judi Folmsbee
Seasons of Goodbye – Chris Ann Waters
The Mercy of Humanity – Shante R Carter
Buddy’s Search for Christmas – Kris Penrod
Taking God’s Word to Heart – Cheryl Samelson Skid
From memoirs and children’s books to exploration works of those within the Bible and journals, providing the topic and then is centred around God and Christianity, Fruitbearer Publishing will likely be open to discussing the work.
Can Writers Submit to Fruitbearer Publishing?
In a word, yes although there is some uncertainty with regards to the type of publishing they are as well as the exact process.
Their website states that they offer a number of services including the following;
Editorial Services – Critique, Project Consultation, Content Editing, Rewriting, Copy Editing, Page Proof Review, Proofreading,
Design and Formatting – Page Layout, Cover Design Services, Cover Illustrations
Printing and Binding
Again it is unclear however if the above services are included if a writers submission is accepted or it Fruitbearer Publishing is operating under a hybrid model and therefore require the writer to pay an upfront fee in order to utilise their expertise.
What are the Alternatives to Fruitbearer Publishing?
There are a few options for writers to consider aside from submitting to Fruitbearer Publishing.
The first of these would be to submit to another publisher. A writer may either be excluded from considering a submission based on the genre of their work, or feel that Fruitbearer Publishing as a company does not align with them. There are many Christian and religious specific publishers and indeed many others that cover all genres so there would be no shortage of options when considering this route. The availability of choice however does not exclude it from presenting some challenges. Writers are often faced with long wait times or restricted submission windows not to mention a relinquishing of control parts of the creative process.
The other main option would be for a writer to pursue self publishing. This route keeps the outcome in the hands of the writer who not only gets to retain autonomy over the project but also is able to work to their own schedule regarding releases and best dates to proceed. Their is naturally more onus on the writer to take control over the marketing, distribution etc but the increasing ease with which these types of things can be accomplished makes this an ever more popular path for writers to tread.
Fruitbearer Publishing Review – Final Verdict
Fruitbearer Publishing then sits in a fairly unique place in the ecosystem of publishing. They are open to many genres and styles but only publish works that focus on Christianity. For writers then, they are faced with a fairly binary choice. If their work aligns with Fruitbearer Publishing’s ethos, then they can start to fully evaluate whether or not a submission makes sense.
The fact that there is little to no clarity regarding the type of partnership available to writers and if there are fees involved etc, may make some authors reluctant to even speak to them for fear of wasting their time. If a writer has the patience however, and maybe even the time to read some other works available that have already been published, then it may well make sense to send an enquiry and submission so that the conversation may get underway and the writer can ascertain if it is right for them.
If a writer falls on the other side of the binary choice and their work does not align with Fruitbearer Publishing, then they will have to pursue other routes.
This could either be as mentioned in the alternatives, finding a publisher whose ethos aligns with their book or self publishing. Self publishing is particular interesting option given its evolution over time, changing from last chance saloon to first choice for many. The increasing ease with which writers are able to self publish combined with the freedom and autonomy it provides may mean it’s the best option.
Ultimately each writer will have to decide for them where their work best fits and then proceed as best.