The Publisher-Devils are still out there…

By Holly Lisle

So… I got this email, which wrapped up with this question:

I’ve been in contact with Christian faith publishing the past year but haven’t submitted my manuscript because I recently finished writing, reading and editing it, & wanted to know more info before doing so. They have finally informed me of production costs if my manuscript were chosen for publishing. It’s a little steep for my liking, not knowing if my book will even be successful. Could you give me a little information of what I should look for, what costs are appropriate & which companies could be suitable? I appreciate it.

And I’m beating my head on the desk, because if you’re me, you’ve already covered this on your site in a lot of places and a lot of ways, but on a really BIG site like mine, you can’t always get folks to the places they need to find.

So, because so much is on the line, I answered this one personally. As follows:



You do not pay to write. Writing is a JOB, and people who work get paid.


If you are submitting to a legitimate commercial publisher, the publisher pays you.


Up front.


With a contract that explains your initial advance, subsequent payments, your royalty schedule, what rights you retain to sell elsewhere, AND which includes details of the reacquisition of your rights if the book does not do as well as the publisher had hoped.


If the publisher wants you to pay it, and the payment is large, then you are that publisher’s product, not its client. That publisher makes its money off of you, and your book will get no distribution, no promotion, and no sales, and you will never make a dime off of it.


It you want to publish independently, that’s a completely different conversation. You can publish your own work well for free, or very nearly free, and make pretty decent money doing it. And actually get your story into the hands of readers who want to read what you’ve written, and will benefit from it.


Do not pay these thieves anything. Learn more about the business part of writing fiction, including writing Christian fiction, here:


Starting with THIS article:


DISCLAIMER: I am not a Christian, and I am not always warm and fuzzy in what I write (and while I generally don’t use profanity on my site, occasional words do creep in when I am incensed). I get incensed about seeing writers misused as this reprehensible scumbag is trying to misuse you and your work. If I whip out the wicked wango tongue in what you read, please understand that I do so because sometimes you have to call these abusive creeps what they are.



I want the assholes who do this to new writers to be eaten by rabid weasels one slow bite at a time.

And that’s my cheerful thought for the day.

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