Summer Releases . . .
New Releases in Divinely Inspired Fiction . . .
|Atonement for Emily Adams by Susan Lawrence||Breathing on Her Own by Rebecca Waters||Crossing into the Mystic by D.L. Koontz||Guzzy Goofball and the Homeschool Play from Outer Space by Susan Lyttek|
New Releases in Christian Living . . .
New Releases in SonRise Devotionals . . .
|Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver by Pam Thorson||The Hope of Glory – A Devotional Guide for Older Adults, Seniors, and the Elderly by Nancy Parker Brummett||Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry: Christian Devotionals for Your Quiet Time by Frances Gregory Pasch||God’s Provision In Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter|
Why launch a new book publishing company?
We were responding to a need within the CBA (otherwise known as Christian Booksellers Association). Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas is not a CBA member, nor do we wish to be. We feel our fiction titles are too edgy for the CBA, but then, so is the Old Testament.
Around 2007 we noticed a number of larger book publishers withdrawing from writers’ conferences, canceling book contracts, reducing the number of titles they released, etc. Cindy Sproles and I both are of one mind on this: Christ never retreated from a field; He always advanced. Only time he says “run” is from the Devil. So it struck us that Christian book publishers were abandoning the market – or at least curtailing their offerings – because (I assume) they couldn’t make money.
At the same time self-publish houses were exploding. We have no problem with an author self-publishing their book, but most spend thousands of dollars and never recoup their investment. Worse, they think by publishing their book they have “arrived” in publishing. But finding any publisher to believe in your project enough to invest their money takes time and hard work. And when the industry is contracting … well, to us, that sounded like a business opportunity.
We published a few devotional compilations for Christian Devotions Ministries, learned print on demand (POD) and ebook process, and found they provided a nice revenue stream for the ministry. Within months a couple of authors approached asking if we would publish their devotional book. We explained we didn’t know what we were doing, but we’d try. Those books sold in small numbers; but we’d learned more. Now here we are, one of the fastest-growing indie book publishers in America.
We produce print, digital, and audio books. Our primary ebook market is Kindle. We’ve tried Nook, iPad Apple books, Sony, Kobo, etc, but for us, Kindle ebooks offer much more in the way of profits and reader market share. Our print books are distributed by Ingram and, if they are Christian in nature, by Spring Arbor.
What is our role within Christian publishing?
Actually we do not view LPC as a Christian publishing company. Our nonfiction and devotional lines, sure, they’re Christian in nature. But with regards to fiction, we aim to produce divinely inspired fiction that appeals to that wide swath of readers who may believe in God but not necessarily have an intimate relationship with Him.
Our aim is to present fiction and nonfiction overlaid with God’s truth. In fiction, we prefer to see great stories with powerful themes. If you think about the parables of Jesus, Christ seldom – maybe never – presented a come-to-Me conversion scene. His goal was to challenge listeners with a truth and leave them uncomfortable.
As an indie book publisher, what does Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas offer to the author?
Not enough. Not enough marketing, not enough sales, not enough editing. Not enough.
But what we try to do is give them a marketing road map that, if followed, should allow their book to grow legs and find an audience. We give them documents, offer social media help, post their book on our ministry’s websites, help them get on blog talk radio shows. We have a whole marketing arm whose only job is to help grow legs on our books. We are also moving toward assigning an author representative for each author. Hopefully, that will help each author feel welcomed and excited about their title.
How and when can an author submit to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas?
Meet with us at a writers’ conference or have your agent contact us. With regards to our imprints, you would need to check with each managing editor to get their submission guidelines. Our imprints include: Candlelight Romance, Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, Brimstone Fiction, FireFly Southern Fiction, and Heritage Beacon Historical Fiction.
Within our general fiction, nonfiction and SonRise Devotionals lines, we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts except from agents. We like to meet our authors first, see their heart, and find out why they’re writing. We still get tricked into publishing books for authors whose primary goal is fame and vanity, but for the most part our authors understand they are working for God first, not a royalty check.
I doubt any author is ever satisfied with their sales, royalties, publisher’s promotional efforts, and all. But if we’re all working for the same Boss, then maybe we can agree we are (or should be) doing all we can and when that’s done, leave the rest to Him.