God’s divine plan is different for each person. Some writers contract with large publishers, while others self-publish. Author Elizabeth Maddrey shares how her path led her to the open doors of a small publisher. Enjoy!
At Home with a Small Publisher
by Elizabeth Maddrey
I remember sitting down with my sister for lunch at TGI Fridays twelve years ago. We were talking about a book I’d been working on and how I wanted to try and get it published, but I was having trouble figuring out how to handle things. See, I felt called to write this story. I really felt like the plot was something that came from God, not from me. But at the same time, I harbored those dreams of fame and fortune (by which I meant making enough that I didn’t need my full time job) that I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all cherish from time to time. So my dilemma came down to writing the story as I had it, where it would clearly need to be in the Christian market, or “mainstreaming it up” a tad so that it would potentially appeal to the broader secular market. Though that would mean compromising on a few of the messages within the pages of the book. We listed pros and cons. We went back and forth. And at the end of the day, I shelved the “try to get this published” portion of the project because I was at war with myself, primarily because of money.
Fast forward ten years to 2011. I finished another book and again felt the need to see it published. Having spent some serious time talking with God about His goal for my writing rather than my own, I knew I wouldn’t compromise the story. I was no longer focused on the money; I just wanted my story to be available for readers so that God might have the chance to use it. But I was still stuck. My book, Wisdom to Know, wasn’t Christian enough for CBA and was much too Christian for the ABA. This was the feedback I got from agents and editors alike because we were all focused on the typical large publishers that come to mind when a writer considers sending out queries.
At a writer’s conference, I met a small publisher. It wasn’t actually the first time we’d met, her company had published a non-fiction project I wrote for a family friend. But they were kicking around the idea of opening a fiction line – something that would publish stories that didn’t necessarily fit in the traditional Christian market, but stories that still needed to be told. I described my book, she asked to see it, and the rest is history.
Small presses have very little marketing money and a smaller audience than the big names that we all recognize. But they’re often willing to take a risk on a debut author or a story that’s not typical (maybe it’s edgy, maybe it breaks the “rules” for a genre). And for me, that was the difference. I may not ever make as much on my books going through a small press as I might through a large one, but I’m glad I let God reshape my dreams for publication so I’d recognize the opportunity afforded by a small press.
God reshaped Elizabeth Maddrey’s dreams for publication. Click to tweet.
Author Elizabeth Maddrey recognized opportunities afforded by a small press. Click to tweet.
Smaller publishers may take a risk on a debut author or a story that’s not typical. Click to tweet.
Should you be willing to change for love?
When Phil Reid became a Christian and stopped drinking, his hard-partying wife Brandi divorced him. Reeling and betrayed, he becomes convinced Christians should never remarry, and resolves to guard his heart.
Allison Vasak has everything in her life under control, except for one thing. Her heart is irresistibly drawn to fellow attorney and coworker, Phil. Though she knows his history and believes that women should not initiate relationships, she longs to make her feelings known.
As Phil and Allison work closely together to help a pregnant teen, both must reevaluate their convictions. But when Brandi discovers Phil's new relationship, she decides that though she doesn't want him, no one else can have him either. Can Phil and Allison's love weather the chaos Brandi brings into their lives?
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Her debut novel, Wisdom to Know, Book 1 of the Grant Us Grace Series, was released in January, 2013. Courage to Change (April, 2013) is the second in that series and continues the story of characters from the first book. She is also the co-author of A is for Airstrip: A Missionary’s Jungle Adventure, a children’s book based on the work of a Wycliffe missionary.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey