010 – What Christian Editors Look for in Book Proposals

Here are the show notes for the most recent episode of the Christian Publishing Show.

You can listen to this episode here.


Mike Nappa is a bestselling and award-winning Christian author, and currently senior acquisitions editor at Discovery House Publishers.

He is currently accepting nonfiction book submissions in the categories of Christian Living and Popular Reference. We will have a link to his submission guidelines in the show notes.

What do editors not want to see in book proposals?

  • “You’re God’s Pretty Pink Princess”
  • “You’re God’s Pretty Pink Warrior-Girl”
  • “Everybody Else is Wrong”
  • “My Book Is Really Just an Excuse to Tell Dull, Narcissistic Stories about Myself”
  • “I Don’t Really Have Anything of Depth to Say, But If I Publish a Book It Will Validate Me”
  • “I’m a Professional Speaker, So Obviously I Know How to Write a Book, Right?”
  • “I Read a Lot of Books but Have Never Studied the Craft of Writing…No Biggie, Right?”
  • “God Told Me to Write This Book!”
  • “This My Latest Pet Peeve, So I’m Going to Over-Spiritualize It into a Book”
  • “Yep, I’ve Got the Same Old Axe to Grind as Everybody Else”
  • “I’m Super-Spiritual, So Why Aren’t You?”
  • “Your Low Self-Esteem Needs My Book”
  • “How to Make God Do What You Want Him to Do”
  • “Twice the Results with Half the Prayer”
  • “Simple Secrets to Success in Prayer” or “…in Faith” or “…in Life” or, well, you get the idea.

So let’s talk about what you are looking for.

  • Eternal. I’m looking for books that addresses the eternal aspect of life in legitimate, effective ways. That is, content centered on Scripture, enhanced by prayer, and dependent on Christ’s Holy Spirit for guidance in truth. Create a manuscript that’ll last beyond your lifetime—something that just might last into eternity.
  • Authentic. Each book I publish needs an author who lives a lifestyle consistent with what he or she is writing about—but that’s not all. My readers need you to be a writer who deals honestly and openly with issues and questions and situations that ring true to real life, writing from a position of authority on the biblical topics you address.
  • Relevant. We live in America in the 21st century. Some writers and editors long for a return to days gone by…but not me. Your book must be relevant to modern culture, to our actual readers, and to the multitude of influences and concerns that define our current society.
  • Shareable. I think your themes have some powerful teaching principles in them, and I agree we don’t want to just talk about what not to do. I think a good way to organize the episode is to open with the mistakes, and then talk about your EARS. 10 minutes for each and a few minutes for intro and outro and we have a solid 25-minute episode.

Where can our listeners find out more about you?

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The post 010 – What Christian Editors Look for in Book Proposals appeared first on Christian Publishing Show.

7 Responses to 010 – What Christian Editors Look for in Book Proposals

  1. Terri L Gillespie January 29, 2019 at 6:22 am #

    Great article! Paying attention to my EARS. Thank you from a doesn’t-like-wearing-pink author.

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser January 29, 2019 at 7:09 am #

    on’t know what I have to say
    about the life eternal,
    because my writing, day on day
    is my dying journal.
    I guess that it can claim
    to have authenticity;
    the way cancer can maim
    life is, I guess, worthwhile to see.
    Relevant I think it is
    and this will always fly
    because the truth is hard to miss,
    that we’re all gonna die.
    But the reason for writing, the thing to share
    is that though it’s hell, I’m in God’s care.

    • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser January 29, 2019 at 7:11 am #

      Missed the first D on the first line, there….wow. That’s the height of something, yeah?

  3. Lois Keffer January 29, 2019 at 1:19 pm #

    Mikey! Great stuff. “You are, and always she be, my friend.” – The Purple Pen

  4. Damon J. Gray January 29, 2019 at 4:25 pm #

    Excellent podcast episode.

    Just a heads-up … Mike said the best way to contact him was via LinkedIn. You cannot do so without a Premium account. Premium accounts are $30 a month. Just an FYI.

  5. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D January 30, 2019 at 7:40 am #

    Thomas, I like your sense of humor! Thanks for making my day! Great blog.

  6. Chuck Chan February 7, 2019 at 12:11 am #

    My books will not be addressing the eternal aspect so much. I want to talk about the real life issues: the current politics that affects us, the human rights issue in totalitarian countries. The future development of our society will affect both our life on earth and the eternal life of those who are not yet believers. I have just submitted a political science fiction to Mrs Murray called “The Last Empires.”

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