I’ve been researching the business end of the publishing industry for over two years on the Web. There’s thousands of sites out there for every aspect of our business. There are a couple of ways I’ve seen people get signed for a series of novels.
My first example is reviewer Michelle Sutton. She’s reviewed every book she can get her hands on, and networked with authors. In the process, she’s learned the craft, and her first novel is due out August of this year.
My second example is a fellow I’ve never met. I’m told he’d Googled a variety of Indie Presses, using a variety of search parameters. Since the trend toward corporate outsourcing and the growth of the Web, there are more specialty niche houses than ever before. Forget the hardcopy of Writer’s Market or the Christian Writers' Market Guide—they're outdated by the time they go to press. Real-time data is where it’s at. Writer’s Market does have a subscription site, but it only lists a fraction of the Indies out there; Sally Stuart now has a blog attached to her site where she updates information as it arrives.
The major Christian houses have all been bought up by the Industry giants. As staffing and personnel change, so will market demands. In a few years, Christian and Biblical spec-fic manuscripts will finally have a real shot.
Becky Miller of the CSFF Blog Tour and A Christian Worldview of Fiction had the idea of supplementing the Christy Awards, which do not have a spec-fic category. This is a great idea, and another meaningful way we can make our presence felt by industry experts. If we can prove that there’s money to be made writing what we write, the middle-men (publishers and booksellers), will want their share of the pie. Becky has also given us Latest in Spec, a monthly newsletter about Christian speculative fiction. And, while I seem to be on the topic of Becky Miller (unintended, but everywhere I looked for Becky's links, I found more and more good stuff) . . . at the beginning of January she started a series on her blog called: Book Buzz. Definitely worth reading; she just posted part 8 today.
Remember the old adage it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. You definitely must learn the craft, and critique groups are a great tool for that. Crit a piece, then read critiques by other members to see what you missed.
I’ve got a signature quote that reads: If the pen is mightier than the sword, the Web is a writer’s whetstone. It’s a gift from the Editor-In-Chief. Use it for His glory.