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Writer's Guidelines

Mission
The goal of Discovery House is to publish resources that feed the soul with the Word of God, fostering growth and godliness in the lives of God’s people.

Kinds of books published
We publish books of general interest to evangelical Christian lay readers. Our list includes

 

  • devotional
  • Bible study and Bible reference materials
  • spiritual growth books
  • personal growth books
  • books that address contemporary issues from a Christian viewpoint
  • memoirs
  • children's books

 

We do not publish

  • novels or short stories
  • plays or skits
  • poetry
  • cartoons or graphic novels
  • games
  • cookbooks
  • autobiographies
  • curriculum
  • sermons
  • dissertations
  • textbooks or other academic resources

 

We publish greeting cards, but we do not accept outside submissions.

Target audience
Though we recognize that individual books may have specific (or "niche") audiences, we often publish for a broad readership of

  • mature believers, new Christians, and seekers
  • men and women
  • all socioeconomic classes
  • global readers

 

Attributes of Discovery House books

  • Meaningful interaction with Scripture
  • Biblical accuracy
  • Topics that are relevant to today's world and important to a broad readership
  • A nondenominational perspective that avoids hard stances on subjects that fall within the parameters of Christian liberty
  • A creative and contemporary writing style that avoids Christian jargon
  • A tone that is warm, inclusive, friendly, and respectful (Negative statements or implications about people or other religions are to be avoided.)

 

How to submit a book proposal to Discovery House

Preparing a query letter.
We prefer to receive submissions from agents. If you have an agent, please direct him or her to send a proposal on your behalf. If you do not wish to work with an agent, send a query letter to submissions@odb.org. Type “Attention: manuscript review editor” in the subject line. Your query letter should include

  • information about you (contact information, present position, educational background, qualifications for writing on the topic)
  • manuscript title
  • list of your previous publications
  • anticipated manuscript length (word count)
  • anticipated manuscript completion date
  • summary of your book idea
  • table of contents with chapter summaries or detailed outline of your book

 

Preparing a proposal. If we think your book idea fits within our publishing program, we will invite you to submit your book proposal for our further review. Your proposal should expand on the information provided in your query letter and offer additional detail relating to sales and marketing. A proposal features

  • Title page including your book’s title, your name, and your contact information.
  • One sentence summary of your book—the hook or appeal of the book.
  • Brief overview that tells what the book is about and who the audience is.
  • Felt need: What needs will your book fulfill that your audience is already aware of? What questions are they asking that your book will answer? What information do they want that you can give them?
  • About the author: Why are you qualified to write this book? List any previously published books or articles along with sales or readership figures.
  • Audience: Describe your audience and how they can be reached. Demonstrate an understanding of exactly who will buy your book and why. (A clearly defined audience gives the publisher direction for marketing, cover design, etc.)
  • Author marketing: How are you able to reach your target audience to promote your book? What have you already done to reach your audience (e.g., blog, newspaper column, speaking engagements)? What contacts do you have? What are your plans for marketing your book?  
  • Competing titles: What books are similar to yours? List four or five titles published within the last ten years, and then describe how your book is different or better.
  • Details: What is your anticipated word count for the book? How long after the signing of a contract will it take you to complete the book?
  • Chapter summaries: Summarize each chapter in a few sentences. Be sure to include chapter titles.
  • Sample chapters: Submit an introduction and two chapters from your book, or three chapters without the introduction.

 

It is possible to submit your query letter or proposal by mail. Your material should be neatly typed, double spaced, on white 8.5" by 11" paper printed on one side only. Address the package to Manuscript Review Editor, Discovery House, P.O. Box 3566, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. If you mail your proposal, be sure to keep a copy of the manuscript for your files. Your material will not be returned.

Discovery House’s response to your work
Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for a response from our manuscript review editor. If the initial review is favorable, additional readers will evaluate your book proposal and determine whether to recommend it to our publishing committee. If the committee decides to publish your work, we will issue a contract that clearly defines the publishing arrangements. We will agree to cover costs of publishing and promoting the book as well as paying you royalties on copies sold.

We welcome your inquiry about publishing with Discovery House.

Discovery House
P.O. Box 3566
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
dhp.org
submissions@odb.org
facebook.com/discoveryhouse
twitter.com/discoveryhouse

Affiliated with Our Daily Bread Ministries. Our Daily Bread Ministries is a nondenominational, nonprofit organization with staff and volunteers in over 35 offices working together to distribute more than 60 million resources in 150 countries.