In 2009, LifeWay, through B&H Publishing Group, launched CrossBooks. Best described by CrossBooks’ campaign “Share God’s story by telling yours,” and B&H’s “Every word matters,” CrossBooks combines author-assisted publishing with reputable brand association, a unique combination in the world of books.
“CrossBooks offers a way for people to tell their story and share the message that God has laid on their heart,” said Joseph Glorioso, author relations manager for CrossBooks.
Book publishing is a competitive market, often discouraging to new authors. From the author’s perspective, finding a reputable publisher can be difficult, especially with a first manuscript. From the publisher’s perspective, finding a quality manuscript among a sea of submissions can be difficult. CrossBooks is a mutually beneficial solution.
“Many self-publishing companies publish anything and everything that comes across the desk,” said Steve Drake, LifeWay’s director of pastoral relations. Drake leads the theological review team for CrossBooks. “CrossBooks vets each manuscript through a team of theological readers, ensuring each manuscript is consistent with LifeWay’s core values.”
LifeWay, as an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, uses the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) as the doctrinal standard by which all manuscripts are measured. If the content of the submission is contrary to the BF&M, the manuscript is returned for further edits or dismissal.
CrossBooks is not simply “self-publishing,” but rather an author assisted platform, ensuring a high level of theological and editorial integrity, explained Glorioso. By protecting the integrity of their titles, CrossBooks strives to offer a partnership with authors rather than merely a service. According to LifeWay President Thom Rainer, CrossBooks’ approach is unique in the publishing industry.
“The book publishing business is going through a challenging period in which creative new relationships between authors and publishers are gaining favor,” Rainer said when CrossBooks was launched. “CrossBooks, as a new genre of publishing, is a groundbreaking solution.”
CrossBooks distinguishes itself from other self-publishers, specifically in its statement on theological reviews.
“We do regret turning authors away, but since CrossBooks is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, we are committed to maintaining an established standard that meets both literary expertise and Christian values,” Drake said.
Glorioso sees the theological and editorial review process as vital to reaching readers with the gospel. Allowing CrossBooks to assist the author through theological and editorial review frees the author to focus on their message, a luxury many who self-publish struggle to find.
“The message the author feels led to share may be a legacy to their family, a witness to non-Christians or a message to help believers grow in their relationship with Christ,” he said.
Refer a friend
CrossBooks has launched an affiliate program that allows individuals and organizations to earn referral fees for introducing aspiring authors to the assisted self-publisher. CrossBooks will pay affiliates $100 for each author referred that agrees to publish his or her manuscript with CrossBooks. Call 866.879.0502 or go to CrossBooks.com for more information.
By Devin Maddox