Ask Bethany House: Cooperation and Competition

It’s time for another “sneak peek” inside Bethany House and the publishing industry to answer some of your questions. I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist here, and I’ve enjoyed reading and responding to FAQs submitted via our survey. (Feel free to add more if you like!)

Here’s this month’s question: Do you ever collaborate with other CBA publishers?

Three things on this: first, it depends on what you mean by “collaborate.” We will sometimes join together to put on an event—like the “Fall Back in Time” Twitter suggestions that we all passed on to our authors for an emphasis on inspirational historical fiction—but for the most part, we keep to ourselves and promote our own books.

Second, Bethany House is one division of Baker Publishing Company. Fiction-wise, that means we have another “sister division,” Revell Books. We collaborate with their team often, trading information, planning joint author events, and brainstorming together. I love that aspect of being a part of Baker.

Revell

And, finally, here’s another distinction: as Bethany House Employee Amy I’m not actively working to promote other publishing companies, but I’m always happy to see our authors joining with other authors to promote each other, regardless of the label on their books.

That might look like a bestselling author enthusiastically endorsing a debut novel for a new writer. Or a published author hosting a not-yet-but-soon-to-be published author on her blog. Or communities of authentic, generous writers who live like they aren’t afraid of other people’s success.

I get excited when I see authors doing things like this, because often, we choose to react as if someone else’s gain must be our loss. We live cramped lives, fists tight around our love because it might run out. We measure our minutes because we forget about eternity stretching out in front of us and fight for what we deserve because what if God doesn’t really provide? We are jealous of other people’s stories because we live in a mindset of scarcity.

I don’t want to live this way. I really believe that the world can’t have too many great books, whether they have a BHP logo on the spine or not. And, when it comes down to it, I also believe that our authors’ stories are so compelling that readers will love them and come back for more. I don’t have to be afraid of the competition because Bethany House authors are wonderful, and they’re writing wonderful novels.

Obviously, as a publishing company employee, I can’t be as involved in promoting other authors as BHP authors can be. But I can cheer them on and support them in their efforts, as well as promoting the bloggers and media folks who are huge fans of Christian fiction in general.

So, there you go. Long answer to a relatively straight-forward question.

Your turn: do you know an author who often mentors and promotes other authors? Give that author a shout-out here!

5 thoughts on “Ask Bethany House: Cooperation and Competition

  1. “We live cramped lives, fists tight around our love because it might run out. We measure our minutes because we forget about eternity stretching out in front of us and fight for what we deserve because what if God doesn’t really provide? We are jealous of other people’s stories because we live in a mindset of scarcity.”

    I love that soooo much, Amy. So true and so beautiful!

  2. Well said, Amy! There are too many authors to mention. I love our Christian fiction community. Just the other day, Laura Frantz left an amazing review on Amazon for my debut novella. Laura has been a wonderful friend and encouragement on this journey. Susan May Warren is another multi-published author who goes out of her way to support and encourage all writers, no matter where they are on the journey. My mind is literally swimming with author names, many of them BHP authors, who are generous with promoting and encouraging. I love being a part of our writing community.

  3. Great post, Amy. One of the things I love about Christian publishing is the way authors support each other. It’s a joy to be part of Inspired by Fiction & Life and The Grove (among a few) where we support each other in so many ways.

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