If you’re looking to submit a manuscript to Catholic publishing companies, or if you’re looking for good reading to bolster your faith, this is the right page. Below are the eight best Catholic book publishers for your manuscript.
Below I explain what each publisher accepts, and their submission policies. A few are open to fiction, others prefer more popular titles, and toward the end of this post I concentrate on the more academic publishers.
The biggest turnoff for me when it comes to a publisher is a terrible website. I went through hundreds of Catholic Publishers to find the ones below, and far too many looked like the website was built by a writer rather than a professional programmer.
I hope you find the right Catholic publisher for your book.
Ignatius is one of the premier book publishers of Catholic fiction. They’re based out of San Francisco and were founded in 1978. Read the press’s history here.
They seem to specialize in historical fiction, and especially like series (but publishers always like series — they’re money-makers).
They’re published recent Popes, including Pope John Paul II and newish works by Cardinal Ratzinger.
You can submit to them directly, which is a rarity among publishers nowadays. They receive 400 titles every year and select 20, so about 5% of what they receive, which is probably a high percentage considering how many manuscripts publishers receive. They promise to review manuscripts within 3 months.
- “The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God: The Story of Ruth Pakaluk, Convert, Mother and Pro-Life Activist.” The story of a prolific warrior in the pro-life movement, and how she fought her way to becoming a ferocious debater.
Sophia Institute publishes apologetics, children’s books, devotionals, and fiction. They don’t have a ton of fiction, mostly specializing in nonfiction.
They have dozens of great titles under marriage and family life.
- “A Holy Year in Rome: A Pilgrim’s Guide for the Year of Mercy.” It’s a great guide to taking a pilgrimage to Rome, whether in the Year of Mercy or any other time.
- “Crossbows and Crucifixes: A Novel of the Priest Hunters and the Brave Young Men Who Fought Them.” A historical novel detailing the adventures of an underground resistance army against anti-Catholic forces.
3. Loyola Press
Loyola Press publishes classic fiction, but even though they have a category for “Contemporary Fiction,” it doesn’t appear they have published any of it. Perhaps it is a desire to publish new fiction authors in the future? (They note in their submissions guidelines that they are not, in fact, looking for fiction, poetry, or children’s books).
So this is a good press for theology and apologetics. If you couldn’t tell from the name, this is a Jesuit publisher, which typically means it’s more intellectual. They specialize in daily devotionals and biographies of the saints.
They publish about 20 new books a year, and promise to get back to you about your manuscript within 2 weeks.
- “Random MOMents of Grace: Experiencing God in the Adventures of Motherhood.” The author talks about finding beauty and grace in the everyone moments of dealing with children and family.
- “A Jesuit Off Broadway.” The author spends 6 months as the theological advisor to the cast of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
Tuscany Press focuses exclusively on fiction, in marked contrast to most of the other presses on this page. The press runs off a contest model, which means they award novels between a $1,000 and $5,000 advance, as well as a publishing contract. They are pushing for what they call a “Catholic Literary Revival.”
If you want professional editing, they also offer this service (for a fee).
They publish fiction in several categories, including YA, Contemporary, Historical, and Mystery/Adventure. They also have a novella and a short story contest.
- “The Book of Jotham.” A mentally challenged man-child tries to be a disciple of Jesus, and the other disciples can’t figure out why Jesus loves him so much.
- “The Cana Mystery.” Ava, an MIT grad and expert in languages, gets a call in the middle of the night from her friend Paul, with a strange request: Can she fly to Yemen right now? She has found the pots of Cana, the ones Jesus used for his first miracle.
|I’m a Christian book editor and former professor who taught at places like Biola University.|
If you want your book edited by someone who shares your belief system, check out my book editing page here on Bookfox.
They are looking for “popular” books, books which will have the widest appeal in the Catholic community. I would describe their aesthetic as “general interest faith-formation.”
They also publish nonfiction exclusively.
Although they don’t give any numbers, they say that they accept “only a small percentage of the unsolicited manuscripts we receive.”
Overall, they are much smaller than the powerhouse Ignatius, but they are still very good quality.
- “Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.” Basically, how Catholic college students can keep their faith at the University.
- “Interview with an Exorcist.” The author has performed hundreds of exorcists, and relays how to detect demon possession and how to perform it correctly.
Emma’s Road is publishing some of the most interesting titles around. I could basically fill this entire section with great books they’ve recently released. Overall, Emmaus is probably underrated as a publisher, and I look forward to great things by them.
They publish all nonfiction, but cover both the academic and the more popular titles.
- “Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God.” What is spiritual direction and how can you figure out your spiritual direction?
- “Sex Au Natural.” The Catholic teaching on sex — narrated not in a scolding manner but with flair and pizzazz.
- “Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media.” Seven principles drawn from Catholic teaching on how to best approach our media landscape.
- “These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body.” How do you think about your body? Do you think about it in a Christian way? Or has your view of the body been shaped by popular culture?
Sapientia Press is one of the series under CUA: The Catholic University of American Press, so if you see CUA at the top of the page, be aware I didn’t point you in the wrong direction.
This press prefers more academic books, and less devotional or popular titles.
- The Church and the Usurers. Examines our culture of money lending, and questions whether capitalism would fall under the sin of Usury.
- Shakespeare the Papist. Was Shakespeare a believing Catholic? This book examines the plays to look for evidence of belief.
Tumblar House focuses on fiction with fun, adventuresome romps — detective series, mysteries, suspense, futuristic sci-fi.
Their nonfiction features tribute to the Blessed Mother Mary, an investigation into the Desert Fathers, a Catholic interpretation of American history, and an introduction into Catholic Literature.
Their submission guidelines specify three categories, all submitted by email:
- They specialize in fiction with “a moral compass plus an aura of Catholicism.”
- Their nonfiction specializes in philosophy, religion, history, or politics, or any combination of those.
- Even though they don’t mention poetry on their submissions page, they have published poetry books before (“The White Cockade”).
One of the best things about Tumblar House is the profit split with their authors. Normal profit split is more like 7% – 20% toward authors on softcover and hardback books, but Tumblar offers a 50/50 profit split on both e-books (a percentage that is becoming more common) but also on paperback!
- Searcher of Majesty. How to discover authentic femininity through a Catholic lens.
- Death in the Choir. Police rule the death a suicide, but one choir member begins an investigation.