Frequently Asked Questions
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- What is "kalos?"
- What kind of books do you publish?
- What is "Christian Reflection?"
- What kinds of "memoir" are you interested in?
- What sort of essays do you publish?
- What kinds of "devotional" literature do you handle?
- What do you mean by "literary fiction"?
- Do you work with bookstores and other retailers?
- Are you accepting submissions for publication?
- What are you looking for in a manuscript?
- Do you publish poetry?
- Do you publish genre fiction?
- What are your theological commitments?
- Do you publish manuscripts by authors of other faiths?
- What is the story behind your logo?
- What is your philosophy of book design?
What is "kalos?" What does that word mean?"Kalos" (KAH - loss) is a word from koine Greek, meaning "beauty." Moreover, "kalos" is not simply beauty in an aesthetic sense, but beautiful in both form and function: "kalos" described the beauty of something that is excellent in its character, and well-suited for its purpose.
We chose the name "Kalos" for our press because we thought this word was an apt description of the kind of literature we aim to produce. Our works are, we hope, beautiful in their literary form, and also excellent in their fulfillment of purpose.
What kind of books do you publish?We are currently focused on producing works in the following genres:
- Literary fiction
- Christian Reflection
- Nonfiction essays
What is "Christian Reflection?"We like to think of "Christian Reflection" as the literary equivalent to Christian Living titles. We like the concept of "Christian Living" but find that we are regularly disappointed by the quality of writing and content of such books. Our hope is that our Christian Reflection publications will meet and exceed higher expectations for this category of book.
Some authors who we believe exemplify the category of Christian Reflection, both in content and in the quality of their writing, are Brennan Manning, Anne Lamott, Wendell Berry, Lauren Winner, Walter Wangerin, and Henri Nouwen.
Our first book, Winter Light: A Christian’s Search for Humility by Bruce Ray Smith wonderfully exemplifies this genre. We are open to queries in this genre.
What kinds of "memoir" are you interested in?We enter the lives of other Christians through memoir, the structured retelling of life experience. A memoir needs to be painfully honest, and not at all embellished. We’ve learned through media coverage of dishonest memoir that when a reader picks up a memoir, they expect real life experience, not fiction.
A good memoir tells a life story with an eye toward instructing others, but stops short of sermonizing. It reflects, but resists easy categories. It recognizes the complexity of human beings: that they are simultaneously grievously broken and pregnant with glory.
We also believe that memoir need not be restricted to high-profile people. A life worth telling might just as well be an obscure one with deep wisdom to impart. We are open to queries.
Our forthcoming title, The Exact Place by Margie L. Haack, is a great example of a memoir we consider worthwhile of our attention.
What sort of essays do you publish?Kalos Press is interested in publishing collections of essays that take a unique, incisive stance on issues related to culture and Christianity. Because we affirm with Arthur F. Holmes that “all truth is God’s truth,” we believe Christians can speak fruitfully and biblically about areas as disparate as cooking, fertility, and skydiving.
As always, we are more interested in thoughtful reflection than sermons. Good essays will suggest rather than command, suppose rather than pronounce, and argue rather than pontificate. They will speak from the position of a fellow learner.
We are open to queries about other essay collection ideas.
What kinds of "devotional" literature do you handle?Devotional projects interest us, especially ones that are more contemplative than exegetical (though our parent publisher, Doulos Resources, might be interested in the latter). We solicit books of prayers, meditations on books of the Bible, or studies of biblical characters. A project that relates popular culture (film, music, books) to the Bible and emphasizes discernment would be of special interest to us.
We are not, at this stage, interested in compilations of published writers (C.S. Lewis, Frederick Buechner, etc).
What do you mean by "literary fiction"?We tend to resist “Christian Fiction” for the same reason we avoid “Christian Living”: some of the categories have become tired. The symbolism no longer resounds in a postmodern world. We need new narratives, new symbols, new characters, and new ideas.
We recognize, though, that good fiction needs to perform a delicate balancing act: it must be edgy, yet redemptive. It must walk a thin line between provocative and profound. Some projects seem edgy for the sake of being provocative; others are too safe. We need projects that move our readers out of their comfort zone, but not completely out of their zip code.
At this point, we are skeptical of publishing genre fiction because of the reasons listed above. Romantic fiction and fantasy tend to follow well-worn paths, especially in Christian writing. We are curious, however, about the possibility of publishing noir fiction, and would accept queries for projects of that kind, as well as queries for literary fiction not described in the genres above.
Do you work with bookstores and other retailers?We are glad to provide terms for resellers who wish to stock our books. For more information, please visit our Resellers page.
Are you accepting submissions for publication?We are always looking for good material that is a suitable "fit" for Kalos Press. If you are a writer who would like to publish with Kalos Press, visit our Submissions page for more information.
What are you looking for in a manuscript?There is a fine line between provocative and profound. The best books are both. We look for manuscripts that ask hard questions, and seek to answer them through the lens of faith. We resist simplistic "inspirational" literature, but we also tend to resist projects that seem provocative merely for the sake of being provocative. Our audience consists of readers who are culturally diverse, but theologically conservative (sometimes a difficult balancing act!). We look for projects that also achieve this balance.
Do you publish poetry?
Do you publish genre fiction?Not strictly speaking; we are open to considering all fiction, but we are not currently interested in specializing in particular genres or categories of fiction.
What are your theological commitments?We are committed to an orthodox, Reformed worldview, as articulated in the Nicene Creed and the Westminster Confession of Faith. However, we are open to submissions from writers with different denominational commitments.
Do you publish manuscripts by authors of other faiths besides Christianity?Not at this time, though we may consider it in the future.
What is the story behind your logo?Our logo is based around an image of a kaleidoscope. The word "kaleidoscope" comes from an amalgam of two Greek words, kalos and eidos, with the word "scope". It literally means, "observer of beautiful forms." We thought it was a fitting idea to carry what we hope to accomplish.
The stunning photo of the kaleidoscope in our logo was taken by photographer Lynn Carmouche, and is used with her permission. View more of Lynn's photos at her website: www.elleciecarmouche.com.
The unique script font used for our logo was created by Jessika Lapointe, also known on the internet as Jellyka Nerevan, and is used with her permission. Find more of Jellyka's lovely fonts at her website: www.cuttyfruty.com.
What is your philosophy of book design?As we mentioned in a previous answer, we chose the name Kalos Press because of the density of the word "kalos"— meaning beauty in both function and form.
We believe that books should be beautiful to look at and hold, well-designed inside and out. We strive to create a design that embodies visually and tactilely the essence of the contents of our books.
Byron Borger, of Hearts & Minds Books in Dallastown, PA, reflected on the design of our first title, Winter Light:
This under-stated, warm, cover uses light calligraphy in a way that really works---not every calligraphed cover works so well! Even their logo on the back enhances the cover. This paperback was made with that slightly waxy stock, thick ink, making it so nice to hold. Is the top half a very close up of ice crystals? I think. Kudos to a new, indie press, committed to excellence.
Borger named Winter Light one of Hearts & Minds' "Favorite Covers in Christian Publishing" for 2011.