Monday, February 23, 2015

Just What is the Answer? by Linda S. Glaz



Is everyone just playing it cool with the 15% drop in Christian fiction, or are they hiding behind a mask of “let’s keep all the worries in-house?”
I don’t think folks would be completely forthcoming if they said they were not worrying at all. When any drop occurs, most everyone scrambles a bit to try and understand what went wrong. What can be done to turn it around? How will it affect OUR bottom-line? Then we all try to remember that God is in control. In fact, it becomes a favorite mantra. And for good reason.
After a few well-meaning blog posts, authors call their agents, send urgent emails, cry on each others’ shoulders. Will we ever get published? Who will want our work if X closes and Y cuts back? What’s going to happen if they all close down?
So it begins: another round of looking into the crystal ball. It may be that from time to time this agent or that, this editor or that, will have a truly awesome equation that they believe shows the industry’s compass. And time and again, some of those same folks have been right. Some very wrong.
The one thing that I continue to harp on to my clients is: write what you love, what you are called to write. Write the absolute best that you can. No quick or rushed work. Pour your heart onto the pages. Leave nothing behind. Then let your agent do his or her best to get your work into the right hands.
How do you feel as unpublished authors about the direction of the industry?
How do you published authors feel?
Any well-educated guesses about how this will all play out? Will we see it create more of a blurring of the lines between inspirational and secular fiction?

13 comments:

Tom Threadgill said...

As an unpublished author, it's easy to see gloom and doom. Getting traditionally published seems to be almost impossible sometimes. Self-publishing means throwing your work out there with the gazillion others that pop up on Amazon every day and hoping it doesn't get buried.

On top of that, you see some of the drivel that is getting published and just want to throw your hands in the air and walk away.

All a writer can do is what you said. Do your best work. Something you can be proud of whether it gets published or not. Something that's not an embarrassment to the Lord. Then leave it up to your agent! (Know any good ones?)

Marilyn Turk said...

Frankly, I believe the market has been glutted with fiction - cheap, easy to download and buy - good and maybe not so good. I know many people who say their kindles are loaded with books to read as is their home library. I suppose the traditional publishes worked on the economic principle of supply and demand, however, with the advent of self-publishing, supply may have outpaced demand.

Linda Glaz said...

I agree, Marilyn. Have read some of it and it's terrible. Have read a couple good ones, but they are few and far between.

Joyce Hart said...

This is a good piece, Linda. I'm afraid it is something to be concerned about. And now with the Family Christian Stores going bankrupt this is another strain on Christian Publishing. All we can do is trust God and remember that He is our source. And do as you advise, writers, do the best you can. I believe that Christian Publishing will survive, somehow.

Linda Glaz said...

I think it will, too. We just may see another model that will be the new standard. I guess only time will tell.

Diana Flegal said...

If we only had that crystal ball...

Linda Glaz said...

And if only it worked!!! :)

Eddie Jones said...

Think outside the box. As in, outside The Church box.

Readers still respond to great stories. So if you're an author who happens to be a Christian, write great stories for the masses - not for The Church. Unless ... you're called write for The Church. If that's your calling, stick with it. Just know that market isn't growing right now.

I contend about 40% of secular readers want a great story. That's it. No agenda. No preaching on salvation, global warming, the perceived lack of rights for a particular group, the injustice of (fill in the blank) ... but story.

Jeanette Levellie said...

If we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we may be surprised at how He helps us make a new normal!

Linda Glaz said...

Good stuff, Eddie. I think more and more even inspy publishers are not wanting in your face messages.

Linda Glaz said...

That, too, Jeannette. So much goes into this in today's industry.

sondrakraak said...

As an unpublished writer of historical fiction, it is daunting to see the trends in Christian publishing. However, I'm loving what I'm writing, growing as a person because of it, embracing colleagues in my critique group, and doing what I believe God is calling me to do. For the most part, I think Christian fiction writers have a strong community and are supportive of each other despite being competitors of a diminishing number of publication slots. Being able to interact and be part of that community is worth the journey to me, publication or not.

Linda Glaz said...

It is an incredibly supportive group much more so than most sec groups I've known