At least by the definition I’ve come to know-Fiction written by a Christian. But to avoid the confusion of one unique market exclusively claiming this label to define their unique brand of fiction, I’d have to say that The Shack is simply fiction written by a Christian.
What’s important to point out about The Shack?
The Shack was written for the general market (which includes readers who are Christians.) Clearly, based on sales and astounding reviews from readers of this market, the book does an absolutely wonderful job of appealing to the Christians in this market.
Way to go William!!!
The CBA and ECPA, two gatekeeper affiliations set up to determine what goes into affiliated Christian Bookstores (95.5% of all Christian bookstores) wouldn’t touch this book at first because they were afraid it would offend their core market of conservative evangelicals, the market they were set up to protect. Certainly within reason they would do this as they do an excellent job of protecting their core market.
But based on some of the post and comments I’ve seen, it seems CBA was right. Based on the fact that The Shack now tops the CBA best-seller’s list, it also seems they were very, very wrong.
So why didn’t CBA stick to their guns and not carry it?
I guess because The Shack was selling so well everywhere else. They wanted in to. So they added the nifty little warning, Read at your own discernment and now let affiliated bookstores carry it if they wanted to.
The Shack now tops CBA’s best-seller’s list–along with topping many other best-sellers lists.
Mr. Young, according to what I read in an interview, has even been approached by several CBA affiliated publishers who want him to write for them and their conservative market of evangelical Christians even though they wouldn’t look at him before.
To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Young said, no thanks. 🙂
A fine example of someone who knows his market!
What an interesting risk CBA bookstores are taking by allowing a book in that is so controversial to their core market when there are so many non-affiliated Christian books that would work so much better and cause far less problems. I guess this is one of those times when money wins out and we have to apply the CBA is a business first and a gatekeeper for a paricular market second.