*note: general market readers need not bore yourself with this blog. You’ll have no trouble finding my books. :)*
Nothing is more rewarding to an author than when their work appeals to a market they didn’t write for. Nothing is more frustrating than when the the exclusiveness of that market prevents them from taking advantage of well deserved sales.
Never Ceese and Forever Richard, my vampire/werewolf series, written for the general market reader have been overwhelmingly accepted by a very specific market of Christian readers. Christianbook.com is one of the larger bookselling sites that these readers visit to buy books. I’m asked quite frequently if my books can be purchased through Christianbook.com and so I solicted CBD about why my books weren’t listed already. Afterall, my publisher produces Christian-friendly fiction. 🙂
Here’s what I was told:
. . . product discussions would take place between your publisher and the buyer with whom they already have contact . . . direct your publisher to make the inquiry on your behalf.
Sounds reasonable except that my publisher’s distributor (clearly on my publisher’s behalf) has already contacted CBD at some point as some of their titles are already listed. So it seems that a publisher or their distributor must contact CBD for each title they’d like considered. A little tedious and a bit confusing. If a few books from a publisher are accepted and that publisher serves the market you sell books to, why not list all of their books especially when they distribute through Ingram’s Christian arm, Spring Arbor? Just an odd way to do business IMO.
The above was a recently recieved response and directly contradicts a response I got when I asked if Never Ceese could be listed in 2007. A portion of that response read:
. . . If there is interest in your product, we will contact the publisher or manufacturer directly. Independent products (that is, items being marketed by either the author or a small publisher) may be sent to Christian Book Distributors for review . . .
So there you have it. CBD calls for books produced by small publishers, Christian or otherwise, to be reviewed suggesting that small publishers fall into the same category as self=published authors, the same lingo a larger Christian blog tour uses as the rule for selecting books they want to tour. The larger Christian publishers (Thomas Nelson, Waterbrook, Tyndale etc . . .) books tend to go up automatically without question.
It is a trend in Christian publishing and I suppose it will be a while before readers become aware, to accept that the larger Christian publishers are the only ones capable of producing Christian fiction. The distinction is never made that the books produced are specific to a particular brand of faith and that the work doesn’t appeal to the broader market of Christians.
Until the word is out, just know that Christianbook.com does seem to be following that trend. A book that isn’t put out by the larger Christian houses won’t go up for pre-order and won’t be listed until sales sky rocket or enough of you call to say you want to see it there.
It’s a market issue and a very specific one at that.