Well, I had to google it too. LOL CCWC is the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. Today I received a shoutmail (which is Shoutlife.com’s equivalent to e-mail) stating this:
At CCWC this year, it was suggested that I seek you out and tell you about my newly self-published novel . . . I was told that you would be able to help me network with others like myself with a passion for good Christian Horror.
I’ve decided to answer here in hopes that I can help more than just this one author. First, OMG!!!! How many times have I said it. Writers, if you’re a Christian seeking publication do NOT jump at any writer’s conference that slaps the label Christian on it. There are sooooo many writer’s conferences and any label should, if nothing else, let you know that it’s for a specific market. This Writer’s Conference, like 99.9% of every other writer’s conference called Christian, is specifically for those wanting to be published by a CBA or ECPA affiliated publisher. How can you tell? Look at the editors present. Each, if not every one of them, are from CBA or ECPA affiliated houses. What blows my mind is Marcher Lord Press was at this conference as well and still this person was sent to me? I thought MLP was to help those authors writing outside of CBA and ECPA’s narrow market. Well, I know that MLP was set up to do this but the fact is, they serve a narrow market as well. Just not as narrow as CBA or ECPA.
Okay so now for the help. You’re self-published. Not a problem. I self-published initially before getting hooked up with a small traditional publisher, (who has since bit the dust as far as traditional publishers go,) so there’s nothing wrong with that. BUT (yes the big but)if you are looking for a traditional publisher, which it seems you are, get your work professionally edited. It’s worth every penny, especially for this author.
Because neither CBA or ECPA is going to take his work EVER. They don’t publish horror. They do publish things they call horror for the sake of calling it that but it doesn’t appeal to anyone outside their narrow market of evangelicals (with rare exceptions like The Left Behind Series that doesn’t seem to ever die though many express concerns on blogs that they wish it would) and doesn’t sale well enough for them to take on ANY author not willing to compromise their story to fit their mold.
And why in the world would CCWC send a Christian writer who paid to go to their conference to me? Gorsh! They didn’t even send him to my publisher which makes more sense. I’m an author.
Now for some more advise. Sorry dude, but don’t call it Christian Horror for right now. It will turn general market readers off right away, (yes Christian general market readers included which is actually a much larger market than CBA and ECPA market readers.) They’ve come to distance themselves from anything called Christian because they’ve learned it serves that narrow audience they don’t like to read.
I know, it’s tough but as soon as those readers learn you’re just a writer who can churn out a good story that doesn’t offend Christians, calling it Christian will only muddle you’re market. And if you don’t write for the audience of Christian’s who visit Christian Bookstores then stop going to conferences geared toward landing a CBA or ECPA affiliated publisher. Seek any small publisher of horror. If it’s not overt and targeted fiction, they’ll gladly look at your work. But do have it professionally edited because small houses really like not having to put out the time, energy and money to do this. Besides the other guy who you’re competing with has already had his MS professionally edited, I guarantee it. 🙂
I do hope this was helpful.
CCWC referring writers to me. Now that is interesting. Awww, but it makes me feel good I guess.