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Christian Fiction: Opportunities Exist in Tough Market

Christian Fiction April 2015

The experts all say that bookstore losses to tablet-readers have been the greatest in the fiction genre. But overall, the percentage of e-book sales would seem to have plateaued.

  • If our market is any indication, the greatest growth possibilities seem to exist in the “Suspense” sub-genre. The books that sell here are being sold to women readers and this category would include “Mystery” and “Intrigue.”
  • Seasoned customers are cautious about buying backlist books in a series unless they are assured that the entire set is and will continue to be available. Even if there is no boxed set, sometimes pricing the books as a set is better for customers.
  • The industry continues to ignore print-on-demand possibilities in the cases where, for example, books one and three are still available but stock of book two has dried up. E-books have become the default for out-of-print, making remainder purchasing of books that are part of a set more risky.
  • Canadian customers want trade paperbacks. U.S. first edition hardcovers are a tough sell in Canada with very few exceptions (Ted Dekker, Karen Kingsbury) and mass market paperbacks, despite the bargain price, aren’t a first choice.
  • A younger generation of readers is discovering authors on the internet that many of us, accustomed to the bestselling author names we know, are not carrying in stock. (This is true of non-fiction as well, and will be the subject of another article here soon.)

What is your experience in your market? Leave a short comment.

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  1. April 6, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Happy Easter! I’m commenting, for what it’s worth, as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. My experience is with Christian writers, and it is that they either feel they don’t need professional editing or, if they recognize that they do, they haven’t budgeted for it. It’s unfortunate, because I think many self-publishing authors are thereby creating for themselves and their peers a reputation as less accomplished and thus less marketable in a hugely competitive field.

  2. April 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I’m not sure that is the topic of today’s article, however…

    I recently reviewed a book which had gone past the eyes of a highly paid copy editor, but as they weren’t attuned to the particular milieu of Evangelical Christianity, they missed a few key things. So I think Christian writers needs to look at both (a) copy editing and proofing, and (b) something akin to what academics call peer review, in other words, editing by someone who is very close to the topic of the book.

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