Thursday, August 30, 2007

Writing Black, Reading Christian

This week I've been at the Shades of Romance Online Writer's Conference. Yesterday I served on a panel titled: Writing for the Lord. We had a great discussion. During our panel a debate that pops up at least once a year through the loop surfaced. Why don't Christian Book Enthusiasts not read Christian Books written by African-Americans? We need to have a frank discussion about this topic, then put it to bed. The best comment will receive a free copy of my ebook: Dee's Book Reviewing Fast Facts: 20 Tips to turning this hobby into a Cheap Read and some Pocket Change.

7 comments:

Nicole said...

Dee,

Gulp, I'll go first. Number one, if it's an historical novel by ANYbody, I generally won't read it.

Number two, if it's light fare by ANYbody (i.e. chick lit, etc.), I almost certainly won't read it.

Those two types of novels are the ones I tend to spot under African-American titles. I have in my TBR orders Linda Leigh Hargrove's The Making of Isaac Hunt because it's serious and sounds exciting.

Personally, anything that places me outside my cultural understanding and makes me feel stupid or like an outsider--chances are I won't read it. It has nothing to do with "race" issues per se.

But, hey, I write books for a certain flavor audience, and there are definitely people who won't want to read mine (like those who prefer fluff or those who enjoy the "innocence" of prairie romances, etc.).

ForstRose said...

I don't know about the other readers out there but many times I read what I can get through my local library or borrow from friends. I would probably buy more books were I in a position to do so however that isn't always possible so I am limited by what selection other buyers make that I have access to. I may have unknowingly read writers who are African American but honestly I don't pay attention to the author's background in that respect. I pick books based on recommendations from others who know my tastes and the cover synopses.

Hi, I'm Dee said...

thanks, nicole and forstrose.

Nicole, stops by Christian Fiction often. She'll be excited to know you are reading her work. Are you a member of Faith*in*Fiction?

Forstrose, you want to get books on the cheap? Bookreviews is the way to go.:)

Nicole said...

I visit there regularly.

I'm especially excited to feature your writing on my blog this Saturday, Dee.

Hi, I'm Dee said...

Nicole, I'm blushing. I will link my site to your entry. Thanks so much. :)

Pattie said...

I'd like to know where they are. I read a LOT of Christian fiction esp. from recommendations through ACFW. I've only recently found your blog, and so I had NO idea many of these books you have highlighted on your blog were even out there! Is it a marketing thing? I wish I knew.

Hi, I'm Dee said...

Pattie, it's a marketing thing.

There aren't many AA authors writing for Christian publishers. Thus, the marketing arm of many of these houses only have a birds eye view of this very aggressive market.

I wrote an entry two years ago with an interview from the marketing director at Lifeway. I couldn't understand why these stores do not stock books written by aa authors, particularly in stores that have a heavy aa demographic. His response I understood. However, I don't think he or his counterparts understand how their mindset hurts not only AA authors, but the Body of Christ.

My hope for Christian Fiction Blog is that readers find a story that is interesting and if nothing else go to the library and check it out or go to one of their book signings and hear them speak. I can't change the institution on the inside. But maybe I can direct readers to an underrepresented piece of our Universal Church.

Thanks, Pattie.

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