Best Selling Christian Books

Nov 15, 2022
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I see lists on Amazon, but that is skewed because the free kindle book are all at the top. They are at the top because they are free, not because they are good.
 

Wes B

Mostly Harmless
Jul 28, 2019
1,459
1,782
The list of bestselling Christian books is thought-provoking. I'm not sure if it would be hijacking the thread to launch into a discussion of what it says about the needs & interests of the Christian community and how we might meet them, but I'd suspect there's a lot to discuss...
 
Nov 15, 2022
30
14
The list of bestselling Christian books is thought-provoking. I'm not sure if it would be hijacking the thread to launch into a discussion of what it says about the needs & interests of the Christian community and how we might meet them, but I'd suspect there's a lot to discuss...
You are not hijacking it at all. That is the reason I am wanting to study a current list of what is selling. I can take that into consideration when deciding what to write.
 
Oct 15, 2022
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@JonMacIssac even though I've been fortunate enough to have four books published, I'm still trying to figure out my genre ;).

Question for all, why does it seem like fantasy is the most relatable genre to Christian writers?
 
Apr 5, 2019
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1,220
@JonMacIssac even though I've been fortunate enough to have four books published, I'm still trying to figure out my genre ;).

Question for all, why does it seem like fantasy is the most relatable genre to Christian writers?

Fantasy, SciFi, and Horror create alternate worlds that allow for ideas to be inserted, without running afoul of history or current events.

And, because they often provide more than just interpersonal drama for the reader.

That's my opinion.
 

Wes B

Mostly Harmless
Jul 28, 2019
1,459
1,782
In a very informative session at a writer's conference, author Bob Hostetler said there were differences between hobby writers and professional writers. Now, this may inflame some folks, and you can take it for whatever you want, but I'll point out that only a tiny, tiny percentage of published authors actually make a living from their writing, and Hostetler is one of them.

Anyway, he said that hobby writers write about what they like, and professional writers write about what the readers like. He did point out that most of us ought to find sufficient overlap between the two, and that a small number of his books were hobby writing and did OK.

Now, to a lot of us, the Big Goal is to merely get published, while Hostetler was talking more about a career in writing; they're two different things. Still, planning in the long term is probably helpful. While success most often takes hard work, there are all kinds of hard work that don't result in a lot of success. While we all probably have some audience, a little planning may make our audience large enough to actually pay for itself.
 
Nov 15, 2022
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A couple of dumb questions here: why would you care about what subjects are popular in order to focus your writing efforts? Why wouldn't you write about the things that move you?
I have so many ideas in my mind on so many topics if one is more desirable to more people, I may lean that way. Sci-Fi, history, real life, self-help, and that is just a few. If I only had one, the choice would be easy.
 

Zee

Mar 1, 2019
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1,360
A couple of dumb questions here: why would you care about what subjects are popular in order to focus your writing efforts? Why wouldn't you write about the things that move you?

Actually, I think that’s an excellent question. If you write what you love or fear, or wonder about, what compels you, even if it never sells well or becomes “popular,” the creation will still be a deeply satisfying experience.
 
Nov 15, 2022
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Interesting. I guess people have different motivations for writing. I can see that it can be a rewarding experience to pour yourself into creating something. That is why I do most things, projects, etc.
I feel like my motivation to write (as lacking as it is) is to give something to others. Whether it be a life lesson, an escape, or just some type of enjoyment. So the more people I can possibly reach, the greater my motivation. I guess one of my fears is to pour so much of my time into writing something that nobody will enjoy. Time is precious since I am working a full-time job and two part-time jobs. I am also maintaining five acres with animals and... I don't want to go down the woe is me trail, LOL
But I do see that people are motivated to write for different reasons. Maybe if I did it for myself I may be more motivated.
 
Apr 5, 2019
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Actually, I think that’s an excellent question. If you write what you love or fear, or wonder about, what compels you, even if it never sells well or becomes “popular,” the creation will still be a deeply satisfying experience.

Yep.

I always harken back to music when I express my opinion on this topic. So many music groups and composers, tend to find the most success when they write and play the stuff they want to write and play. Because they have a passion for that type and style of music.

A prime example of this is the rock group Rush. When they started out, they garnered some notoriety by playing 70s-style hard rock. Then Neil Peart showed up, and they decided to move in a different direction. The first two albums did well, but their third offering - Caress of Steel - bombed pretty hard. Part of this was because the second side of the album was a 20+ minute song in multiple parts about some fantasy story. Consequently, they ended up playing minor venues, which was a dramatic fall from how they were progressing.

In the end, they decided that if Rush was going to go out, they were going out with a bang. When they went back to the studio, they didn't revert back to what initially got them some attention. Instead, they went even further into that prog rock style of music that would end up defining the band. Instead of drugs, sex, and rock and roll, their next album was pulled from the writings of Ayn Rand, and it was named 2112.

And their careers took off like a rocket.

(Yes, I know that Rand was an atheist. Stick with me.)

The content of their next albums included a social justice allegory using trees, a story about entering a black hole, a commentary about the fall of feudal rule, and a long, existential song using Greek gods as metaphors - very intellectual stuff coupled with challenging music. With that, Rush cemented their place in modern music for decades (and decades to come).

Now whether you like Rush, their music, or the philosophies of the various members, you can't deny they were highly, highly, highly successful. That's because they stayed true to who they were and what drove them to create their music. Being true to one's self is at the core of the creative process. In that, God speaks to us. I believe it is why he made us. It is how he works through us: as individuals and not as a collective.

The trick, however, is to make sure that it is God speaking to you, and not whispers of devils stoking your vanity.

In the end, a tree is known by its fruit.
 

Johne

Senior Member
Staff member
Sep 27, 2005
3,536
1,495
A prime example of this is the rock group Rush.
Mike Portnoy tells a similar story about the making of Dream Theater's SCENES FROM A MEMORY, created after FALLING INTO INFINITY, a commercial success that the band felt was too commercial. They decided to self-produce their next album, a concept record that the suits hated but the fans adored, and whose success was good enough to allow the band to self-produce their own music thereafter.

Musically, the album is perfection. There is no other way to describe it. The acoustic, Pink Floyd-like “Regression” leads into “Overture 1928,” which introduces a slew of stunning musical themes that will be heard throughout the piece. From there, it’s one unforgettable musical odyssey after another, each one advancing the story further. The band keeps listeners on their toes, never quite taking the turn one might expect. “Fatal Tragedy,” a heavy song with strong gothic undertones, ends with a long instrumental section. The hypnotherapist then leads us directly into the even heavier “Beyond This Life,” which details the newspaper account of Victoria’s murder. More than 11 minutes later, we finally get a chance to breathe on “Through Her Eyes,” a song highlighted by Rudess’ keys, Petrucci’s heartbreaking guitar and guest vocalist Theresa Thomason. “Home,” perhaps the best heavy track of Dream Theater’s entire career, follows. “Home” also is the most direct descendant of “Metropolis—Part 1.” Then it’s on to “The Dance of Eternity,” an instrumental that’s jaw-dropping even by this band’s lofty standards. “The Spirit Carries On,” perhaps the album’s key song, also has a Pink Floyd vibe and features a gospel choir. “Finally Free,” which reveals the truth of Victoria’s death, is noteworthy for Portnoy’s incredible drumming display at its climax, among other things.

Though it reached only No. 73 on the Billboard charts in the United States, “Scenes from a Memory” was hugely important album for Dream Theater. It re-established its artistic credibility with those who were turned off by “Falling into Infinity” and was successful enough to convince the record company suits to continue to let the band do things its way. The band has self-produced every album since.

In 2009, Portnoy credited “Scenes from a Memory” with saving the band.

“It’s funny,” he said, “the two darkest periods of the band, which were the period before ‘Images and Words’ and the period after ‘Falling into Infinity,’ those were the two periods that almost broke up the band and in both cases they resulted in probably our two most successful albums, ‘Images and Words’ and ‘Scenes from a Memory.’”
 

Johne

Senior Member
Staff member
Sep 27, 2005
3,536
1,495
This interview with Mike Portnoy talks about how this album was do-or-die.
 

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