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Do Authors Really Need To Blog?


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Guest Steven Hutson
On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 11:54 AM, Alley said:

The excerpts from your book might be interesting, but if doing it before you launch a book, I'd not want to get interested in it and have no way to buy it. 


I don't understand. What would prevent you from buying a book, when you already know that you like it?

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27 minutes ago, Jethro said:

I don't understand. What would prevent you from buying a book, when you already know that you like it?

Maybe I should have worded that better.  I, personally, don't enjoy reading parts of a book that I would love to read, only to find out the book won't be out for a year.  I would even go as far as to avoid books like this because I don't enjoy reading cliffhangers that I have to wait forever to find out what happens.  I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I do.  

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4 hours ago, Alley said:

I don't enjoy reading cliffhangers that I have to wait forever to find out what happens. 

Agreed. When people post pieces of their WIP and I know I'm going to have to wait until 1) the book is finished, 2) the book is published, and 3) the book makes it to a store nearby (or online), ... But that's what this site is about, so we do it and enjoy helping each other.

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5 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

But that's what this site is about, so we do it and enjoy helping each other.

Helping each other, I'm ok with.  I know what I'm getting into to start with.  It's the ones that are finished, and I still have to wait.  It drives me nuts!  

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True confessions: I'm a bit confused and sadden by a lot of the comments that Jethro has made with regards to Christian fiction and writer's of this genre.  I must admit after reading the comments to catch up on this thread, I'm left feeling a bit discouraged in my chosen genre - Christian fiction. 

 

Are Jethro's views commonly held in the writing community? Have I been naive all along and missed the fact that it is a declining industry?  I feel led to write a Christian fiction novel that is primarily a suspense thriller but it does have a romantic subplot to it. However, if these ideas about the Christian fiction genre are widely held in the literature community then maybe I'm headed down a foolish path.

 

I joined christianwriters.com to be encouraged, supported and to get honest, helpful critique. For the most part, I have received just that.  So, I was a little thrown off when I felt discouragement creep in after reading the rest of this thread.  I'm sure that was not the intention and I certainly did not mean to take anything that was said personally. So I apologize for doing so. Taking things personally is something I've been trying to overcome for years.

 

I was not going to even share my thoughts and feelings on this but, I don't know, I guess I felt I needed to be open and honest with myself and with the group.  Please forgive me (especially Jethro) if anything I said has upset or offended you.

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I can't answer for everyone, but the only decline I, personally, see is the traditionally published Christian fiction.  I've seen a huge boom in the Christain self-publishing side.  That said there is still a market for both, and both take work. 

 

 However, you said the most important thing.  God called you to this.  If he called you, he will provide your readers. 

 

  This is where I am personally, and for me, it's about God using my work for his glory.  Whether I reach one person, a million, or if this is just about me being obedient to him, I want to do his will.  So for me, it's a focus on God and watching this in the light of eternity.  

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7 minutes ago, Alley said:

This is where I am personally, and for me, it's about God using my work for his glory.  Whether I reach one person, a million, or if this is just about me being obedient to him, I want to do his will.  So for me, it's a focus on God and watching this in the light of eternity.

Thanks Alley, I needed to be reminded of this. It seems like I've been getting easily discouraged lately in a lot of areas in my life. But this book is the one thing I do feel that God has led me to do and I have said the same thing from the start - if it reaches one, a million or He just wants to use it and the process to bring healing in my life - I'll do it.  It's for His glory, His purpose, not mine. 

 

It is all about Him and all for Him. I cannot even take my next breath unless He wills it.  Sometimes, I forget and take my eyes off Him and I need friends like you to remind me to "look up."  ?

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(Just writing this as you replied) Ditto Alley. I was just going to say the same. The enemy may have sent discouragement your way but if you feel the Lord has called you to write what you're writing, do not give up. Keep at it. Without the opinions on all sides to know what is going on in the writing and publishing community, we cannot make informed decisions. So be encouraged, RL. You go, girl! :D

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2 hours ago, RLHicks said:

I must admit after reading the comments to catch up on this thread, I'm left feeling a bit discouraged in my chosen genre - Christian fiction.

Just keep writing to glorify God.  Everything else will fall into line :D

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Guest Steven Hutson
5 hours ago, RLHicks said:

Are Jethro's views commonly held in the writing community? Have I been naive all along and missed the fact that it is a declining industry? 


This is not my view. It's the trend of the past twenty years. Several major Christian publishers have abandoned their fiction lines, the most recent being Harvest House. Family Christian Stores went bust a few years back. Things are tough all over.
.

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6 minutes ago, Jethro said:

It's the trend of the past twenty years.

The trend I see is that it has become easier to find out everything about a company.  I admit with the internet it's not always true.  That said, for my community here, they no longer buy books from places that sell or endorse things that are contrary to what they believe.  An example would be that if a publishing house sells Christain romance, but also sell erotica, the people in my community would not buy anything from that publishing house.  They will, however, buy from a self-published Christain romance writer that does not promote books or beliefs contrary to standard Christan beliefs.  That's the trend I have noticed in my little part of the world.  It might not be the same everywhere, but it is the normal here.  

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Guest Steven Hutson
1 minute ago, Alley said:

An example would be that if a publishing house sells Christain romance, but also sell erotica,


Do you know of such a company? I don't. 

2 minutes ago, Alley said:

They will, however, buy from a self-published Christain romance writer that does not promote books or beliefs contrary to standard Christan beliefs. 


I don't doubt that.

 

2 minutes ago, Alley said:

but it is the normal here.  


Where?

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Guest Steven Hutson
6 hours ago, Alley said:

I've seen a huge boom in the Christain self-publishing side. 


Indeed. And they typically sell in very small numbers. Hardly anyone makes a living at it, They don't get advances, and they don't get sponsored marketing campaigns.

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5 minutes ago, Jethro said:

And they typically sell in very small numbers. Hardly anyone makes a living at it, They don't get advances, and they don't get sponsored marketing campaigns.

True, but they make more of a profit per book they sell.  I also realize that the normal first-time advance is $5,000 tops.  Then you have to wait for it to go to the market which is usually at least a year.  Then any profit you make first comes from your advance.  Let's say for the sake of math it takes the low end to break even at one year, and then you make a profit.  Only after you break even will you make any more profit.  The average traditionally published author will need to have at least three books published before they start braking past their advances.  This means you make roughly $15,000 in advances for six years.  That's not something the average person can live on.  I've also never known a first-time author to get a marketing campaign.  I'm sure they are out there, I've just never seen it.  Now I'm not saying that you can't make a living with traditional publishing.  All I am saying is that no matter what path to publication you chose this is a marathon, and not a sprit — one that you will most likely take years to build up before you can make a living at it.  

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Guest Steven Hutson
7 minutes ago, Alley said:

  Then you have to wait for it to go to the market which is usually at least a year.  Then any profit you make first comes from your advance.  Let's say for the sake of math it takes the low end to break even at one year, and then you make a profit. 


All of these factors depend on you and your negotiation. Nothing there is fixed or universal.

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Guest Steven Hutson
3 minutes ago, Alley said:

True, but they make more of a profit per book they sell. 


Which is very attractive in the short-term, but still (in the vast majority of cases) yields tiny sales quantities. I'm more interested in the long view, to make a career of it.

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Guest Steven Hutson
11 minutes ago, Alley said:

I've also never known a first-time author to get a marketing campaign. 


I know plenty. It happens all the time. When a publisher spends thousands on editing and design, and thousands more on an advance, OF COURSE they launch a marketing campaign. They want to sell enough books to recover their investment.

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29 minutes ago, Jethro said:

Do you know of such a company? I don't.

Harlequin.  

 

They have books like this:

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488042577_minding-the-amish-baby.html

 

Then on the same shelf, they have books like this:

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335971937_blame-it-on-christmas.html

And this:

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488024375_owned-by-fate.html

 

They also have a whole gay section.  I'm not going to link it, but you can google it.  

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Guest Steven Hutson
1 minute ago, Alley said:

There are so many doing this, that it is shoving out the real Christian publishers.  


Heh. Harlequin does not compete with (say) Bethany House or Waterbrook. They work in two very different segments of the industry.

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