Monday, December 22, 2008

An Author's Christmas Wish List

It's time once again for my annual Author's Christmas Wish List. In keeping with just about everything else in my life, I'm late on it, but the good news is--none of these are limited to the Yuletide season. You can make any author in your life happy with these gifts--some of time, some of talent, and some of treasure.

Gifts of Time:

Take my book to a store and ask the owner to stock it
Mention to friends or user groups about my website or blog
Babysit the kids so I can have a few quiet hours for writing
Help me set up a book signing at your local bookstore or library (especially appreciated if we live far from each other and I'm coming for a visit)
Contact your local newspaper or radio station about me and arrange an interview--also a great idea if I happen to be coming for a visit

Gifts of Talent:
Create a website for me--or better yet, teach me how
Make a template I can modify
Ideas on how I can market myself or my books--and help me to put them into practice!
Design a banner, book "sell sheet" (a one-page flyer about the book), or other marketing materials

Gifts of Treasure:
Music to write by
Amazon gift certificates to get books
Buy my book--order it from a bookstore
Buy me a domain name for my website
Bookmarks with my cover, name and website
Subscription to writers market
Book signing gear--poster with my photo and name on it (see link), a roll-away carrier to put the books and materials, book stands
Business cards
Gift certificate to a printer/VistaPrint if they do that
A really good pen!
Large envelopes
Business-sized envelopes

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Realms Publishing - who is their market?

*oops big ol' typo in the Title of this original post -- so what else is new. All better now :)*

Strang Communication, a member of the Christian Booksellers Assocition (CBA)has added a new CBA imprint called Realms publishing. From the Realms publishing site:

Discover Christian fiction that charts realms no living human has visited before. Fantasy, supernatural thrillers, time travel, spiritual warfare, futuristic fiction. Mind-stretching thrillers from the most imaginative Christian authors of our day.

CBA and ECPA readers should be ecstatic but I'd like to challenge other readers to keep in mind this work is only produced to appeal to the very specific market CBA member publishers write for just as Harlequin Romances appeal to a very specific market of romance readers.

If you're interested in reading Fantasy, supernatural thrillers, time travel, spiritual warfare, futuristic fiction that appeal to the broader market reader, you'll be more successful looking for work not affiliated with the CBA and ECPA market. :)

Also, to help you in your search for publishers who write for the broader Christian market and not just that market CBA serves I've added a link that lists all CBA member publishers. If a publisher is on this list then you can rest assured they write for that specific market that CBA serves. ;)

Again, you may very well enjoy what Realms puts out or any other CBA house for that matter. But the work is intended to appeal to only that very specific market of Christians that general market readers find difficult to enjoy.

Publishers who are members of CBA.

If you like the work these publishers put out then you'd most likely enjoy attending Christian Book Expo (CBE) as these are the publishers that will be there. Yes. I'm sure Strang will be there and Realms as well as will all the other CBA specific imprints owned by general market publishers such as Waterbrook, Multnomah, Hachette's CBA imprint FaithWords, Simon & Schuster's CBA imprint Howard just to name a few.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Part two of TCM interview found here!

You can read part two of the interview done by Jake Chism of The Christian Manifesto by clicking below.

Excerpt for Forever Richard up!

Excerpt from Forever Richard is now up at The Christian Manifiesto. If you'd like you can click here to read it. I think my "publisher" made an excellent choice.


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Christian Manifesto interviews author Sue Dent

According to Jake Chism of The Christian Manifesto, part one of my interview with him will go up tomorrow, December 16th and part two will go up Friday. I was so excited when Jake asked me to do this interview since most sites geared toward Christian readers don't come to me for an interview even though I am an author who appeals to many of their reading public. And what grand questions as well! Hopefully my answers will keep some poor author from stumbling around in the pervasive darkness of the Christian publishing world. Make sure and check:

tomorrow, December 16th to see the results. Here's a snippit from one of my answers to whet your appetite:
". . . put lipstick on a pig and . . ."

There. That ought to peak your interest. LOL But if that isn't enough, there will also be an excerpt from Forever Richard going up but I'm not sure which day. :)

Happy reading and thank-you again Jake!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Review of League of Superheroes by Stephen Rice

When it comes to Christian superheroes, I'm really more of a Larryboy fangirl, myself. It's very hard to make a Bible-quoting superhero work, in my humble opinion. Bibleman, for example--could anyone take that show seriously? Batman meets a revival of stereotypical proportions. I wouldn't even bother showing that to my kids--they'd laugh and not for good reasons like with Veggie Tales cartoons.

Well, if you'd like your kids to read about Christian superheroes they can identify with, I recommend Steven Rice's League of Superheroes. Here's a fun easy read about a band of teenage kids (plus one little sister) who meet a cyborg supergenius online. Genie gifts them with supersuits based on their favorite comic book heroes, setting them up for trouble with the mega-corporation who created Genie and intend to keep her--and any of her inventions--for their own nefarious purposes.

Oh, did that read like a comic book plot? It should. Steve was very obviously having fun with the comic book stereotypes, as well as the unbelievably intelligent-yet-doomed-to-endure-high-school cast of teens. He nonetheless crafts an enjoyable read and keptt he characters from becoming perfect geniuses, a la Wesley Crusher. I especially liked Rod's misadventures with his suit. The heroes at times strayed into unbelievable goodness, yet still had some of the common foibles of teenage boys--a certain disdain for little sisters, a penchant for getting into trouble, and the like--that kept them from becoming caricatures rather than characters.

If you like plausible technobabble, you'll love this book. Steve is very careful to give scientifically possible methods for each one of the supersuit's capabilities--and does a good job of explaining them. Makes me want to go back and check out a quantum physics book. He also gave each suit a limitation, which I appreciate. Can you imagine how insufferable a teenage boy with the perfect supersuit could be?

Steve also does his best to represent a tapestry of Christian beliefs, as the characters are Catholic, Baptist, Assembly of God and non-denominational, and he does a fair job of representing all the beliefs in a valid and positive light. Since the story is told from Tom's point of view, it has a decidedly Protestant angle. I found some of the religious dialogue and events a little heavy-handed for my taste, especially toward the end, but not enough to call it sermon-in-a-story. (One of my pet peeves.)

Steve has a nice, straightforward writing style that's good for the middle reader--I'd recommend this book for 4th or 5th grade and up. Plus, Steven, on occasion, comes up with a killer line: I felt like a Biblical character who had just received a patriarchal blessing—honored, mature, strong, and above all, so scared that I needed to use the bathroom. He also has a lot of skill with ending a chapter in such a way that you want to turn the next page, so watch out if you read this as a bedtime story to your kids.

Review by Karina Fabian,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christian Book Expo - The Expo for Christian Publishers?

There is still quite a bit of buzz about CBE (Christian Book Expo.) Every publisher who produces fiction that doesn't offend your basic Christian reader probably wonders if it's worth their time and money to go.

This information might help you. I visited a blog recently that claimed CBE expected a large turn out of "ECPA publishers and publishers from the general market who produce Christian fiction." I commented that I thought this wording was odd. ECPA and CBA came into existence to monitor work produced by affiliated publishers, "Christian Fiction" that could go into affiliated bookstores without offending a particular demographic of Christians, a market no general market publisher had yet to address according to CBA and ECPA.

In response to my comment I was told that "there are a bunch of general market publishers who do Christian books (HarperCollins owns Zondervan and HarperOne, Random House owns Waterbrook and Multnomah, Hachette owns FaithWords, Simon & Schuster owns Howard, etc). They'll all be there. And the parent companies will all be at BEA."

Do I really have to state the obvious? The publishers named above are all owned by general market publsihers but are not general market publishers themselves. They are all ECPA or CBA affiliated and serve that specific demographic CBA and ECPA were set up to serve.

So, if you're wondering about what Christian publishers will attend, so far it seems only CBA or ECPA affiliated ones. General Market publishers who produce books that appeal to the general market, Christians included, will be attending BEA of course or whatever other expo suits their demographic. ;)

Also noted was that CBE, under the leadership of Michael Hyatt of CBA affiliated Thomas Nelson, would most likely do well enough to replace International Christian Resource Show started by CBA themselves.

Well it certainly seems likely now doesn't it?

They get it!

Readers are seeing that one can be a Christian and still write a novel that appeals to a very broad market.

I found this while googling. Never Ceese is mentioned in this piece under Literature AND it is noted that Never Ceese is a Christian vampire/werewolf novel AND is not torn apart because of this little known fact. And I'm mentioned in the same breath (or rather blog) as Tolkien for Heaven's sake! :)

*Dabs at corner of eyes with tissue.*

You can check it out here.

I've got to go pinch myself because I know I'm dreaming.

Ow, ow, ow . . .

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christian Readers reach for more vampires and werewolves!

The pending release of Forever Richard, the second werewolf and vampire novel by novelist Sue Dent has caused much excitement--and threatens a first printrun sellout-- from a surprising source: Christian readers.

Click here to read the press release. :)