Coming October 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cover Story

Notice anything different about my cover from the one used in the header of this blog? My publisher's logo and tag are missing. This isn't a vanishing act, but rather a conscious decision by my publisher's marketing department. Apparently the declaration, The Finest in Christian Fiction, was a turn off to some people. I find it funny to think that there are some people who liken reading a Christian Fiction story to serving 10-15 in a maximum security prison. The name, I'm told, suggests that our stories would lack the kind of drama reader's crave, or be too staunch, too preachy or paint an ideal world full of perfect characters that do no harm and subsequently no harm befalls them. I can almost understand that notion, I've read some Christian novels like that. I had also read Urban Christian novels which told stories about every topic under the sun including taboo topics in the Christian community such as incest, pornography and homosexuality.

I felt my book looked naked without the same brands my first book bore under the same publishing house. I told my fellow labelmates so. To that one of my labelmates remarked, "No it doesn't look naked, it now looks like a regular book."

There were mixed reactions between authors and editors alike. Some revealed their secret prayers that the restricting tag be removed so that their books can become more marketable to a broader audience. There might be something to this fact. One of my labelmates that I met at a signing in my hometown recounted that the bookstore almost sold out of the book prior to her visit siting that it was wrongly shelved with the street literature. We didn't voice, but probably felt bookstores can make that mistake all they want if it produces those results. If our ultimate goal it to get the books in the hands of believers and unbelievers alike then as book marketers we should remove any barriers that might keep people from our books. Others on my label were concerned that we were somehow compromising or conforming to the world's standards - that by removing this tag removed or somehow diminished our intent.

For me the cover brand was a badge of honor. With a label that boasts such talents as Kendra Norman Bellamy, Pat Simmons and Sherri Lewis, I feel I am really among the finest in Christian Fiction. It keeps me striving to produce the best work I can. The truth remains we still are and will ever be a Christian brand even if our covers don't announce the fact.

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