Monday, April 09, 2012
Where Have All The Readers Gone?
This past week I was talking with a writer friend about trends in Christian Fiction. Here are some observations I've made:
1. Big name authors are moving from one place to another. Recently, two authors that wrote for Bethany House, the grand mac-daddy of them all when it comes to historical romance, announced contracts with other publishing houses.
2. Last week, I read an article online (and I apologize, I've searched and searched, but I can't find it!) where an employee of Bethany House Publishers was quoted as saying the readers of historical romance/fiction just aren't there like they were previously.
3. One trend that seems to be holding its own, with a slight leveling off due to the sheer number of titles on the market, is Amish fiction.
4. And here's where I'm doing a little spit-balling. Christian Historical Romance and Amish Fiction have several things in common. Both take you to another time and place, one where moral strictures and a fierce sense of propriety guide society. Both hearken to a simpler time.
5. There is a finite amount of $$$ readers of Christian Fiction have to spend on books.
6. Readers of Christian Historical Romance haven't vanished. They're spreading their love around. There is so much cross-over between historical romance and Amish fiction, they buy both, but they can't buy all of both.
7. Trends ebb and flow. At a conference I attended in 2007, not a single editor or agent was looking for historical fiction. (Which bummed me out, because that's what I write.) By the next year, every editor and agent on the discussion panels said they were looking for historical romance. Who knows what will happen this year?
So, question for you...Are you a reader of historical fiction? Amish fiction? Both? Neither?
What trend are you hoping will take off, or what trend are you hoping will wane soon?