Added 3-11-2008: If you go to the link I posted you'll find my post didn't make the cut. Mr. Mcgregor's response was that he didn't like to argue in public. (he said this via e-mail) Not to mention he referred to my post as a "snotty e-mail." LOL Aww, but after it was all said and done, I was able to ask Mr. Mcgregor to straighten me out on why I shouldn't believe ECPA and CBA don't serve the Christian coservative evangelical market when they say themselves this is what their market is. (I even sent him a few links where he could see this for himself as I didn't make it up.) He promised to respond furhter but said he had to go speak. He's actually not an CBA or ECPA affiliated anything so maybe I was able to show him something he didn't know. I know I'll be interested to see anything to dispute the facts! :) __________________________________________________________________________________
I didn't see a new blog up so I'm putting this. If I'm stepping on someone's blogging toes, I apologize.
I posted this in response to something Chip Mcgregor posted last October. Okay, so I'm a little late but I still couldn't not respond. First I'll put the link to his blog, then I'll put my response. Why? I don't know. I just thought I do it. :)
This blog post was made in October of 2007. It is now March 2008. I just now found this to comment on. LOL
So much of this is mind-boggling to me so I'll just cut and paste a few things mentioned in this post that really blow my mind and explain why.
In ABA, publishers have long insisted all projects be represented by an agent.
ABA stands for American Booksellers Association. They represent SOME Independent booksellers. There aren't any publishers in the ABA. There are only Some Independent booksellers. The ABA doesn't even speak for the larger booksellers such as B&N and Borders etc . . . Therefore this statement is inaccurate but typically made by those involved with the "Christian" publishing industry. I suppose you could've said "in the general market" instead of "In ABA." :)
In point 2 you said the bigger booksellers never carried Christian books. Hmmmm . . . they've always carried Christian books. They just never broke them out from books written for the general market thus making them hard to find. But I suppose you could argue that they didn't always carry books published by CBA and ECPA affiliated publishers because this niche market of the Christian publishing industry settled on primarily having their books in their niche market bookstores, Christian bookstores paying to be affiliated with CBA and ECPA.
The Influence of ABA
Again with the ABA. To be accurate it should read; the influence of the general market. (no, secular doesn't work here) There are good Christian novels in the general market.)
HarperCollins owns Zondervan.
Note HarperCollins is not ABA affiliated because they're not an Indpendent publisher.
Random House owns Waterbrook and Multnomah
Same note as above. Random House is not ABA affiliated.
Simon & Schuster owns Howard
Same note as for others. Simon & Schuster is not ABA.
Hachette owns FaithWords
Don't know about Hachette but I'll bet they aren't an Indpendent publisher and therefore not ABA.
Penguin started Praise.
Not ABA. General market.
Harlequin started Steeple Hill.
Not ABA. General market.
And every old-line CBA publisher still in business is focused on selling books into the general market.
LOL They aren't very focused. To date not one of them have dropped their highly conservative evangelical guidelines that mark them as publishers serving a niche market of conservative evangelicals. Saying CBA affiliated publishers is focusing on the general market(btw congrats for not saying ABA this time. :)) is like saying Harlequin is focusing on the general romance market. :o
The business of publishing Christian books has completely changed in the past ten years. That's a trend that will continue
Perhaps it has changed but only in the sense that FINALLY people are starting to realize that CBA and ECPA affiliated publishers serve a niche market of the Christian Publishing industry and not the general market as a whole. And it is quite disconcerting to imply the buying up of these CBA and ECPA houses by bigger general market houses is a change. They haven't changed their set-up. They still only serve a niche market but rarely say so which only strengthens the belief that they are THE Christian market and that anyone published outside this market is a Christian writing for the "secular" market.
How sad. :(
Christian books used to be aimed at nice church people, who were all white, all basically middle-class and climbing, and all staunchly evangelical (charismatics, mainline denominational types, and people of color need not apply
To the best of my knowledge the only Christian books that target this demographic are those published by CBA or ECPA affiliated publishers as this is almost exactly the market CBA and ECPA claim to be after; conservative evangelicals. So nothing has really changed here. Traditional Christian publishers and authors have always targeted the Christian general market and have always produced mind blowing work. Ie. . .C.S. Lewis, Tokien.
That Christian bookstores would once more become Christian bookstores, instead of Christian Gift Centers and Religious Junk Bazaars. Say it with me: No more cutesy Christian crap!
Ooooh, you said crap. That would never go over in the CBA or ECPA. But this isn't a novel now, is it. :) BTW Christian Bookstores were set up to sell cutesy Christian crap! The books they sold initilally were simply Bibles and Sunday School items. They slowly began adding books. All beit, only books published by their own affiliations. :)
Okay, that's enough from me. Aren't you glad I came and set you straight. LOL
Go ahead. Blast away. Bottom line is, from what I can gather, the Christian market you're referring to in this blog post is the one created by CBA and ECPA affiliated publishers. Nothing wrong with that. Just know that they admittedly serve conservative evangelicals which makes them a niche market and not representitive of the Christian market as a whole. :)