Today the idea of free or deep-discounted books is becoming the norm rather than the exception to a degree that I’m starting to wonder if the CBA isn’t causing itself to implode. In a quest for interest/reach/reader loyalty are we giving away sustainability?
Like many others, I’m broken hearted by the news that Family Christian is closing its doors. I’m broken hearted by the fact that the Christian market—not just for books, but any variety of retail merchandise, is dying a slow, painful death. I’ve had four signings at my local Family Christian over the years and I treasured the store’s support. I couldn’t get my books on shelves, or even do signings, at Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million. Meanwhile, Family Christian welcomed me with open arms and the results were mutually beneficial.
Now, that avenue has come to an end; yet another pathway closed to Christian authors (and retailers) who are being squeezed into non-existence.
The idea behind my post today? That we need to support one another. From the pocket book. For the record, I’m all about freebies. I’m all about sale prices on great merchandise, like Christian books for example. I’ve taken advantage of many a bargain and discovered awesome new authors at the result. However, I’ve concluded that I need to dig deeper than that and support our industry by purchasing goods at a price and in a manner which creates sustainability. I need to hold to the truth that the effort authors (in this case) and other Christian retailers put into their businesses is worthy of patronage and financial compensation. If not, these ministries will perish.
In Jesus’s day, his followers existed, and then survived, by banding together, by forming a community and supporting one another. Today is no different. If we want to survive, we must live in a spirit of mutual viability.
And so, I’m eager to know: What are your perceptions on the current ‘state of the Christian industry?’ Any thoughts about ways to stem the backward slide of store closures, lack of exposure and sinking sales? Blessings, friends, and see you next month!
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher's Association. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award, Then & Now for Best Contemporary Romance and Finding Home for Best Novella. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.
Amy Monarch is a tireless volunteer at the Dupont Rescue and Recovery Center, an establishment for the destitute founded by her mother. There, Amy has kept her identity a carefully guarded secret. She is actually Princess Amelia Marguerite Louise DeLaGrande of Remeth. Working at Dupont offers the opportunity to serve in blessed disguise.
Fresh into a promising career in commercial real estate brokerage, Patrick Sawyer returns to the picturesque isle of Remeth intending to reconnect with his collegiate study abroad friends and figure out 'what's next' in his life. Since his father's passing, the world he knows leaves him uninspired. He volunteers at Dupont during his visit and becomes enchanted by Amy.
But Amelia is trapped within a silken web. When she reveals who she is, Patrick pulls back. He's not interested in royalty--at all--but how can she ever break free? How can she find a way to service and God's plan for her life? Most of all, how can she reconcile the call she feels toward a remarkable man who may be 'common,' yet is 'uncommon' when it comes to matters of the heart?