Saturday, October 17, 2009

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday

My Friend Amy, who brought us Book Blogger Appreciation Week has a new carnival in the works, the Faith 'n Fiction Saturday.

Each week she will post a blogging prompt, which participating bloggers will answer on their own blogs. Then they head back to the original post and sign Mister Linky! This way we can all come to know each other more closely.

Today's Topic

This week Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publisher announced a new division for self publishing. They named this new endeavor, Westbow Press. This was a bit of a shock for those of us who remember books on the shelves by some of Christian fiction's most accomplished writers published under the Westbow imprint of the past.

When asked about this, Michael Hyatt responded that readers don't pay attention to imprints and publishers. To be honest, I found this rather insulting and it also made me question why publishers would try to brand themselves if readers don't really care anyway. Even before book blogging and reading book news every day, I paid attention to publishers. I figured if a publisher published enough different sorts of books that I liked, than I would like a lot of their stuff.

This really holds true today. I have favorite publishers in Christian fiction and in the general market. There are publishers I know I will read new authors from and other I'm less likely to pick up.

How about you? Do you know who the Christian publishers are? Who are your favorite publishers or imprints? Do you have certain perceptions of the kinds of books each publishing house brings out? Tell it like it is...even if you have no idea what I'm talking about!

My Answer: So I was appalled to hear that readers don't pay attention to publishers. This bothers me because all readers are getting lumped up in one massive blob. You have the person that barely reads and only picks up a book when they have to. Then you have the casual readers who like reading but don't do it on a normal basis. There is also the group that is very in tuned to the literary and publishing world and DOES know publishers. It is an insult to say that readers don't pay attention. I mean I remember being 8 years old and knowing that the Baby Sitters Club was published by Scholastic Apple.

Anywho, I'm a big fan of the major publishers in the Christian fiction industry. This is mainly because they've done such a good work at branding their image and creating a name for themselves that people recognize. I'm pretty sure I can name all the big houses. I always look them up in the library to see if our branch has gotten the newest releases.

Ok off the top of my head (and forgive me if I left you out)

Bethany House
Thomas Nelson
Harvest House
David C Cook
Steeple Hill
B & H
Avon Inspire

I know I'm forgetting someone...but to me, these are the Big Guns. They are the ones that have made a lasting impression on me. Are publishers and imprints important? I believe they are. For example Steeple Hill is the Christian imprint of Harlequin books. I know some people that won't read these books simply because they are associated with the Harlequin line even though the books are staunchly Christian and have absolutely nothing to do with the other kinds of books Harlequin publishes. If publishers and imprints aren't important, then why are these people avoiding these books?

While I love them all, I want to mention one that I feel really stands out to me:

Bethany House - They were the first Christian books I ever read, starting with their Mandie series when I was a young'un. Then I moved on to Janette Oke and Gilbert Morris and I've been a fan since. Seriously, I think that almost every Bethany House book I've read I have enjoyed. They are one of the very few publishers (Christian or mainstream) that I feel confident about the quality of the books that are released. I put almost every book that is released on my wishlist. It doesn't matter the genre, I always feel as if I can trust Bethany House. Even when it's a brand new author who I've never heard of, I give them a try and almost always end up liking it. So if you're a new author and you want me to read your book, go to Bethany House :)


  1. Wow, thats cool that you can name all those of the top of your head. I guess I am one of those that you are appauled at..LOL I don't know one publisher from the next, but I could tell you the books that I

    I couldn't tell you that this book came from that publisher though because I don't really pay attention I just read a book and if I like it I like if I don't I don't. That goes for Christian or secular.

  2. Michael Hyatt's statement was what bothered me the most also.

  3. I'm with you when it comes to naming off the top publishers along with several not so big that I've come into contact with recently. Steeple Hill was definitely a hard choice to read for me because they are associated with Harlequin, stories that just are NOT for me. But, I have enjoyed the SH novels.

    Thanks for your awesome answer! I'm with you!

  4. I agree with you. I pay attention to the publishers. In fact, when I am browsing Christian books at a used bookstore or some other used store, I tend to scan the spines of the books for the publisher imprint, and pay attention to what authors use what publishers.

  5. Good points! I too really enjoy Bethany House and until you mentioned it here I really hadn't thought about it but yes - you do know what you are getting from them every time. I just received three in the mail this past week and all are good quality books.


Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your thoughts. Comments on posts that are older than 14 days are moderated so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up automatically.