/ / Articles

In Case You Were Wondering

Piggybacking on Becky’s poll, here’s a summary of the current top 10 Christian fiction bestsellers compiled by the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and Amazon.com as of about 2 pm CDT today.
| May 8, 2012 | No comments |

"Amish Science Fiction...It's gonna be big."

Piggybacking on Becky’s poll, here’s a summary of the current top 10 Christian fiction bestsellers compiled by the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and Amazon.com as of about 2 pm CDT today. I’ve annotated them by genre, and each section links to its respective list, if you want to see the full top 20 or so. The CBA list includes one item that’s actually a non-fiction book spinning a theory about Biblical prophecy (the CBA seems to consider it dubious enough to group it with fiction), so I’ve omitted it to avoid comparing apples and oranges.

CBA Bestsellers (oddly, this listing is dated June 2012)

  1. Loving, by Karen Kingsbury (contemporary romance)
  2. The Fiddler, by Beverly Lewis (comtemporary romance, Amish)
  3. The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, by Wanda E. Brunstetter (contemporary, inspirational, Amish)
  4. Illusion, by Frank Peretti (speculative, supernatural…hmm, interesting…blurb reads more like fantasy)
  5. Leaving, by Karen Kingsbury (contemporary romance)
  6. Longing, by Karen Kingsbury (contemporary romance)
  7. Downfall, by Terri Blackstock (mystery)
  8. Learning, by Karen Kingsbury (contemporary romance)
  9. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers (historical romance, allegorical)
  10. Courageous, by Randy Alcorn & Alex Kendrick (contemporary, inspirational)

 

Amazon.com Christian Fiction Bestsellers:

  1. Dandelions in a Jelly Jar, by Traci DePree (contemporary, inspirational)
  2. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant (historical)
  3. True Honor, by Dee Henderson (contemporary romance)
  4. A Can of Peas, by Traci DePree (contemporary, inspirational)
  5. Home to Harmony, by Philip Gully (contemporary, inspirational, humor)
  6. Unafraid: Mary, by Francine Rivers (historical)
  7. The Rescue, by Lori Wick (historical romance)
  8. In This Mountain, by Jan Karon (inspirational)
  9. Birth of an Age, by James BeauSeigneur (speculative, apocalyptic)
  10. A Light in the Window, by Jan Karon (inspirational)

Ted Dekker’s Heaven’s Wager (speculative, supernatural) comes in at #11 on this list

As a spec-fic fan, I find those results a bit depressing, though it’s interesting how different the CBA’s list is from Amazon’s.  How about I take a quick look at Amazon’s science fiction and fantasy bestsellers? That’ll cheer me up. Places 1 through 8 are held by Charlaine Harris and George R.R. Martin, with Ms. Harris’ current Sookie Stackhouse vampire novel, Deadlocked, perched at #1, and various volumes/collections of Mr. Martin’s Game of Thrones series following after. At #9, we have Stephen King’s latest addition to his Dark Tower series, The Wind Through the Keyhole. Rounding out the top 10 is Seth Grahame-Green’s historical mashup, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Killer.

Sigh. Not  helping. I haven’t read any of the books on these lists, with the exception of the first couple of Thrones books. I found them tedious and don’t intend to revisit that series. I saw the movie version of Courageous, but it provided me no incentive to read the book. Birth of an Age is part of something called the Christ Clone Trilogy, and I think I have a drawer full of t-shirts for having been there, done that. The Red Tent has been around for 15 years or so and has garnered quite a bit of critical acclaim. I thumbed through it once and landed in a chapter describing female purification rituals in ancient Caanan.

Eek.

Moving right along…

My wife’s a Charlaine Harris fan, and I read the first couple of Sookie Stackhouse books in an effort at solidarity, but they’re not exactly my favorite flavor, nor is Beverly Lewis, whom my wife also enjoys. If anybody wants to write an Amish vampire romance, now’s the time. Just saying.

I lost my taste for Peretti after The Visitation, I think because his stories were beginning to seem repetitive. It sounds like he’s taking a different tack with Illusion, so I might try that when I get a chance.

Lincoln vs. vampires? Please. Teddy Roosevelt vs. zombies—That’s entertainment.

Similar articles

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Ralph
Guest
Ralph

Fred,
Have you read Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Killer? It is a fun book.

Nissa Annakindt
Guest

Yes, there is a crying need out there for Amish vampire fiction— even if they are romances (ick!).
And the TR vs zombies thing? I’d read it.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph
Galadriel
Guest

That is sad. Both of the lists, actually. I have read considerable amounts of Kingsbury, but that was an availibilty thing. And bragging rights for reading them before my mom did. Not that they’re awful…just ….not my favorite. And I got sort of turned off Blackstock when the fourth book in her semi-apocolyptic series had a main character die through entirely preventable causes.

Kessie Carroll
Member

About the only positive thing I can see in these lists is the power of series. Look how all these authors get more and more popular every book!
 
Also, CBA seems to be holding true to the demographic of middle aged white women doing the buying. I think if we want to change Christian books, we need to change the demographic. How that’s to be done, I have no idea.

Jessica Thomas
Guest

“the power of series”

Yep.  And guess what I don’t have much interest in writing.  I don’t even like reading books that are part of a series.  They intimidate me.  It’s like committing to War and Peace.  I barely have time to read one book, let along an entire series.  *sigh*  Why can’t I be like the normal people…

Timothy Stone
Member

I don’t think it’s entirely a case of lack of interest as much as it is of a lack of marketing to tell folks of these books. I have only known of these types of Christian spec books, mostly fantasy in my case, as I’ve seen the sight here, so I’ve known where to look. For those who don’t specifically look, there is very little real marketing, methinks.
 
I have read a total of ONE Kingsbury book, Unlocked, for personal reasons due to having had a handicapped brother (who is with Christ now). Then again, I actually LIKE inspirational and romantic (there are few genres I don’t like), so that’s not saying much.
 
Sir, are the Charlainne Harris books good? I’ve heard that the author tries to make a comparison between her fictional vampires and homosexuals as supposedly oppressed in real life, and that it lays it on kind of thick. Of course, logically, that is an ABSURD comparison, but I don’t need to have the supposed “need” for moral acceptance of perversion shoved in my face. I ask, because if I’m wrong in what I’ve heard, I’d love know so I can consider reading them.

Rebecca LuElla Miller
Admin

Fred, these best-seller lists aren’t happy news, but they also aren’t particularly accurate. A few years ago, when the whole system of counting sales was in flux, Brandilyn Collins wrote a couple posts (part 1, part 2, and part 3 for follow-up questions) explaining the issue. BTW, in the first post she explained that the lists were compiled two months ahead of data. So the May list would actually reflect March sales.

I found this particularly interesting from Brandilyn’s comments:

So–the bestseller lists certainly don’t show all sales, but neither does any bestseller list out there. Secular lists work in the same way–sales reported from a set number of participating stores. And secular lists never use Christian bookstore data, while the Christian list doesn’t use secular bookstore data. That’s why when you see a Christian book hit a secular bestseller list, that book is really selling, because one of its biggest venues for selling–the Christian bookstores–have no representation at all.

You also might be interested in the comparison of the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) list with the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishing Association) list — not the same results. Here’s the link to the last one of these Brandilyn published on her blog (she’s left her material up — some great writer resources — but has not blogged since Dec. 2010).

Neither list, however, show great sales for speculative fiction and there are many, many good books out there that deserve recognition, as the comments to yesterday’s post show us.

Without a doubt, marketing/promotion is part of the issue — which is why I think it’s important for readers of speculative fiction to be vocal in our support of good books, and not just among ourselves.

Becky

Rebecca LuElla Miller
Admin

Here is the current ECPA best-seller list for fiction.

Becky

Morgan Busse
Member

Becky, I think you hit on a critical point: marketing. In order to sell, you need visibility. But many of us from small publishers don’t have the budget for lots of marketing. I’ve been blessed to have some free promotions come my way. 
 
 
 
 

Timothy Stone
Member

Thank you Sir. 🙂
 
Maybe we need to do more “marketing” as Christians who write (in your cases) or read (in all our cases) such books. Use word of mouth and that sort of thing.

Jessica Thomas
Guest

Oh my gosh…vampire amish romance…you HAVE to do this.  I’m not kidding.  Please oh please!