Please take a moment and answer this poll question with as many of the choices as apply to you.Rebecca LuElla Miller on Sep 17, 2013
Maybe I’m the only one who thinks Christians who love speculative fiction, working together to promote the genre and other writers, other groups, is a good thing and will benefit all of us–readers, certainly, but also writers of all stripes, published in whatever venue. Or maybe there’s a weariness for this topic. Or maybe the “how to” seems daunting.
I thought it would be worth finding out what visitors here at Spec Faith are thinking about this topic. Please take a moment and answer this poll question with as many of the choices as apply to you.
Also feel free to elaborate on your answers in the comments.
Thanks for taking part.
I didn’t really understand the question. It seems like there’s a fair amount going on in the Christian speculative fiction world — a live conference, etc.
I’m curious about the blog tours. I never really understood those.
I’d like to help write reviews, when I can. However, I’m unwilling to stop reading secular speculative fiction, and I go through novels so slowly that if I read two secular fantasy novels in a row, it blocks me out from reading much Christian stuff for months. I don’t deliberately choose either secular or Christian novels for my personal reading, but secular fantasy novels have the advantage that I can find many of them for free in the library, like The Hero of Ages, which I’m reading right now. I can find the popular Christian novels in the library too, like Peretti and Dekker, but I’m no so much interested in spiritual warfare as in high fantasy and space opera. I tend to also have an ebook that I’m reading while I’m going through paperback novels more quickly. (I read ebooks on my laptop and desktop; I read paperbacks primarily while waiting for the bus and for classes, and before bed.) Right now, I’m reading The Superlative Stream on the Kindle ebook software. I could review it when I eventually finish it, but I’d rather spend the time starting to read a different CSF book that doesn’t already have thorough reviews on the web.
A blog tour is essentially a trade between publishers and bloggers: The publishers give free books to the bloggers, and the bloggers post reviews of the books at a set time. The bloggers are also given links to post – links to all the other participants in the blog tour.
That’s the basic model, with all sorts of variation possible. Blog tours can run from a few days to a few weeks, can involve guest posts or giveaways or interviews. Some tours distribute e-books to reviewers, and some distribute hard-copy books.
If you’d like to join a blog tour, or at least think about it, I would suggest the CSFF Blog Tour. That was my first blog tour, and I’ve enjoyed it a good deal. It requires some investment of time, and it is a commitment – request a book and you have to review it, during the tour. But for me, it’s been a worthwhile investment.
I agree that it’s often a matter of finding the Christian books to review. Sure, I can read ebooks for less, but as I do not yet own a Kindle, I have to read them on my laptop, which is rarely a source of causal reading. I had A Cast of Stones on my laptop for at least two months before I found a paperback copy and actually read it.
I do a lot of the above already, when and where I can. Like some others have mentioned, my reading time is limited (and thus are my reviews).
If we all do what we can, I’m sure it will help!
I’ve had good intentions about doing book reviews in earnest (of any sort, but Christian fiction is a niche less traveled and probably a better chance at distinguishing myself), but either time or motivation has been lacking, and I’m not used to haggling for free copies to review (Lord knows I’m too cheap/poor to buy everything I want to read). I’ve talked myself out of starting a blog because I would be terrible at maintaining a consistent schedule, but the day may come when I submit reviews to Spec Faith.
I know what you mean about limited funds and purchasing a book. I’m in the same boat 🙂
However, I know many libraries are willing to purchase a book for their shelves if you ask. And as an author, I love it when people request my books for their library.
Also, it never hurts to ask an author privately if they would be willing to give you a copy for review. Once in a while I am asked this. I usually can’t give out paperbacks, but am willing to give ebooks to people who will review and post their reviews in various places.
It seems writers coops are gaining steam as a way for writers to pool resources. New Authors Fellowship, for instance, though their format seems short-sighted. As their members graduate I’ve not always followed them to their own blogs.
My impression is that you intended to build the same with spec faith and realm makers. Unfortunately I missed this year’s conference, but I think the spaceship is heading in the right direction.
I say keep it up and stay encouraged.
For those considering reviews, but expressing a desire to write about more than specific-marketed Christian fantasy and sci-fi — we at SpecFaith hope soon to expand our reviews section. That way reviews of books listed in the library (which does only list specific-marketed Christian spec titles) will attach to those books, yet reviews may also be focused on other novels, maybe even television, films, games.