I'll be posting Suspense Technique #4 very soon!
But in the meantime, I have a quandary I'd like to run by readers and retailers. I'm a Christian, and I'm a writer, and my publisher is a Christian Publisher. My mission as a Christian Author is twofold: write good quality fiction and hopefully get my nonChristian readers to start thinking about the big questions of life--question for which IMHO Jesus is the only answer. I wrote The Door Within books so that someone familiar with the Bible would pick up on the allegories, the parallels, and the symbolism. But I wrote it with the intent that ANYONE could simply enjoy the thrilling adventure. Truth is there, but I don't want to be preachy.
So here's the issue: my books go to Christian Bookstores and Secular Bookstores. In a Christian bookstore, The Door Within Series (and presumably Isle of Swords) can be placed in a number of sections and still be found by readers shopping for new books.
BUT, in the secular chains: Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, etc. my books are being shelved and displayed very differently. Borders shelves the books in with regular fiction, but the others put my books in "Religious Fiction" or worse, "Religion." The problem with the latter is that in these giant mainstream stores, the "Religious Fiction" sections tend to be squirreled away into tiny, very non-visible parts of the store. Guess how much traffic these little sections get? Yep. Not much--not compared to the regular fiction sections.
I've spoken to several store managers, and they agreed that it's the publisher who decides how a books should be labeled. The bookstores then shelve the stock according to the publisher prescribed label. So there's the rub: my publisher says where the books go, but I'm concerned that my books will miss half (or more than half) of my mission field.
Any thoughts? Where do you shop? And where do you look first? Or is this much ado about nothing?