Winding Down From CBA

We’re finally getting close to returning home after the CBA International convention in Atlanta. Blogging was light this past week for a couple of reasons, not least of which was our schedule at the convention.

The other problem, a real aggravation, was the WiFi service we were promised by the Hyatt Regency. Apparently the signal was strongest in the central tower of the hotel, and we were in one of the outer towers. It seemed that every time the wind shifted, it blew the signal away from our room.

The convention was a success from a personal standpoint. Sharon signed copies of Winds of Evil Monday and The Armageddon Strain Tuesday, and went through close to 300 copies. Here she is with Keith Clemons, author of Above the Stars.

It was also a real education for me. This was my first exposure to the Christian Booksellers Association up close, and it was very interesting to see what is being promoted by the big dogs in the world of Christian publishing.

Fiction definitely takes a back seat to bibles and Christian Living titles. Since the CBA’s sales charts only show four or five fiction titles among the top 50 sellers, I guess I can see why. My question is whether Christian bookstores aren’t selling fiction titles because buyers don’t want fiction, or because the buyers are getting their Christian fiction at secular outlets like Wal-Mart, Target, Sam’s Club, and Amazon.com.

The fiction titles that were being pushed leaned mostly to the historical and romance fiction genres, with the notable exceptions of the LaHaye/Jenkins Left Behind franchise, the latest from Ted Dekker, Robert Whitlow, and a new Frank Peretti novel (due next year), and the next “Harry Potter”, Shadowmancer.

One new entry into the Christian fiction field which seems to be pushing the envelope–besides our publisher, Bay Bridge Press, that is–is Whitaker House. They have three new titles due out this fall, one of which deals with a demon hunter, and another that tells the tale of Lady Godiva from a new perspective (I didn’t know she was a Christian).

Not much for fans of science fiction or fantasy who want something with a Christian worldview, aside from the titles mentioned above. That’s why Sharon and I write what we do. We’ll see how it works.

For the immediate future, I’m looking forward to returning to Chez Gilbert after ten days away. A couple of nights of good sleep in a decent bed and I’ll be ready to get back to writing.

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