I learn about most new Christian Fiction on blogs or through book sellers (amazon.com, black expressions, etc).
Although I support African American Christian fiction because I can relate to the stories and because of the redeeming Gospel message in the novels, most of them are not well-written or well-edited. Let me stress that I do read these novels and admire the dedication of the authors. Within the writing itself, however, I find many plot holes, examples of stiff dialog, and instances of telling not showing --things that are a big no-no in fiction writing.*
Patricia Woodside says:
The blogosphere is my primary source for finding out about new AA Christian fiction and fiction titles in general.
I find that CBA stores do not favor the AA reader or author. Occasionally a particular book will get attention but AA Christian fiction as a whole does not from these outlets.
To be fair, I think a lot of Christian fiction written by majority (White) authors is snubbed in mainstream retail outlets, like Borders or B&N, beyond the biggest selling or most well-known names like Karen Kingsbury or Janette Oke, despite the continued growth of the genre. It's as if there is still a "wait and see" attitude about Christian fiction.
The vast majority of Christian fiction that I've purchased as been through an online retailer, which again rarely carries AA Christian fiction.
I use my library frequently but I find that Christian fiction as a whole is not widely carried by my library system. It's the same "wait and see" phenomenon as with the retailers. It's frustrating when they have only one or two books in a longer series. However, the library does tend to be responsive when books are requested, maybe moreso than a retailer who will place a special order but will not necessarily changing the store's buying habits.
Nicole Petrino-Salter says:
First of all, the story is what matters. If the topic interests me, I really don't care who wrote it or what ethnicity the characters are. I don't read historicals, lits, sci-fi, or fantasy. And I don't read all kinds of romance.
Although I buy a lot of books, I spread the purchases of them out over online, WalMart, and Christian bookstores.
I want a contemporary story, and I don't want to struggle through cultural issues, meaning that I don't want to feel ignorant or excluded by the characters or story lines.
I am an author of seven contemporary Christian novels, and my second book will be available with online distributors but not in bookstores. My first novel is only available from me. Both novels are self-published.
Visit Nicole at www.hopeofglory.typepad.com/into_the_fire.**
* edited for clarity
** edited for length
Thanks, everyone for weighing in today. Tomorrow, I'll have comments from Marilynn Griffith, author of the Shades of Style series.