A Manifesto for Christian Writers

IngramSpark recently conducted a survey of the authors who use their service. They found that out of 100 authors, only 17 are between the ages of 16 and 35 years.

This means that 83% of independent authors who use IngramSpark are over 35 years of age. I assume that IngramSpark’s author population is representative of indie authors overall.

A Manifesto for Christian Writers

With the majority of indie authors outside the Millennial and Generation Z demographic, reaching those in these generation groups may be challenging. If trying to market to readers in these age groups, be aware of these trends among social media usage.

  • Millennials are gravitating toward Instagram and Reddit. Some still use Facebook, but usage of Facebook among this age-group is declining.
  • Zoom is the videoconferencing platform of choice for Millennials.
  • Generation Z gravitate to Instagram and Snapchat.
  • TikTok use is growing rapidly among Generation Z. TikTok added 12 million users in the month of March this year.

When it comes to fiction books, readers in these generational groups prefer real, raw, and gritty. They are looking for characters that they can relate to that are flawed and wrestle with the same issue and faith questions as they do.

A few Christian authors have pooled their resources and created a platform to help Christian fiction writers to improve their writing. Story Embers believes that Christian storytelling is facing a crisis. They believe that many Christian stories in the 21st century are “cheesy, unrealistic, and artistically bland.”

Story Embers

This group is seeking to help Christian fiction writers improve their writing. To that end, they have created a manifesto—Christian Storytellers Manifesto— that urges Christian storytellers to embrace the key philosophies, principles, and practices seen in the best Christian stories.

The manifesto lists 15 resolutions including:

  • We resolve to be passionate and dedicated in our pursuit of excellent storytelling, knowing that we are reflecting the Creator’s image within us and fulfilling God’s commands to take dominion over the earth, love fellow image bearers, and steward the resources He has provided.
  • We resolve to infuse our storytelling with truth, being bold and unafraid of our stance while presenting it with love and tact, recognizing that truth in storytelling is best communicated when shown, not told.
  • We resolve to seek to understand readers’ thought processes, emotions, and worldviews so we can connect meaningfully with them in our storytelling, knowing that human nature is repelled by simplistic representations.

You can read and sign the complete manifesto at https://storyembers.org/manifesto.

Related Posts:
The Indie Author Manifesto
Murphy’s Law for Book Publishing
Self-Publishing Keeps Growing!

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Resolutions Every Author Can Use

Research shows that about 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 8% are successful in achieving them. These dismal statistics cause some people to eschew New Year’s resolutions.

Sadly, goalless people wander and then wonder why they are not achieving what they had hoped. Goals keep us on track, moving in the direction we want to go. As an author, I suggest that you make New Year’s resolutions about writing and publishing. Here are five that every author can benefit from making.

1. Write More

There is always room to write more. Whether you are writing to publish more books or writing more content for your blog or other publications to promote your books, writing more is a good aspiration. Make it a resolution to write more in 2020 than you did in 2019.

2. Publish More

People buy books from authors they are familiar with. This means that they have had some type of contact with the author. Often, this contact comes from reading a book by the author. Studies show that people tend to read more than one book by a given author. Many authors report seeing a bump in sales of their older books every time they publish a new book.

Christian Indie Publishing Association

Make it your aim this year to publish more. If you are an independent author or small publisher, you can have access to print-on-demand sales distribution through Membership in Christian Indie Publishers Association (CIPA). CIPA Members receive free title setup with both IngramSpark and Lightning Source. You can join CIPA today at www.christianpublishers.net.

3. Promote More

There is no such thing as too much marketing. Every effort you put into promoting your book(s) means that more people are exposed to you and your books. Studies show that people need seven to twelve exposures before they make a purchase. Thus, the more you promote, the more sales you will reap.

If the idea of spending more time on social media to promote your book does not excite you, then I suggest you read my book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books. This book is full of book promotion and marketing ideas that go way beyond social media and the Internet.

4. Learn More

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” There is always more to learn. Technology is bringing rapid changes to every area of life—including the publishing industry. In publishing, if you stop learning, then you become out-of-date and out-of-sync with the standards and protocols involved in publishing and promoting books.

Henry Ford Quote

Make it your ambition this year to keep learning. Learn to be a better writer. Learn to be a better book promoter. Step into all the roles associated with publishing a book with confidence and grace. Stay abreast of industry changes and trends by joining an author or publishing association and by attending Christian writers conferences.

5. Read More

Reading is good for you. Studies show that reading reduces stress and increases life expectancy. So read more this year. In fact, reading more is one of the top ten New Year’s resolutions the people make!

As an author, your fans look to you for book recommendations. You can provide more book recommendations to your readers by reading more. This year, read for free. Sign up to be a BookCrash reviewer and you can get free books in exchange for a fair review. Learn more at www.bookcrash.com.

Related Posts:
Goals: Guideposts on Your Journey
New Year’s Resolutions for Every Author
Book Publishing Trends You Need to Know for 2020

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