Thursday, January 21, 2010

Does the Beloved Community Exist in Christian Publishing?

Reposted from The Master's Artist, Jan 11, 2010

By Dee Stewart

"Too much is given, much is required." Luke 12:48

I want to believe that Christian Publishing is better than mainstream publishing, but it's getting harder to believe by the year, which is sort of sad since this year has just begun. Yet within eleven days into 2010 I have heard some heart-breaking stories from published Christian authors that blow my mind. And what I read from literary agents blogs, Christian publishing event planners emails, and what Christian readers are buzzing about on Facebook it gets worse. The distance between Christian Publishing and mainstream has gotten shorter, not regarding content, but on what it deems is worthy.

One constant in particular...placing African American authors in the Publishing Ghetto. Huffington Post Leonce Gaiter describes this ghetto as black imprints when he rips into Publishing Weekly article "African-American Books in Today's Marketplace" with his counter "Rejecting the Publishing Ghetto."

However, the PG goes deeper than that. It's not just the creation of separate, but not equal imprints, but it is also a mindset that African-American's letters aren't universal, marketable, noteworthy to Americans, all of them. So from the onset--even before we query an agent or editor, even before we write a word--there is an understood that our works are of little value.

For Christian Writers this Ghetto mentality also means that our works are no value to The Kingdom.

And I refuse to believe that, although I continue to receive more evidence to the contrary.

Click here to read more.


Christian Art and Design said...

absolutely true, i recieved my first rejection letter from a publisher who will remain nameless, i know i am not the apostle paul but somehow i got the feeling it was because the story line features interracial characters set in pre civil war times. it is a christian book, no flesh but somehow i feel that the publisher feels this is not a universal story when in fact it is. If the characters were Asian i'm Sure i would not have gotten that response but one about two characters split by fate, but for some reason it musthave hit to close to home, in that we must love our neighbor. I kinda figured i wouldl have gotten that response, but being of multiethical heritage due to slavery i figured maybe at least in the church we had grown past it. apparently not. Keep writing, i somehow think the secular audience we have been more reseptive, and this is why we have homosexual marriage on the agenda and people will not listen to the church....if anyone says he loves God but hates his he is a JOHN somewheres. thanks for the post

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. This is a true statement. Many people even say they are a Christian but their fruits are totally different. We can not even get the facts straight about a committed Christian. So the church must conform to the Bible, but please do not give up on your writing.