A Question of Faith: The Christian Book Market

No Return Ticket follows a woman’s two-year journey around the world learning to live, love and let go.

If you identify as Christian, you’re likely well aware that “Christian” means different things to different people. Broadly speaking, Christianity asks its followers to abide by the Gospel and teachings of Jesus. But Christianity is a tree with many branches, including numerous denominations, traditions, and ideological variations.

Like Christianity itself, the Christian book market is vast and varied. From the types of books (devotionals, Biblical analyses, and Christian-themed fiction, just to name a few) to where to promote and sell books intended for a Christian audience, this “niche” market can feel overwhelmingly difficult to navigate.

If you’re considering writing a Christian-themed book, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Consider your content. Christians readers are generally more tolerant of a limited amount (and degree) of violence than they are of swearing or sex. This is particularly relevant if you’re writing Christian fiction. Make sure your characters “walk the walk” and “talk the talk.”
  • For nonfiction, make “story” a part of your book. Whether devotional, reflection, how-to, or any other nonfiction genre, readers will be more engaged if your personal story is integral to the content. This is not a means of “tooting your own horn,” but rather a way to demonstrate Christ’s influence and inspiration in your life.
  • Seek endorsements. An endorsement from a Christian personality goes a long way. As you write the book, think about influencers you might have connections with (well-known pastors, Christian media personalities, and so on) who could be willing to endorse the book.
  • Become comfortable with promotion. As a Christian, you might find it awkward to self-promote. Christians are taught that it’s about Jesus, not about them—therefore, self-promotion feels strange to many first-time Christian authors. However, putting yourself out there is vital if you want to reach an audience. It helps to think of your book as a way to talk about Jesus and bring deeper meaning to your readers’ lives.
  • Understand the market. Since roughly 65% of Americans identify as Christian, it stands to reason that Christians make up the majority market share of book buyers in the U.S. However, most traditionally published Christian books are aimed at evangelical Christians. This is because evangelicals control the largest Christian retail bookstores in the U.S. In order to get your book in these bookstores, you will likely need to seek a traditional Christian publisher, rather than self-publish.
  • Find other outlets. If you want to self-publish your faith-based book, there are other avenues for finding an audience. E-books are simpler to promote than physical books, because online retailers make it easy for self-published authors to keyword their books appropriately and target their intended audience. As for physical books, your church’s bookstore, local independent booksellers that have a “Religion and Spirituality” section, your local library, and religious conferences and events are all good outlets to try.

Are you ready to spread the Word? If there’s a faith-based book you’re yearning to write, but the writing, editing, and/or marketing seem intimidating, please get in touch. We’d love to discuss your project and help you launch your title into the extensive, exciting world of Christian books!