Saturday Chat: January 10, 2015 – Trying to Stay Warm

Close-up of homeless male face covered with frostAt the time of posting this inaugural chat thread, the temperature is 12 degrees (F) in western Tennessee. I know some of you polar bears in more northern climes are chuckling at my reaction to such “balmy” weather, but it’s making this southerner’s bone-chilled body shudder harder than a grammar teacher when she hears someone say, “Fifteen items or less.”

So let’s warm things up. If you have a question about writing, publishing, my books, favorite broccoli recipes, or whatever, post a comment, and I will respond as soon as possible. Feel free to join any comment thread with questions or comments.

Let’s chat!

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Categories: Author/Reader Chat

Tags: , , ,

104 replies

  1. Ha! Ha! Good one about the grammar teacher. =)

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  2. Hey Mr. Davis! I’m a teen, wondering how I could be published without spending an insane amount of money. Do you have any tips on how to get my work out there in the world?

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    • In traditional publishing, the author pays nothing. The publisher pays for everything, and they pay the author. Since the publisher invests the money and takes the risk, they are very selective about which manuscripts they accept for publication. Because of that, they reject the vast majority of manuscripts submitted for publication. (If you want tips on how to get traditionally published, please let me know.)

      This low rate of acceptance means that most aspiring authors have a hard time finding a traditional publisher. For example, It took me 8 years to find a publisher, and I received more than 200 rejections along the way. It can be a hard road.

      Because of this, many authors have chosen to go the self-publishing route, which means that the author pays for everything–editing, cover design, printing, distribution, and marketing. It can be very expensive to produce a high quality book and successfully sell it on the market.

      Yet, there are ways to reduce the cost greatly, though with each reduction, the difficulty in getting your book known will be higher.

      Amazon has a self-publishing route called Createspace. If you choose a cover image from their stock designs and print using their Print on Demand (POD) option, it will cost nothing to publish your book on Amazon. This will make your book cost more per copy, but you will have no initial cash expense.

      There are other self-publishing companies that offer similar services, and you can pay for professional cover designs and editing. Most have author-help packages that put together some of these services for you.

      Here are some warnings about self-publishing:

      If you don’t hire a professional editor, your book will suffer from a quality standpoint. Every author needs an editor. I have 24 published novels, and I rely heavily on my editor. Professional editing can be quite costly.

      First impressions are crucial, so if you don’t get a good cover design, your book will suffer. A professional cover design will cost at least a few hundred dollars.

      Most bookstores will not carry self-published books in stock. There are exceptions, especially if you are an established author. For example, Barnes & Noble and several other stores carry my self-published book, Reapers, but only because I already have a following.

      Marketing your book can be a nightmare. With thousands upon thousands of self-published books flooding the market, it can seem impossible to stand out in the crowd, so some authors advertise, which is costly, and I’m not sure how successful it is.

      Bottom line, with fiction and new authors, I don’t suggest self-publishing. Although it’s cheap and easy to self publish an ebook or a POD book, it is very unlikely that you will sell many copies.

      I hope that helps. Feel free to ask further questions.

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      • I’m interested in tips on traditional publishing. 🙂 That may be too big a topic to cover, but any advice you have is welcome.

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        • Regarding traditional publishing, many aspiring writers try to find a publisher by submitting queries or book proposals to acquisitions editors through mail or email. I have found that this approach is a dead end. Most of my rejections came as a result of sending such unsolicited manuscripts.

          Most publishers these days want manuscripts solicited by agents, because agents have already acted as a quality filter. In other words, the agent brings only good material, while the vast majority of queries coming in the mail are not worthy to be published. Reviewing only good material saves the editor a lot of work.

          Yet, getting an agent to represent you can also be a big challenge. You have to query them as you would a publisher, so you need to submit only high-quality manuscripts in a professional way. I’m sure you can look up resources on how to write a good query letter and/or book proposal.

          If you query an agent, be sure to look at the agent’s website to see what kind of books he or she is looking to represent. You don’t want to waste your time or the agent’s time by sending a genre or age-category the agent isn’t interested in. Often, multiple agents work for the same agency, so you should look at the interests of each agent and query them individually.

          My most important advice is to go to writers’ conferences to hone your craft, learn about the industry, and make contacts.with industry professionals. They will help you learn know how to improve, and making such contacts will help you in the future.

          Conferences are expensive, but any career that is worth anything requires a financial investment.

          I hope that helps.

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          • That is helpful. Thank you for taking the time to answer!

            By the way, as one the aforementioned ‘polar bears,’ I did laugh at the temperature comment. =)

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      • Thank you so much! That was very helpful. =)

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  3. I feel for you. I’m from Florida, so I know what its like. Hope it gets warmer for you!

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  4. Hi Mr. Davis!

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    • I was wondering: what sort of things “spur” you in your writing? Perhaps inspire a scene or dialogue or a character’s look/personally? (please forgive me if I’ve asked this before.)

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      • There are so many inspirations. I am inspired by dreams, movie sequences, items in the news, something wise or funny I hear from a friend, and sometimes things that just pop into my head.

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        • I’m glad to know inspiration can come from all levels, so I’m not crazy lol I absolutely love gown designs, symbolism, fairy tale tropes. I’ve created some designs for my characters using online doll creators, and they’ve really inspired both character design and the characters themselves.

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          • Just because we both get inspiration from many places, that doesn’t mean you’re not crazy. It’s possible that we’re both crazy.

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          • Ashley I get a lot of ideas from a lot of different places. That you make clothing designs for characters is really cool. That is a really good way to get to know your characters and makes writing easier. Sounds like tons of fun.

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  5. I love to write but I can’t seem to come up with any ideas. Do you think you could help me brainstorm them?

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    • Kait, I can try. Since you love to write, you must have written some pieces you like. What topics did you write about?

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      • Well, I was trying to come up with a kind of futuristic sort of book. It haut seems like all the good ideas have already been done.

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        • What kind of futuristic things fascinate you?

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          • Just all the different possibilities about what it could be like. The technology and stuff like that would be really awesome. Also, this is a bit weird, but like being able to genetically alter people and stuff.

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          • Maybe you could start the story with a character, let’s call her Claire, who is trying to genetically alter people in a way that could help them, like makes their bodies eliminate cancer, which saves their lives.

            Claire teams up with an investor who funds the research and receives the majority of the payment from the patients, who are willing to pay anything to be cured. Claire still gets paid nicely, but since she isn’t in this to get rich, she doesn’t mind the investor getting paid a lot more. After all, it’s his money at risk.

            The investor want to ramp up the business, so Claire trains several other doctors to do the procedures, and she gets paid a portion for each surgery no matter who does it.

            After hundreds of terminally ill patients are cured, and thousands more are waiting in line, Claire discovers that the patients begin to forget who they are and become callous toward their loved ones, and they leave spouses and families behind (or some other negative factor). Maybe they become destructive or suicidal.

            Claire informs the investor. He decides to hush it up. There must be some other reason not related to the genetic change. To make it more sci-fi and comic-book like, the change could make the patients very powerful, and they start taking over towns and counties, and they oppress the people.

            Claire has to figure out how to undo the damage and shut down the operation, but a few of the changed patients who became more powerful don’t turn to evil, and they want more “good” genetically transformed people to help them stop the bad guys.

            Claire has to figure out what it is about the genetics that causes a change to good or evil so she can create good super soldiers. Or is the truth that the people already had good or evil inside them, and the new power gave them the courage to act on it, which would mean that Claire would have to evaluate the heart of the person to be transformed instead of the genetics.

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  6. Do you have any plans to publish any of your works in translation? I’m a Spanish university student, and the translation industry fascinates me.

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    • Pablo, the translations are up to my publisher. I would love to have a Spanish translation of all of my books, but I have no control over that option.

      Getting a book translated by a skilled translator can be quite expensive, so the publisher needs to make sure that the book can be distributed well among those who need the translation. This often requires the services of a publisher in another country and the selling of international publishing rights to that publisher. The foreign publisher who buys those rights has to be confident that the book will sell in his country. If all parties are satisfied that the book will sell, then they get together and negotiate agreements and payments. Then the book is translated and reprinted in the new language.

      Starlighter has been published as an ebook in Spanish, and Dragons in our Midst has been published in Russian. That’s as far as translations have progressed for my books.

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    • I have the option to publish Reapers in another language, but I can’t afford to pay for that right now.

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  7. Do you actually have any favorite broccoli recipes? 😛

    On a slightly more serious note: You recently published a short story from the Reapers universe. What are the differences between writing short fiction and novels? Was the shift difficult?

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    • I wrote a short story myself. It came from a dream. Short stories you start with the story as close to the conclusion as possible (if I remember right!). In mine, my character was fed up with what she had become, and was determined to fix it.

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    • I definitely have favorite broccoli recipes. I love it.

      I don’t consider the “short story” for Reapers to be a true short story, because I already had the Reapers universe laid out, and I just added a prologue. If not for that foundation, I wouldn’t have written the extra story, because I have no experience in writing a short-form universe, nor do I have the desire to do so.

      So I am not the person to ask questions when it comes to short stories. I haven’t really made the shift.

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  8. 12 degrees up here, and -4 where I’m from. 21 sounds beautiful! 🙂
    I did have a question though. I’m working on a story with a friend, and we struggle with making it too intense. How far can we go with weapons, and torture scenes and such, without going to far?

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    • My rule for a boundary is this question: “Does the level of detail contribute to understanding the story?”

      I think it’s important to describe pain, spilled blood, and tortured bodies and minds so that readers understand that the characters are willing to suffer and sacrifice. Yet, I rarely see the need to describe brains splatter on walls or entrails being consumed by the enemy. Readers can understand the pain and suffering without the gory details.

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  9. So yeah, I’m good at coming up with interesting characters but terrible at plot. How do I work on this?

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    • Ashley, to generate plot, I follow the hero’s journey story line. Keep following the Monday writing tips, and I will eventually get through all of that structure.

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    • Hey Ashley. I love building plots. I just bought a book called “20 Master Plots” by Ronald Tobias, and while I haven’t read it yet, it seems pretty comprehensive. Another great book to check out is “Plot vs. Character” by Jeff Gerke. He describes how plot is the external journey that mirrors the internal journey of the main character. A plot is what the characters do to achieve their goals, how they overcome obstacles, and what events they face that force them to transform over the course of the book.

      As for making the plots more interesting, watch movies and read books. Notice how their plots progress and how they add action and conflict. When coming up with plot ideas, don’t settle for the first thing that comes to mind. Dig deeper. Think outside the box.

      I like to make a list of story options where I write down anything that could become part of the plot, no matter how ridiculous it sounds at the time. Sometimes coming up with wild ideas can get the creative juices flowing.

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  10. Hey Mr. Davis,

    I Was wondering, at the start of eye of the oracle, you have all that stuff about the flood with the watchers and Enoch. Did you come up with that yourself? Or did you have some sort of source/inspiration for it?

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  11. Hi Mr. Davis! I’ma back. I was just wondering, whats your opinion on how long a chapter should be? In one of my books the first chapter is kind of an introduction to the whole story, but not Prologue. Its about 1-2 pages long. I’ve asked this question before, but how exactly do you keep the story from going too fast. I’ve already added in the thoughts, but it still doesn’t seem like enough

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    • SilverMonFang, I have no rule about chapter length with regard to number of words. It’s more of a feel for me, usually the amount of space it takes to complete a satisfying scene.

      A good way to slow a story is to take a good bit of time after a conflict scene to let the characters rest. They use this time to reflect on the conflict, consider what they can improve and what weapons or allies they need for the next conflict, analyze what they have learned externally and internally. In these rest periods, you bring to your theme to the surface and allow the characters to think about the issues, such as sacrifice and courage and how they are learning through the process. Yet, when you do that, make it somewhat veiled so that it doesn’t come across as preachy.

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      • I’ve heard of that in the One Year Adventure Novel Curriculum I’m going through.

        They said that there’s 2 kinds of scenes: Disaster and Dilemma. Disaster is the most common, but Dilemma’s follow a disaster and provides a sort of rest for the characters as they naturally deal with their emotions that are caused by the previous Disaster. Then after the “pause” every Dilemma leads up to a difficult choice a hero has to make, and once the choice is made a Disaster scene follows showing the consequences of the hero’s choice.

        I hope this helps. 🙂

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      • Exactly right, Levia. Same theory, different labels. OYAN is a good curriculum. I often recommend it. If you know of others who are using it, maybe you could tell them about this blog. 🙂

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  12. Greetings Mr. Davis, I hope you are doing well. I think that having a Blog-style chat like this is a really great idea for interacting with readers and aspiring writers! Thank you! I have a question!

       What advice would you offer to help create more realistic characters in a story, and for establishing them initially in the story without creating an info-dump.
       Also, do you have any particular tactics for coming up with new characters which are somewhat different and unique from each other (more in particular: characters that are not the cliche type, but yet still realistic).
       Also, what tactics do you find most effective for making an emotional connection with the character and reader? Thanks!
    

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    • CJ, parts of your question were cut off. Can you try posting them in regular text?

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      • Sorry about that. I’m not really sure why my previous message was cut off. I shall try sending the question here again. Thank you!

        Could you offer some advice on creating more realistic characters in a story, and for establishing them initially in the story without creating an info-dump?
        Also, do you have certain tactics for coming up with new characters which makes the characters different and unique from each other (more in particular: characters that are not the cliche type, but yet still realistic).
        Also, do you have any tactics that you find most effective for establishing an emotional connection between the character and reader? Thanks! Sorry for such a big question 🙂

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        • CJ, I have quite a bit of advice that I am planning for a series of Monday tips, but I will give you a quick summary now. To make realistic characters who connect with the readers, they need some of these qualities:

          Physical need – A common handicap, illness, or negative environment

          Emotional issue – A need or desire that most readers have felt

          A purpose – A goal that most would find praiseworthy

          Urgency – The goal must be gained soon

          Obstacles – Barriers that readers would identify with

          Sacrifice – Character performs a sacrificial act to overcome obstacles

          Vulnerability – A soft spot to make all of these items work

          During Monday tips, I will go over all of these in detail. Stay tuned. 🙂

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    • Hi, I know I’m not Mr. Davis but…
      What I do to create more solid characters it let them have a very solid background, giving little details about it every so often, then its up to the author whether or not to reveal it, their background can sometimes be tragic, painful, which can cause a change of attitude in them in the future, or a small flaw that was caused from the problem like not trusting, or can be something cheerful and happy with weird events.

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  13. You mentioned in the critique yesterday that authors shouldn’t use heard/saw/felt etc. because the character would be the one experiencing the situation. Is that specifically for first person view point, or is that something that should always be avoided?

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    • Rex, that advice is for writing in an intimate point of view, which can be first person or third person limited. Anytime you write something like, “She saw a train speeding down the track,” you remove the reader one step from intimacy with the character, and you would be writing like a narrator. If you want the reader to see through the eyes of the character, then just report the visual – “The train sped down the track.” In intimate point of view, all visuals are seen by the focal (point-of-view) character, so it is redundant to write “she saw.” and it pulls the reader away.

      If you are not writing with an intimate point of view, such as omniscient POV, then you are free to add those narrator-like phrases.

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  14. A warmer day of -15 and snow; Canadian polar bear.

    I really like to write and have written a few things; but going through the stuff I have worked on, I wonder if I can make my beginnings more engaging. Any ideas?

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    • Did you read the first Monday tip? I will be continuing that series on how to start a story.

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      • I did read the Monday, but perhaps I should review it.

        Another question:
        When writing I have heard a lot of things about word count; some things say to just write what you can, others say if you cannot write X amount of words then you have no business being a writer. What would you suggest? Or is word count not necessarily as important as content?

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        • The first Monday tip introduced the qualities of a good beginning, and the following Mondays will provide more information. So stay tuned, and you should find a lot of helpful information.

          Content is always more important than word count, but publishers and readers will expect a certain word count range depending on what you are writing. For a novel, they will expect at least 40,000 words, usually more than 60,000. Some genres expect more, especially fantasy, which is almost always more than 80,000 and often more than 120,000, sometimes well over 150,000.

          Novellas usually range from 17,500 to 40,000 words. Novelettes range from 7500 to 17,500 words. A short story tends to have fewer than 7500 words

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  15. Hello Mr. Davis!
    As I was reading the other questions, one of your answers made me curious. You said you were rejected by publishers over 200 times? I was surprised, considering I have liked your books quite a lot. Is that a normal number of rejections for the average author, or was there something in your original manuscript they didn’t like?

    Thanks!

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    • Early versions of my books were rejected primarily for lack of quality. I had a lot to learn. Later I received rejections because of the topic. No one was ready for a faith-based story about dragons transforming into humans and retaining dragon genetics.

      Then Harry Potter came along, and Christian publishers became interested in a Christian alternative. Although I didn’t write Dragons in our Midst as an alternative to HP, the publisher’s motivation was helpful.

      Since most aspiring authors give up before receiving that many rejections, it doesn’t happen that often. Many now opt for self-publishing due to frustration, and they don’t wait to receive so many rejections.

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      • That’s kind of cool the Harry Potter opened the gate for you to publish DioM. I adore HP and DioM but when asked what my favorite series is I always say DioM, OoF, and CotB. I kind of just lump them together as one series cause trying to explain them as 3 separate ones is too complicated. I know your stories are fictional but they taught me a lot. I don’t think my faith would be as strong as it is today if I hadn’t read all of the first 8 books my Freshmen year of High School. If I was forced to pick a favorite book of all time it would The Bones of Makaidos and even then I’m not sure because they are all so good.

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  16. Hey there Mr. Davis,
    First random question: Do you have an opinion on the Oxford Comma, if so what is said opinion?
    And more serious questions:
    2. At the end of Tears of a Dragon when all the anthrozils and dragons have the choice to keep their dragon from/traits or become humans you never tell us what choice Bonnie made. You then go on to have it be a secret to protect her in OoF. I have read and re-read trying to find anything that might tell us what choice she made and have not found it. So my questions can you please tell me what choice she made?
    3. How long have you been writing and when did you know you wanted to write for a career?
    4. Are you familiar with Nanowrimo and have you ever participated in it?
    5. Do you have one series or book of yours that is your favorite?
    6. How do you deal with writers block?
    7. Do you have a favorite place to write or topic to write on?
    I think that is it for now. 🙂 Thanks.

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      1. I am a strong proponent of using the Oxford comma.

      2. I don’t know what choice Bonnie made. She never told me. 🙂

      3. I began writing about 20 years ago. I decided to pursue the possibility of a career in writing about one year later.

      4. I am familiar with Nanowrimo, but I have not participated in it. I regularly write more than 50,000 words in a month, so I see no need for it myself. My daughter Amanda has participated multiple times.

      5. Of my own books, I think Eye of the Oracle is my favorite. Of other books, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite.

      6. I don’t get traditional writers block. I get writers’ flood – too many ideas to deal with. So I just pick one that looks good and start writing. If it doesn’t work, I go back and try again.

      7. I write at my desk in my home office. The topic is always whatever my current book project is.

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  17. Cool. Thanks. I know what is like when the characters don’t tell you things. It is wonderful when other authors say things like that because people who don’t write don’t get and say “you’re the author don’t you tell them what to do?” I laugh at that and tell them no no we really do not tell them what to do. We can try but it doesn’t often work. I love Nano and have made it to 50K three years in a row. Being a high school student limits the amount of time I can write. Thanks for answering. Have a great day!

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  18. I know speculative fiction has grown in popularity in the CBA, but it still seems like tough sledding for authors who write fantasy and science fiction. Is the demand in the Christian market big enough to support all the Christian authors out there starting to write spec fic? Can spec fic be the next big thing in the CBA or is the general market a better bet for success?

    Along those lines, who is your target readership?

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    • Zachary, it is difficult for an author of sci-fi/fantasy to get published in the CBA market. Although several Christian publishers have tried with such books, only a few have been best-sellers or successful at all, and most of those were in the young adult category, such as mine.

      Because of the lack of success, many Christian publishers have become wary of the genre, and the number being published might shrink further. We’ll see.

      I don’t think the demand in the Christian market is the problem. The problem is how the publishers select the stories and how the books are marketed. Christian buyers of sci-fi/fantasy don’t tend to look in Christian bookstores or the Christian section of mainstream stores to find something to read. They go to the sci-fi/fantasy section.

      The trouble is that many mainstream stores automatically put books in the Christian section if they come from a Christian publisher. This has been a long-standing problem.

      Also, some Christian publishers simply don’t know the genre or readers of the genre well enough to choose stories that appeal to them. The market is out there, but it seems that the readers are not finding many of the selections to be to their liking.

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      • “Christian buyers of sci-fi/fantasy don’t tend to look in Christian bookstores or the Christian section of mainstream stores to find something to read. They go to the sci-fi/fantasy section.” — That’s exactly what I’ve noticed.

        It seems that one potential solution is to seek publication with a general market publisher, so you don’t end up in the Christian section. If the CBA doesn’t have a good handle on where to market sci-fi/fantasy, is self-publishing a viable option, so you can take books directly to the audience that wants them instead of depending on the bookstores?

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        • First, it is possible to have successful sci-fi/fantasy books in the CBA. I have done it. It’s just a very hard road, and few have succeeded. My formula was writing the best books I could and then working my backside off to make them known. Very few authors are willing to do the legwork I did to get my books known.

          The general market is another road, but it is hard to stand out in the great crowd of books in the genre. You can reach the market, but how many books will you sell when there are so many to choose from? It’s another obstacle. And how do you get published in the mainstream in the first place? You have to be one of the best, so again hard work in learning the craft is a must.

          Self-publishing offers complete control, but very few physical bookstores will carry self-published books, and since self-publishing has become so popular, the market is flooded with entries, tens of thousands each year. How can you stand out in that market? Through hard work it’s still possible, but for a first-time author, the outlook is grim.

          I would try for traditional publishing in both Christian and mainstream, being willing to work as hard as necessary to get your book to be the best it can be, and if a Christian publisher picks it up, then go on tour to public schools to get your book known in the mainstream. That’s what I did.

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          • You said, “Very few authors are willing to do the legwork I did to get my books known.” What sorts of things did you do/would you suggest to do for new authors?

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          • I have traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada speaking at schools, homeschool groups, and other places to promote my books. I often drive more than 25,000 miles per year and speak more than 150 times. Few authors are willing to do this.

            I also spend a lot of time interacting with my readers, which builds friendship and loyalty.. I don’t know of any other authors who spend as much time this way as I do.

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          • I’m glad you do interact with us, though. It is rare, you’re right. It has often helped me through many writing dilemmas.

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      • It’s been dismal to find any of your or like-minded authors’ work in the mainstream stores in my area. As far as I’ve observed, I’ve only seen the first three Dragon in our Midst books in my local Barnes and Noble, and only in the Christian section. Today, nothing from that series, and I doubt they ever carried your Oracles of Fire books, and I’ve never seen a Children of the Bard title there, either. They did have one of your Tales of Starlight books on the shelf for a time, but nothing recently. They did carry Starlighter and Warrior in the mainstream fantasy section, but again, nothing from that series in recent months. The Christian fiction section right now is pretty much all Left Behind books, Ted Dekker, or romance. Never saw Precisely Terminated there, either.

        In Borders, they stocked the Dragons in our Midst books, maybe Eye of the Oracle, still in the Christian section. Of course, Borders is now kaput, so that’s not even a nominal option any longer.

        None of which would be a big problem if we still had the Family Christian bookstore, which had no problem whatsoever stocking your work, but that also went under. You’d have to drive into the city, across the lake, or across the river to find another bookstore.

        At least there’s still Amazon…

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        • True, Jason. It’s hit or miss pretty much everywhere.

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        • The best way to get Bryan Davis books are from Bryan Davis. I’ve pretty much had to order them from him. I know it really sucks trying to find good, interesting, Christian fiction in this world 🙁 Thank goodness Mr. Davis writes so much.

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        • A series by a Christian author that I really enjoyed was The Door Within trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson.

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          • I’m thankful to have a local Christian bookstore where I get most of my Bryan Davis books. They don’t seem to carry them all at once, but I’ve seen just about all of them on the shelf at some point or another. I’ve also seen one or two at the closest Barnes and Noble.

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      • That’s really sad. So much of the secular stuff these days isn’t worth reading, and its so hard to find christian things. Its just difficult to find good books sometimes. At least there are still the classics.

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  19. I just wanted you to know that after many hours pouring over your writing, I have read all of your currently published books (excluding I Know Why the Angels Dance and the father and husband books)

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  20. About four years ago I found Raising Dragons in a Christian books store. I had just gotten saved a few months before and your books really helped me grow spiritually. In the years since then I have read DioM and OoF nearly eight times. They are my favorite books. Thank you so much for writing them! Now for a question: What was the inspiration behind DioM? How did you come up with the idea for the books?

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    • kjoy8, I had a dream about a boy who could breathe fire. I told my oldest son about the dream, and he suggested that I write a story about. We brainstormed about how a boy could breathe fire and came up with the premise for the novel. From that little seed, it grew into the Dragons in our Midst story world.

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  21. That’s great. Thanks! I will get on that soon. I couldn’t figure out how to comment on the other. I can’t waitro start on it. Thanks again!

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  22. Hi Mr. Davis,
    I have a couple questions. How do you write about things you’ve never experienced? For example: romantic love (for me, anyways), slavery, war, etc. I want to write about some of these things, but it’s hard, being a teenager, because I haven’t experienced much in life. I want to represent these things well and realistically even though I’ve never seen or felt these things. Also, how do you incorporate so many christian lessons in your stories? I’m adding different biblical elements to my book, but making characters learn lessons is rather hard. And finally, do you have any advice in general for young, aspiring authors? Thank you!

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    • To write about what you don’t know, you have to conduct research by interviewing experienced people. Once you write based on the research, have the consultants read what you have written to see if it rings true. For aspiring writers, I suggest that they start with writing about what they know, or else experience what they need to learn.

      How to incorporate Christian lessons would take too long for a comment. I will have to think about dedicating a series of posts to that topic.

      My advice in will come in the form of posts on this blog, especially the Monday writing tips and Friday critique group sessions.

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