Thursday, July 7, 2011 8:00 PM
Authors Randy Alcorn, DiAnn Mills and Terri Blackstock
Discuss Fiction’s Power to Touch Hearts, Evangelize,
Change Lives and Impact the Culture
Christian fiction is more than entertainment—it’s a powerful tool for outreach, evangelism, education and cultural impact. Three top-selling Christian-fiction authors will discuss the power of Christian fiction to communicate truth and hope with personal stories behind recent works during a press conference at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, in Room B301 of Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.
Additionally, consumer findings from the Bowker PubTrack Consumer research will provide insights into fiction readers and Christian consumers, and the American Christian Fiction Writers will announce finalists for the prestigious Carol Awards for top fiction-writing.
Randy Alcorn, DiAnn Mills and Terri Blackstock each will comment on the power of story to address important and controversial life issues through relevant storytelling. Fiction as an art form goes beyond surface platitudes to deepest life conditions to help readers live through tough experiences and find resolutions within a Christian worldview.
Blackstock, author of New York Times bestsellers Intervention and Vicious Cycle, said reader letters about her Intervention series are evidence that “God is using fiction to change lives.” Drug addicts and alcoholics have been led to Christ, she said, and relatives of addicts have learned new perspectives on how to deal with the problem.
“The feedback has given purpose to my own journey with an addicted daughter and reminded me why God called me to write novels,” Blackstock said.
Alcorn said, “Fiction definitely appeals to a broader audience. I started writing fiction to reach those who would not pick up an issues-oriented book but who wanted to read a story. Consequently, I was able to weave God’s truth throughout the storyline. It’s been encouraging to hear from many people whose views on issues have drastically changed through reading one of my novels.”
The 10th anniversary edition of Alcorn’s Safely Home, a novel about Christian persecution, releases in August. He is donating all title royalties for the relief, aid and encouragement of families of martyrs and suffering Christians.
Mills said, “Whether a lighthearted story or a heart-wrenching tale that exposes a grave concern like human trafficking or the Lost Boys of Sudan, fiction communicates power to the reader when good triumphs over evil and characters look to resolve their problems according to a Christian worldview.”
ACFW President Margaret Daley will announce the 2011 Carol Award finalists, representing Christian fiction that enlightens, entertains and engages the culture. From among those finalists, winners of the 2011 Carol Awards will be announced during the ACFW’s annual conference Sept. 22-25 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown in St. Louis, MO.
Named for Carol Johnson, who pioneered specialized fiction writing that speaks to Christian concerns and mindsets, the Carol Awards honor the best in Christian fiction in more than a dozen genres published the previous year.
Johnson introduced the first modern, specifically Christian fiction novels in 1979, when Bethany House published Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly, the first of a groundbreaking series.
From PubTrack Consumer Research:
• In the religion category, Christian fiction represents 18% of total units sold, and 9% of total dollars spent on books.
• The actual selling price for Christian fiction titles are more affordable than general fiction price points. For example, the 2010 average unit-selling price for a trade paper Christian-fiction book was $7.73, compared to $8.14 for general fiction. Hardcover fiction sold at $11.42 on average, less than the $12.05 average for general-fiction titles.
• 83% of Christian fiction buyers are women.
• Active Christians—those who attend church, read the Bible regularly and who volunteer in church activities or attend study groups—represent more than half of Christian fiction readers.
More consumer data will be released at the press conference.
Additional media interview opportunities with ACFW representatives and guest authors will follow the press conference.
ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is renowned for training authors in the craft and business of fiction. With more than 2,500 members, 29 local chapters across the country, an online Beyond-the-Borders chapter and the largest conference devoted exclusively to Christian fiction, ACFW is “The Voice of Christian Fiction.”
About Pubtrack Consumer
A service of Bowker, PubTrack Consumer is the publishing industry’s exclusive resource for understanding consumer book buying behavior, derived from information gathered from a nationwide panel of just under 40,000 adult men, women and teens that complete monthly online surveys about their book-purchasing behavior. Bowker, a member of the ProQuest family of companies, is the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers and libraries better serve their customers. For more information, please visit www.bookconsumer.com.