Lori Copeland On The Secular Vs. Christian Book Market

Penning an assortment of titles from historical to contemporary romance, Lori Copeland is an established author in both the secular and inspirational markets. Today, she shares how writers can decide which market best suits their work, and how you know when crafting Christian fiction is right for you.

Many of you remember the name Lori Copeland from the secular market. Hi again! I’m still writing my fun, lighthearted romances in the Christian market now. My newest releases are The One Who Waits for Me and a co-authored book with Virginia Smith, Lost MelodyI am asked so many questions about why I chose to switch markets? The answer was very simple; I wanted to write stories that reflected my faith walk, whether it is in secular or Christian market. The Christian market is often overlooked or thought to be preachy by those who want a secular book with secular content. For the writer who thinks they want to write in the Christian market, I have some bits of well-intentioned advice.

A writer does not choose the Christian market; it chooses him/her.

If you long to push the envelope, you will most likely not be best suited for the Christian market.

If want to encourage the struggling Christian in his faith walk, you’ll fit in nicely.

If you feel that your story needs to be told with graphic love scenes and language you will need to write in the secular market.

If you have a heart for providing reading material to a specific genre, one that has a smaller (though growing by leaps and bounds) audience and print-runs (in most cases) you’ll be happy in the Christian market.

Writing in the Christian genre means one thing; you are willing and eager to share your faith through your stories with the reader who is looking for books that they can read with their daughters, clean stories that reflect the Christian walk. It’s a genre. It’s meant to lead the reader to the stories of their choice.

When asked what’s been the hardest about my making the switch from secular to Christian? It’s losing contact with some of my most valued friends in the secular industry. Genre writing is the same throughout the publishing world; you write mystery, romance, thrillers, cozies, contemporary and historical. You make the choice of where your stories fit, and mine always fit best on the squeaky clean side. Since an article or blog leaves room for speculation on intent, let me clarify. Neither I nor any other Christian writer feels above another writer. We do not set ourselves aside as preachy examples of sainthood, far from it. If you only knew some of us! Speaking solely for myself, I realized after years of publishing, exactly where my stories fit best. An author does themselves no service if they are trying to write material that doesn’t come natural to them. For me, writing love scenes and language was the most difficult part of my work, and no, I’m not a prude. Like others in my genre, I’m a hard working author struggling to write stories that appeal to a specific audience. 

So, I hope to see a lot of you around in the next coming year. I’ve decided there’s not a single thing that divides authors other than the genre they’re writing in. 

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