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Too much of a niche market?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Subcreator, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Subcreator

    Subcreator Minstrel

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    I'm finishing up my novel, currently titled, Escape from Shadow, and as I'm looking at publishers and agents for when I'm done, I'm worried that it may be too much of a niche market. It's a high fantasy novel about a tribe of elves who discover that their gods are actually demons and fallen angels, and that the moral code given by their high priest was actually taken from the true god of the world, with a particular focus on a heretic who is not only married to a priestess, but is the bond brother to his wife's twin brother, the assistant to the previously mentioned high priest.

    My worry is that it falls somewhere between Christian fantasy and, for lack of a better term, secular fantasy. It's Christian in that Ilahar (the creator god and High King of Heaven), is based on the Judeo-Christian God, especially with an incarnation that prophesied and was killed thousands of years earlier. However, the novel is not "inspirational" in the sense that most Christian fantasy tries to be, and it is definitely not allegorical, but rather attempts to be applicable in a Tolkienesque way. Also, with villains who commit acts of rape, torture, incest, and cannibalism, it would be too harsh for most, if not all, Christian publishing houses.

    Also, it contains a non-traditional perspective of Christianity, primarily one that is non-organizational, almost anarchic view of the world, and typical organized is criticized. Also, one of the protagonists is a pothead.

    Basically, I know it wouldn't fly with traditional Christian publishers, but I'm wondering if it sounds like secular publishers would reject it for the Christian themes.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Secular publishers won't reject it for Christian themes, if it is otherwise good enough to warrant an acceptance. Christian publishers understandably require a Christian element to their work, but secular publishers won't generally exclude a work on that basis. It may rub a particularly editor wrong if they're narrow-minded, I suppose, but by and large I don't think that will cause a problem with secular publishers, and you can find work having such themes published by the big publishing houses.
     
  3. Subcreator

    Subcreator Minstrel

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    Thanks for such quick feedback. I was raised in a home where I was taught to be biased against secular publishers and that they all hated anything to do with Christianity or Christian themes. I've gotten out of that, and you more or less confirmed what I had already been wondering.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't think it is quite as bad as that. If the novel is first and foremost a religious novel, you might have better luck with a niche publisher in that area. But the mere fact that Christian themes are included (along the lines of Narnia, for example), won't keep you from a traditional publisher if it is otherwise acceptable.
     
  5. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    I agree with Steerpile.

    A great example of this is The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. It is violent, and features rough language that no Christian publisher would touch. But the books themselves are deeply spiritual, with Christian themes resonating throughout in a powerful, but non-preachy way.

    It's published by Orbit, an established secular publisher. Because the trilogy is first and foremost a great story, and handles faith in a way that isn't heavy-handed, it was published and went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
     
  6. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Really not much for me to add beyond what Steerpike said.
     
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I think you should worry more about whether it's a good book. Themes are universal, and you'd be shocked as to what will be guessed about your intentions with the book from people who have no idea what you set out trying to do. In my experience, people aren't really all that good at divining "obvious" hidden messages. So don't even worry about it.
     
  8. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Haha! Steerpile!!

    Sorry for the derail here but can we start a petition for an official name change?
     
    Steerpike and Sparkie like this.
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Ha! I missed that entirely :)
     
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Wow. That is a pretty bad typo. Kinda instantly steals the coolness away from your name, doesn't it? It sounds like something you'd find in the middle of a pasture or in a stockyard.
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    My name and avatar have such a surplus of coolness that any finite amount stolen is rendered mathematically negligible.

    By way of illustration, if we consider the set of Steerpike's total coolness C to be infinite, with each element of the set representing some individual point of coolness in the continuum, then one can see that subtraction of any finite number of elements from set C still results in an infinite set.

    The starting consideration regarding the infinite nature of set C can be proven from first principles, but should be accepted as a universal law in the interest of expedience. The actual proof requires several forum pages worth of posts, half a dozen wild vermin, and a scraping of mold from bread where the mold has grown in a pattern forming a perfect reproduction of da Vinci's "The Last Supper."
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  12. Subcreator

    Subcreator Minstrel

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    You forgot the fact that your location is R'lyeh, and that makes the infinite nature of set C into an irregular form of complex and imaginary numbers, resulting in a chaotic and indefinable pattern that is not only infinite but unable to be tracked.
     
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