Dear LDS Publisher,
I recently put a question on my blog about the LDS market. It has been in my mind for some time, and I am really trying to find the answer. I had a few readers and authors give me their opinion, but I'd really like yours, too, if you don't mind.
My question: What kind (in general) of books are the average LDS fiction readers and/or fiction publishers looking for?
My answer: In the past, I've turned to the LDS market because there is sleaze and untruth in my preferred genres, and I want books that fit my general interest but are "clean." So, to me, I consider the competition for LDS books to be the National Market, not necessarily other LDS writers.
But lately, I've begun to wonder if this simplified understanding is incorrect. Do readers, and especially publishers, see LDS books as their own genre with specific rules and formats?
What you think?
You're going to get opposing opinions on this question, but this is mine:
I do not see LDS fiction as its own genre. What sets it apart from clean national fiction is the setting—most LDS fiction is set within an LDS community and/or has LDS characters. LDS romance novels follow basic romance genre traditions and rules; LDS suspense uses general suspense techniques; LDS fantasy follows fantasy formats. Yes, LDS fiction is cleaner than most national fiction and often involves LDS characters and settings but to me, that is not enough of a difference to make it its own genre.
Therefore, when I read LDS fiction, I judge it against the same criteria and conventions that I judge national titles in the same genres. However, my expectation is that LDS novels will be cleaner, with less "on screen" violence and gore.