Is There a Demand for LDS Fiction?

My Dad keeps saying I should write books specifically for church members, because he sees them as something of a captive audience. And as far as it goes, I do see his point that the mass market doesn't seem to be exactly overflowing with books that present positive messages and role models. I am a bit skeptical, and would prefer to write for a wide audience, just keeping the positive role models and messages.

As a publisher, does my Dad's approach make sense? Is there a huge demand in the LDS culture for fiction written specifically to and for them?

Does your dad make sense? Ummm, yes. I've made my living for many years on the demand for books written specifically for the LDS culture. If you go into Deseret Book or Seagull, you'll see shelves and shelves of LDS fiction. If there were no demand, there would be no one out there making the product.

Also, my blogs are pretty much geared solely toward the LDS fiction writing and reading audience and I average about 2,000 unique visitors a month. I stay plenty busy keeping up with the new releases.

So, yes, there is a demand for LDS fiction. As to that "captive audience" part, yes, there is a group that will read LDS fiction simply because it's LDS fiction, regardless of the writing quality. There is also a demand from more discriminating readers who want more high-quality LDS fiction.

However, compared to a national market, the LDS market is small. If you want to write for a wider audience, go for it. LDS fiction readers also read national, non-LDS specific fiction. They'd appreciate more good clean books out there.


Annette Lyon said...

This question almost made me laugh. Apparently, this woman and her father have no inkling of the vast numbers of LDS fiction titles out there or of the huge numbers of LDS fiction readers out there looking for just that kind of thing.

Yes, the market is small compared to the national one, but a resounding YES, there is a market and LDS readers clamoring for stories about their people by their people, and without the smut you'll find in the national books.

And there are a LOT of books--just take a look at the LDS Fiction blog.

Elizabeth Morgan said...

I think the demand for lDS Fiction is out there because they are the books that are clean without any sticky situations like many other authors put in them. I know I enjoy reading them because the hold to the values that I have.

Stephanie Black said...

I think it's a matter of which market you prefer to target. Do you want to write fiction with LDS characters/fiction marketed specifically to church members? Or do you want to write clean books targeted to a national audience? Both paths have advantages and disadvantages.