The “Christian” Label

Christianity Today posted this article recently about whether to label a novel as Christian online, especially when it is given away free, in order to let customers know what they are getting and avoid unwanted reviews.

But how does disclosing the faith element of a book have an effect on publicity?

Many authors want to be guests on major national mainstream television shows like Today, Good Morning America, FOX, Ellen, etc. As a publicist, when pitching stories and authors to these producers, I need to focus on the elements of the book that will have an appeal to a general audience—not just Christians—but it’s important to talk about the faith element of the book as well. I’ve had instances where a media outlet is interested in the initial concept of the book but when they receive it and look through it, the content is too “Christian” and might offend or not interest their viewers. It’s a reality we have to face when publicizing books with a Christian or faith focus.

An author can help their publicist by highlighting the aspects in their book that have a general appeal. They also need to have realistic expectations when it comes to media placements. Not every book and author will be able to get on The Colbert Report or Oprah. Sometimes, being strategic and going after the best, solid Christian media outlets is just what a book and author need for success—spreading the word about their book and increasing sales.