Discover a whole new world of Christian fiction authors
I have invited the creator of the newly revamped Christian Fiction Site, Soul Inspirationz, to share a bit of the site’s interesting history and exciting future. It is an awesome resource for readers and will soon become a go-to site to sort through the exploding indie market in Christian fiction. At the end of the post, we’ll also be sharing an exciting giveaway we’re hosting at her site.
Hi, my name is Ellie and I run Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site. I live in New Zealand, and thanks to the internet, have been able to express my love of Christian fiction over the years with readers all over the world by sharing what I find on the website.
It all started back in 1998, when I was an internet newbie, and I watched someone else make a “homepage” as they were known back then. I saw the HTML code and what it did, and thought, “I can do that!” So of course, I did. So, just like everyone else at the time, I started a homepage about me and the things I liked. But just like everyone else’s homepage, it was rather boring. I wanted to share more about what I loved – which was Christian fiction and music.
At the time, there were a few websites that shared information about CCM music, so it wasn’t very original to duplicate something that was already being done. It was easier to link to those sites from my homepage and focus on my other great passion… fiction. But, there were no publisher websites to look at. Not a single author website. No Facebook. No Goodreads. Not even MySpace was available then. Just Amazon.com. So, I started with the authors I loved most at that time – Janette Oke and Gilbert Morris. I created pages that listed their books. And it really didn’t take long to complete those lists (Gilbert Morris was still only halfway through writing his House of Winslow series back then).
At that time, if I wanted to hear more about the next book my other favourite authors were bringing out, I had to search long and hard for them – and realised it would be the same for everyone else as well. Working voluntarily in a Christian bookstore here, I had the advantage of having access to the publisher catalogues, so knew what to look for, but of course, the average reader did not have such information at their fingertips. And that’s when the idea to create a website listing monthly Christian fiction releases was born.
It started out small, simply called “Ellie’s World of Christian Fiction”, but by 2002, the monthly listings of new releases were getting a lot of attention from readers, authors, librarians, and even publishers, so the site was renamed “The Christian Fiction Site” and given a new look. Still, a primitive look compared to today’s standards, but back then, the only way to create a free website was the hard way – typing in the HTML code from scratch. In addition to listing the new releases, I had the opportunity to interview a few Christian novelists as well.
By 2007, I had a full-time job that took all my time and energy, so unfortunately had to stop updating the website as it was too time-consuming, and I couldn’t keep up with the monthly lists. At about that same time, though, other sites were established and were able to pick up where I left off. And although my efforts were gone from the website, my love for Christian fiction remained. (You can still see the old website in its archived state here.)
Just over a year ago I found myself with enough time on my hands to investigate re-establishing the website. With advances in website creation during the past five years, I found that if I chose the right option, it didn’t need to be as time-consuming as it once had been. So, after a bit of research, I settled on Weebly and started the new website on Christmas Day 2012. By mid-January the new site was launched, rebranded as Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site, and the first author’s interview with Julie Lessman was posted on the all-new blog.
While creating the Author Portfolios and hosting the author interviews
(now with giveaways) were fun, by August I noticed that unlike I had previously thought, there was still nowhere on the internet listing monthly fiction releases like I used to do them. So…
in September, the first of the monthly new releases posts was published, complete with book giveaways, and a new era was born. CBA Trade titles are listed at the beginning of each month, and Category Fiction is listed in the second half of the month (Love Inspired and Heartsong Presents). A new section focussing on novel releases has also since been added to the main site.
A community forum
was added in August, and has become a hub for readers to share what they love about the books they read, and ask other readers about authors and novels they are not familiar with.
So, what does the future hold?
With a shift in the way novels are published in recent times, there is a whole new frontier to be explored with the showcasing of
indie Christian novels.
Without the publishing houses to screen the novels for content and quality, readers rely on the honest reviews of others to determine whether a title is worth reading or not. And without the marketing prowess of the publishing houses, authors are struggling to get their novels “seen” by the audience they are intended for.
So this is where Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site can step in.
Over the coming months a new feature service will be available for readers to find quality indie Christian novels to read, and for indie Christian novelists to list and advertise their titles to readers.
If you are a reader
and would like to know more about this new feature, sign up here: Soul Inspirationz Readers Club
If you are an author
and would like to know more about this new service, sign up here: Soul Inspirationz Author Directory
Once there is something in place, you will be the first to know 😉
I hope you take the time to visit and browse through all that Soul Inspirationz has to offer. Dozens of Author Portfolios have been added, with hundreds more to come. Featured Authors have been spotlighted all year, with at least one scheduled every week. Sign up to receive the blog notifications by email, so you don’t miss out on any of these Featured Author Interviews or the monthly new release listings. You can also find Soul Inspirationz on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Have Your Say:
In the comments section below: Let me know what you love to see in a website dedicated to Christian fiction. What would you like to see more of? Is there anything you would like to see less of? What would make your browsing for your next read easier? Are book reviews helpful or do they influence your reading choices in a negative way? What about book trailers, do they work for you? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Giveaway for Sandra Orchard’s Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust
Soul Inspirationz is hosting a rafflecopter giveaway for a copy of Deadly Devotion for you or a friend of your choice, and an advanced copy of Blind Trust, once available, plus additional prizes contingent on the number of entrants. You get more chances by doing things like sharing the post, liking Sandra’s FB page etc., but there are 2 mandatory questions to answer to enter. You can view the copter here or at Soul Inspirationz. All entries are thrown into the same hat. (Giveaway void where prohibited.)