Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Crossover Alliance

When I first started down the road of labeling my Black Earth series as edgy Christian speculative fiction, I wasn't sure what to expect. The label came out of a discussion I had with a good friend of mine when we were on the topic of ways to market my unique blend of Christian themes and edgy, gritty writing. Themes like violence, sexual content, cursing and the like haven't been widely accepted in Christian fiction, so it almost felt like my writing actually sealed its own fate just by being in existence.

I came up with the term edgy Christian speculative fiction because it seems to sum up EXACTLY what it is my writing encompasses. Michelle Sutton spearheaded the term edgy Christian fiction a while back when she created her Ning community, Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. And as great as that community is, it seems to be steeped in a female demographic and seems to lean more toward edgy Christian romance - which is what a good amount of Christian fiction in general seems to lean toward. There's nothing wrong with any of that, of course. It's just left me to pursue a slightly different path through the marketing forest.

So for the past few months I've been trying to get this label of edgy Christian speculative fiction out there. Some have argued that labels don't matter. I disagree with this, especially since self-publishing has taken off so rapidly and people want to know exactly what they're investing their time and money into. Some have argued that the term 'edgy' has already been beaten to death by the edgy romance writing community. And some have tried to come up with their own labels, like alternative or inspirational. Inspirational was taken a long time ago, and alternative makes it sound almost New Age in comparison.

On the other side of the coin, though, I've had certain individuals crawling up out of the woodwork to tell me they have either been looking for fiction in this type of genre to read, or that they write this same type of fiction and haven't had much luck marketing it. This has in turn created a need. A need for a community of readers/writers of this type of fiction, where both camps can come together and help support each other and bring more exposure to this genre.

So I've taken it upon myself to see what I can do. Using a community builder called Social Go, I've created The Crossover Alliance. Anyone can join the Alliance and post their edgy Christian speculative work, start topics in the forum in regards to this type of fiction, and invite other members to come support their work. I've also started an ever-growing resources tab in the site which will contain lists of online reviewers willing to read/review this type of work, and links to great self-publishing tools to get newbies just jumping into the fray some tips on starting into the world of self-publishing.

As additions to the social community, I have also created a Twitter account - crossoverally - and a Facebook page - The Crossover Alliance.

I invite you to check it out. And if you like it, please invite your friends/family/pets to join in!


Tiffany said...

It's a lot of work, so it's more of me throwing ideas out there than anything else, but you know what would be great ways to help get this genre out there?

Creating an anthology of short stories dedicated to edgy Christian fiction. Maybe you can ask some members of The Crossover Alliance to write a short story and then put it together in an anthology?

Or you can publish a book like this - http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Hits-2011-2012-Leonard-Corp/dp/1458420698/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350225857&sr=1-1&keywords=top+christian+books+2012 - that simply gather and summarize some edgy Christian fiction.

Unknown said...

That's actually a really good idea, Tiffany, one I have considered briefly here and there. I think the thing that makes me shy away from it at this particular moment in time is the time it would take to compile something like that. But it's definitely something I am looking into.