I hesitated when writing about this book to mention the news, rumor, what have you, that this series currently ends with book 2, even though Kathy had—has?—plans for at least one more. Being a friend of various published authors means that sometimes I hear information not necessarily for the general public—and gossip is so unprofessional.
However—how can the readers know there is a need for support of the genre, or of a particular author or series—unless they are told? Sure, we hear all the time, “If you want more quality Christian SF/F, then sales need to be better for the titles that are out,” but this makes it personal. THIS series is on the line (I’m not necessarily talking about the Birthright Project, either) because a publisher perceived that early sales were disappointing. (Sometimes publishers can hamstring themselves by saying, “Oh, SF doesn’t sell well,” and then fulfill that prophecy with a lack of decent publicity efforts, but that’s a rant for another day.) So, I’ve risked “gossiping” about this series ending after Trackers because, well, I think we have the power to do something about it.
The first thing, of course, is to pray. God is the One who rules the fortunes of His people, and He can move the hearts of readers and editors alike. Second, buy the books! Sales speak the loudest. But third—it can’t hurt to mail or email the publisher and let them know you love the books and want more.
And so I’ve composed this letter to WestBow:
Thank you so much for letting me be an influencer for Kathryn Mackel’s new SF/F title, Trackers. Please tell me it isn’t true that the series ends with this book?? I am heartbroken … I love the characters and storyworld so much that I can hardly bear the thought of this one being the last.
Speculative fiction has a unique power to reach people’s hearts with truth, and the Birthright Project is one of the best things going in Christian SF/F right now. In keeping with WestBow’s mission to provide quality fiction with a Christian worldview, I hope you will continue this series or at least consider publishing other titles in the genre.
And thank you to Kathy for this marvelous story!
We, the readers, can make a difference. Let’s do our best to make our voices heard, if we truly care about the future of Christian science fiction and fantasy.
As always, remember to leave a comment if you’re interested in winning an autographed set of the books (and check back this weekend to see if you’ve won!), and visit the other participants for various reviews and interviews. Note especially Karen Hancock’s thought processes when checking out the series, Mir’s “fussy” comments, Beth’s Most Excellent interview with Kathy (especially day 1), and the giveaways at Mir’s, Beth’s, and Stuart’s blogs.
Jim Black, Jackie Castle, Valerie Comer, Frank Creed, Gene Curtis, Chris Deanne, Janey DeMeo, April Erwin, Beth Goddard, Todd Michael Greene, Karen Hancock, Elliot Hanowski, Katie Hart, Sherrie Hibbs, Sharon Hinck, Joleen Howell, Jason Joyner, Karen and at Karen’s myspace, Oliver King, Tina Kulesa, Mark Goodyear, Lost Genre Guild, Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 – The Compendium, Terri Main, Rachel Marks, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Caleb Newell, Eve Nielsen, John Otte, Cheryl Russell, Hannah Sandvig, Mirtika Schultz , James Somers, Stuart Stockton, Steve Trower, Speculative Faith, Chris Walley, Daniel I. Weaver
I think that’s an excellent letter – I hope you send it.
Beth Goddard says
Great idea, Shannon. As always, you are about everything from the heart:)
Sharon Hinck says
And extra important in this day and age, where publishers get less direct correspondance from readers. Now that readers can email an author directly or contact them through their webpage, publishers often don’t hear the hearts of the readers.
Every now and then I forward a batch of my reader mail to my editors, so they can share in the joy of hearing how a book has touched someone’s life.
But for a publisher to hear directly from a reader is VERY powerful.