I do a lot of reading in the LDS market and have found that nearly all of the books being published are more formula fiction, whereas the books being published nationally are more literary. Do you think that there’s a place in the LDS market for literary books, and, why aren’t we seeing them on the LDS market? Beulah
LDS literary novels don’t come across my desk very often. I’ve seen a few attempts, but nothing of publishable quality. I’m sure the big publishers see more than I do, but they, too, must feel they’re not up to par because they aren’t publishing many.
There are a few that come close–I liked The Kaleidoscope Season by Sharon Downing Jarvis. There might be others, but nothing that really zooms into my mind as an outstanding LDS literary book. (But then, I’m tired right now and my brain is a little foggy. Perhaps I’m overlooking the obvious. Readers, help me out. Post titles in the comments section of books you think might qualify as LDS literary fiction-and why.)
A few years ago I saw a handful of published books that billed themselves as LDS literary fiction, but in my opinion, they weren’t very good and they didn’t sell well.
Is there a place for LDS literary fiction? I hope so but often “literary” is synonymous with “realistic” and there are lots of LDS readers who don’t like the realism, who are uncomfortable with the soul-searching and life-questioning themes of the literary novel.
Why aren’t we seeing them? In addition to the lack of good manuscripts, again, money is the bottom line. We know genre fiction sells; literary fiction is a risk. But I’d like to think that if I got a really good mss, it would be a risk I could convince the bean counters around here to take.