At Inspy Romance, our focus is on Christian Contemporary Romance (CCR). Our authors write CCR. We talk about CCR and share information on our CCR books in our blog posts.
Our two annual Inspy Romance giveaways – our Birthday Bash that’s on now and our Back-to-School giveaway in August – are a celebration of CCR books.
Liwen’s excellent blog post last month where she asked the question: When does CCR become too preachy? resonated with me. I’ve been pondering a related question: How can I trust a CCR to be Christian?
20 years ago it was easier…
Before ebooks became popular, the main option for buying CCR was traditionally published print books sold online and in stores. Many readers lived near a Christian bookstore and could rely on the staff to provide great book recommendations.
Barbour published CCR in the Heartsong Presents line. Love Inspired was a new Harlequin romance line, and Christian publishers had established sales channels in retail stores for selling CCR.
In 2019, there are more challenges in the search for new CCR books…
‘Discoverability’ is a buzz word in publishing. Authors are looking for ways to find new readers, and readers are searching through millions of books to find the books they love to read.
An added complication is how can a reader know that a book will deliver on its promise?
For CCR readers, the book promise includes the CCR having main characters who have a spiritual story arc (faith journey) in the story. The underlying theology is usually non-denominational, but is consistent with Biblical principles ie. Christian worldview.
My dilemma with CCR
Like many of you, I’ve been ‘burned’ by reading a book that was labelled CCR but didn’t meet my expectations of a CCR.
In a CCR, I want to see characters struggling with real issues and living out the consequences of their flawed decisions. Elizabeth wrote an excellent post last Saturday on Finding the Balance: Reality in Christian Romance.
Perfect characters are boring, and realistic Christian characters won’t be perfect. But they will have a conscience and the Holy Spirit working inside them. Their relationship with God will be real, even if God or Jesus or Bible verses aren’t explicitly mentioned in the story. Kind of like the book of Esther in the Bible.
Inspy Romance is my go-to place for finding CCR
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the authors and readers here. I know I can trust the Inspy Romance authors, both current and past blog members, to deliver a CCR consistent with my expectations.
If their new releases are more along the lines of ‘clean and wholesome’ or ‘sweet romance’, they’ll share this information with their readers.
Indie authors have the freedom to choose the level of Christian content in their CCR books. Traditionally published authors may have editorial limitations. I’m sad that there are Christian publishers who I no longer trust to deliver the books I love to read.
CCR book recommendations from friends are always appreciated. Book bloggers and reviewers can be helpful. Retailer book category information can be useful, but sometimes is not a reliable source.
How do you find CCR books? Which sources do you trust to provide accurate book information?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Gift Card Giveaway
I’m also giving away a $10 Amazon US gift card to a reader who leaves a comment on this post. The giveaway will close on February 28 and the winner announced in the Sunday Edition.