I thought I'd start a new thread to continue our discussion from this thread about staying in the CBA (Christian Booksellers Assn) or going secular.

So I was at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference last week, and it was good. Not great, but a solid good. My main question going into it was... Is it time for me to cut and run, or keep pushing forward with trying to get traditionally published in the CBA.

One of the things that struck me was that it's all a crapshoot and it's all just somebody's opinion. For instance, I talked to an agent who was hung up on the sad number of Twitter followers I have, then I talked to an editor who said it's mostly irrelevant for a fiction author (although platform is important, she said it's better for fiction platforms to grow more organically, whereas non-fic authors need to establish themselves as some sort of expert prior to book release).

I spoke with another agent who told me that the only thing selling in the secular market is graphic sex, so not to even consider it. (I also met several authors who write for both markets, pretty darn sure they're not writing graphic sex.)

This agent also told me in no uncertain terms to abandon my non-fiction project (I was a columnist, I'm compiling columns into a book that I plan to self-pub because it's a small, local market) and an agent would reject me immediately if I do a self-published project that doesn't have big sales. So I nodded and nodded, but I'm thinking --- if an agent doesn't recognize my small, local, non-fiction project for what it is and rejects me based on that, then that's not an agent I want to work with anyway.

An agent who was looking at my book suggested I cut the inciting incident from the beginning.... the thing that sets the whole stinking thing in motion. More nodding. Yup, yup, thanks for the advice.

The one thing they all agreed on - having a book start with a pastor being a jerk is not going to be picked up by a traditional CBA publishing house. They also all agreed that my writing is really good, so I suppose I should be happy about that. LOL

So I got my answer. I'm just not going to fit into the box with CBA.

I'm certainly not giving up my column project. I'm also not giving up on my C-fic series. I'm just setting it to the side, and working on a couple of other novels. When the time is right, and that time WILL come, I'll either self-pub my C-fic or find a small publisher. At this point, my goal is to build a career, and I really feel like my foundation will be on sand in the CBA, even if I go small pub right now.