Is Christmas-themed fiction opportunistic?

 

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Every book publisher is serving up their Christmas themed books right now and they have been since early November and before. Search “Christmas fiction” on Amazon, and you’ll find over 16,000 Kindle books alone. There are Christmas romances, suspenses, and mysteries, horror stories and everything in between. I read a FB post recently asking folks if they thought Christmas fiction (particularly Christian Christmas fiction) is opportunistic, exploiting the season to sell books and pad the bottom line…cashing in on the sacred in order to sell.

Hmmmm. It’s true. Christmas books sell well. For example, a set of books entitled Mistletoe Kisses, written by Lenora Worth, Janet Tronstad and company, hit the USA Bestseller list. Publishers and writers like books that fly off the shelves, so settling on a Christmas theme, I suppose, can be considered opportunistic in that way. However, any writer’s goal is always to write books that sell well, and reach as many readers as possible. Writing is a business, after all.

Christian fiction writers have more complex motive. The ultimate message for them is always that God is the father and Jesus the way, the truth and the life. That is our desire in every book, not just our Christmas themed ones. For Christians, Christmas is the ultimate celebration, the moment when God “writes himself into our stories” as our church pastor would say. Putting a Christmas setting in a book is just the icing on the cake, not an added feature stuck onto a book to make it sell. For us, Christ is always the message, not just in December.

So do you read Christmas themed fiction? What appeals/or doesn’t appeal to you about such types of books? Giving away a Visa gift card and a signed book this month! All comments get you entered!

30 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by JackieW on December 19, 2014 at 4:02 am

    I do like to read CHRISTMAS themed books but only during the holidays…not so much in the summer months. I especially like those that feature recipes.

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  2. I read Christmas fiction too. Usually start in October if I can get my hands on them because I do giveaways on my blog of what I read so I want the books to get to the winners by Christmas. Having said that, there is only so much I can read. I noticed a glut on the Christian Christmas market this year too. Lots of indie ebooks and novellas. I didn’t even try to keep up even though many are go-to authors for me. Partly because I don’t have an ereader and reading on my laptop is no fund, but mostly because it was just too much of a good thing. And I do worry about how all these cheaper indie books will impact the publishing houses. Oh — and don’t enter me in the draw ’cause I’m in Canada.

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  3. Posted by Shanda on December 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I do read it occasionally. I prefer romance in the fall. Another opportunistic venue for writers. Yes, I buy if there’s a leaf and a sweater on the cover. 🙂
    But I am of the mind that opportunistic is not bad. Putting pen to paper with any hook or concept in mind is opportunistic, is it not? And it should be. Yeah, yeah, I write for me, sure, but I write for you, you the audience I wish to reach. And you and I the readers, the audience, we search for those tropes, concepts, hooks, themes, categories, et al, that speak to what we want, where we wish to escape. So, any writing is opportunistic for both parties. The book is the contract. Author offers escape into x; reader buys to find x. So, whether it’s Xmas (which I use here purely for opportunity to play up the x factor) or Xmen, x marks the spot. And it’s x-actly what we all want. 🙂
    Forgive me and my x-uberance. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity . . .

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  4. Posted by Valri Western on December 17, 2014 at 2:25 am

    I love the holiday season and books that are set at that time of year are among my favorite! Perhaps it’s a personal choice but I feel, for me, that anything that lifts a person to feel better about themselves and the world around them is a good thing. Books that are set around the Christmas season are usually uplifting and center around good themes. It could be forgiveness, family, helping others, righting a wrong, returning home after a long absence, love, giving, etc. – the list goes on and on. All these things are things that I think people need to think about all year long so why not read about them! Not only that but so many of the books contain children and I love that! When I’m reading, I get to escape the hustle and bustle – another plus!

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  5. I have such a stack of books to read that I don’t usually do just a Christmas themed book. Too many of them seem to be fluff (but I don’t know that for sure.) If the authors do use Christmas to underline their focus on Christ, then it’s a good thing. Otherwise, they’re making merchandise of the holy for their own ends.

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  6. Posted by Susan F on December 16, 2014 at 12:54 am

    I love Christmas movies. They help increase my holiday mood. Many of them have a good message.

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  7. Posted by Jane Squires on December 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I commented on facebook but did not know if needed to do it here. I love Christmas themed books. I think most people do because they are so uplifting and encouraging. They help people think of others and their needs. Keep it up.

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  8. Posted by Beth on December 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I love reading the Christmas books. It helps me focus on Christ who the season is all about! CHRISTmas!

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  9. Posted by Sarah on December 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I enjoy Christmas themed fiction :). I like how authors keep the true meaning of Christmas in their stories.

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  10. Posted by Mary Goodwin on December 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I always read Christmas fiction at this time of year but I was more selective this year. Too many were just “fluff” and seem to be hurried to get the story finished. There are so many to chose from and some were very good but some I read but weren’t as enjoyable. I probably will even be more selective next year.

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  11. Posted by Samantha B on December 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I like reading Christmas fiction (especially Christian) just as I like watching Christmas movies. I choose these books the same way I would choose any other novel. But I got to admit I am a little more drawn toward Christmas books during this season 😉

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  12. I am a Christian but you may be surprised to know that I don’t celebrate Christmas. I did in my earlier years, but later on in life upon investigating the origin of Christmas and learning that Christ’s birthday is not in the bible, and that many of the beloved traditions have pagan overtones, etc., I decided my conscience would not allow me to celebrate it any longer. This is a personal choice and I respect others decisions to celebrate it, but I choose not to. Thus I do not go for Christmas themed books. Just being honest.

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  13. I do read Christmas themed fiction. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I enjoy fiction written around the holiday season.

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