Christian publisher WaterBrook Multnomah, a unit of Random House, is launching NovelCrossing.com, a comprehensive Web site dedicated to Christian fiction. The site is designed to provide fiction readers with information about titles and authors, to build community among readers and authors, and to provide current news about the Christian fiction world. NovelCrossing.com launches this week (Sept. 20-23) at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas.
Said Shannon Marchese, senior editor for fiction at WaterBrook Multnomah, “Key individuals on our executive team had the foresight to see a change in how readers come to books. There is still the browsing component at bookstores, but readers come to books now through review sites, online booksellers, and other places.” She added, “If consumers are going to the Web to find their books, where does the Christian reader go for one-stop shopping for Christian fiction?”
NovelCrossing.com offers readers information on new and popular releases, links o author pages, search tools, personalized book lists, and opportunities to review books. The news section provides daily new content in the form of author interviews and feature stories, book trailers, video, contests, polls, and author devotionals. “We want to encourage discussion,” said Marchese. “The Web site combines searchability plus the community aspect, plus the news aspect.”
WaterBrook Multnomah isn’t the first to create a fiction-focused site--ACFW has FictionFinder.com, an informational resource for retailers, librarians, and book clubs, as well as readers and authors. Similar sites include www.Christianfictiononlinemagazine.com, www.edgychristianfictionlovers.ning.com and www.christianfiction.blogspot.com.
“ACFW isn’t involved in the NovelCrossing.com project, but we applaud their efforts to let the world know about the value of Christian fiction,” said Cynthia Ruchti, ACFW professional relations liaison. “We’re looking forward to noting how NovelCrossing.com and FictionFinder.com, the ACFW database, both complement and differ from one another to provide comprehensive tools for readers and others interested in Christian fiction and its thriving impact.”
Marchese and Amy Haddock, senior marketing manager for WaterBrook Multnomah, stress that the site, while managed by Random House, is open to all traditional Christian fiction publishers and their authors.(Custom- and self-published books may be added to the site later, but no decision has been made yet.) “Authors we have spoken to or heard from are very positive and excited about the opportunity,” said Haddock.
“To best serve our readers we have to offer the best information possible,” said Marchese. “As we go forward, we hope our publishing partners will come alongside us to help.”