Interesting question, and one that I proposed to my clients.
I wanted each of them to rate the amount of faith content in each individual
work on a scale from one to ten.
One told me their book was overtly Christian but she was
unsure what that meant in a ranking on such a scale. To me the words overtly
Christian puts a book in the upper half. The way I look at the scale, a ranking
of “one” is little or no faith. A “five” means moderate faith content, and a “ten”
means really in-your-face faith content. Those points are more-or-less black
and white. For most of us we are deciding where we fall in between one and
five, more toward one or toward the other or between five and ten, more toward
one or the other. I believe taking the time to actually evaluate this is an
important understanding for a Christian author to come to.
It is also helpful me in knowing how to represent their
work. It’s no secret that Christian publishers are interested in faith content.
Many mainstream publishers don’t want such content at all. Then there are
publishers who fall at various points along the scale.
It is possible to have enough faith content that we rule out
a number of the mainstream publishers but not enough content to interest the
Christian publishers. That’s sort of a “no man’s land” in between. It doesn’t
mean there is no place for a particular project, but it does mean that we have
reduced the number of possibilities to a large degree.
I am looking at submissions constantly, have a large number
of projects that I represent, and when you add in my senior memory it means
every time I start to work on a project I have to spend a little time reminding
myself what it is so I don’t confuse it with anything else. I don’t have to
read the whole thing to accomplish that, just enough to be sure I’m thinking of
the right manuscript. But if I have to decide how much faith content a
particular work contains, that takes a lot of reading. I can save myself a huge
amount of work by establishing that rating at some point and marking the work
with it.
My clients seem to be learning a lot about themselves and
about each other as they are going through this process and going through it on
my client online group.