The Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy (CSFF) Blog Tour came into being because a group of writers saw a need to raise reader awareness about the books in the genre. After reports in April 2006 that editors were not seeking to expand SF and fantasy due to a small market, these writers set out to generate internet buzz that could alter this perception. Inspired by another successful blog tour, they launched a blog tour in May to boost the profile of CSFF.
Equally important goals for the CSFF Blog Tour are to promote the featured web site or author as well as to draw new readers to each participant’s blog.
The new organization continues to grow and now includes such published authors as Sharon Hinck, Wayne Thomas Batson, Christopher Hopper, Chris Walley, and Bryan Davis. The tour administrators and members invite you to check back with us for updates
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a blog tour?
A. A blog tour is a group of bloggers who agree to post on a particular subject over a set period of time, usually for the purpose of promotion.
Q. Why a Christian science fiction and fantasy tour?
A. While the speculative genres have been popular in the general market for some time, Christian publishing houses, notable those belonging to the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association, have been slow to put out significant numbers of science fiction or fantasy titles. The CSFF Blog Tour is a grassroots movement among writers and fans of the genre intent on drawing attention to the works that are available. We have three primary goals:
1) to highlight the Christian science fiction and fantasy genres
2) to inform readers about the books and webzines available
3) to increase traffic to our own blogs
Q. Why should a blogger participate?
A. Free books! Some readers just can’t afford to buy all the books they’d like to read, and they don’t want to wait until their library can obtain a copy. Bloggers who request review copies of the books we feature receive them at no cost.
But there’s more. Since many of our bloggers are also writers, we want to help them as best we can. Our limited number of tours, however, doesn’t allow us to feature all the books of our members. What we can do, though, is help build an audience for the author. Participation in tours may boost a blog’s placement on search engines, increase its Technorati authority, and bring more traffic.
Q. How often does CSFF conduct tours?
A. We run one tour a month, usually Monday through Wednesday of the third week.
Q. How does CSFF select the books, Web sites, or webzines it features?
A. CSFF is run by an administrative team that makes the selections.
Q. What’s the selection process?
A. When an author or publicist or member suggests a book, Web site, or webzine, at least one member of the administrative team previews the item and makes a recommendation to the group. After discussion, we vote on how to proceed.
Q. What kinds of books are you open to?
A. We accept science fiction, fantasy, supernatural suspense or supernatural thriller written from a Christian worldview. We feature adult and YA (young adult) novels as well as the occasional middle grade book. The main thing we’re looking for is quality.
Q. What standard are you using to determine quality?
A. A subjective one.
The administrative team is composed of a group of six writers, and we have varying tastes. However, we all desire to see more speculative fiction written from a Christian worldview. We’ve come to understand this requires good sales numbers for the speculative titles already on the bookshelves.
At the same time, we are also readers. We do not want to see an increase in mediocre fare. Therefore we do not see CSFF as a mere promotional tool. We see the organization as a means to focus attention on what deserves attention—the best fiction coming out.
The beauty of the tour is, no one has to agree with our determination of what’s best. Our bloggers are free, even encouraged, to give honest reviews of the books we choose.
Q. Do you ever feature self-published, print-on-demand, or e-books?
A. At this time, we only feature books published by royalty paying houses. If the company uses print-on-demand or electronic publishing technology, we are not opposed to featuring their books, provided either the house or the author is willing to provide our bloggers with review copies. Works that are self-published, whether by electronic means or by POD, are not within our capacity to review, nor are they consistent with our overarching goal—to see traditional publishers increase the number of Christian speculative titles they produce.
Q. Does CSFF charge anything to the author, publisher, or publicist to run a tour for their book, Web site, or webzine?
A. No. At this time, we remain a volunteer board and do not charge for organizing the tours.
Q. Does CSFF only feature books?
A. No. We are also willing to feature webzines and Web sites. We want to support and encourage any expression of Christian speculative art, such as poetry, short stories, and visual art.
Q. What does CSFF expect from participating bloggers?
A. While we encourage bloggers to post all three days of a tour, we require only one post. However, if a participant requested a review copy of the featured novel, we expect a review.
In addition, we ask each blogger to “claim” their blog with Technorati, an online tracking organization. This helps to generate attention for whatever book we feature.
We also require the post or posts include specified links—first, a link to the book at Amazon (which drives the placement of the book on the Technorati list of Most Popular Books) and then the links to the other participants in that month’s tour.
Q. Must the posts contain positive, promotional-type content?
A. Because we are choosing what we feel are quality books, we hope bloggers can write content that will draw readers to buy the books.
Above all else, however, we want bloggers to be honest. We believe canned content is no better than a mass mailing and insincere content no better than a political endorsement. We aim to create genuine book buzz, the kind most closely resembling one neighbor urging another to read what he just discovered—because it’s intriguing, exciting, suspenseful, controversial, filled with memorable characters, thoughtful, or whatever the truth might be.
Q. Does a member of CSFF have to participating in all the tours.
A. No. Members are free to opt in or out of the tours as the need arises. We do ask for appropriate notification so an accurate list of links can be sent to participants.
Q. What happens if a blogger decides to drop out.
A. If a blogger decides to drop his membership, all he needs to do is notify the tour moderator and his name will be taken off the list and out of the email database.
Q. Who makes up the CSFF administrative team?
Q. How do I sign up to be a member?
A. Complete our Join Us form at “Join Us.” After we have visited your blog, we’ll email you and add you to the membership.
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