Christian Propaganda! 1-Star!


Here’s something that’s been bothering me for some time and I have to get it off my chest. In advance, sorry for the venting that’s about to take place.

From time to time I check in on my books on Amazon to see how they’re doing sales-wise and see if there’s been any new reviews posted. This always leads me to browsing other authors’ book pages as well and checking in on their reviews.

I’ve noticed something disturbing and upsetting, though I should be neither disturbed nor upset because it should come as no surprise to me: 1- and 2-star reviews based solely on the fact that the book is a Christian book.

The comments usually go something like this . . .

“I didn’t know this was a CHRISTIAN book!” 1 star!

“I was looking for a thriller and wound up with a CHRISTIAN thriller!” 1 star!

“This would have been a great story if not for all the CHRISTIAN propaganda.” 1 star!

Are you serious? In this glorious world of tolerance and acceptance someone would dare give a book a lowly 1-star rating only because it’s a Christian book. And we Christians are lit up for being the “intolerant” ones? Folks, I have to honest here, every time I read a poor review because someone was caught off guard and didn’t know he or she purchased a CHRISTIAN book (in these negative reviews, Christian is often in all caps as if to serve as a flashing warning sign) I have to loosen my proverbial collar.

Look, I’ve started plenty of books (well-written books, mind you) and never finished them because of excessive language or violence or sex. But I don’t go right to Amazon, blast away, and leave a 1-star rating. I wouldn’t do that.

Note to Amazon buyers: Do a little more research on a book before you buy it. If a book is really full of CHRISTIAN propoganda it’s not going to be hard to find that out before you lay down good money for it. And if, by chance, you do purchase a book and unexpectedly find yourself reading a bunch of CHRISTIAN propaganda, how about reviewing it based on the quality of the story and writing.

Now, all that being said, this leads to some interesting insight into how we market Christian books, who our target audience is, and how we reach them without catching them off guard or leading them to feel like they’ve been duped. I understand no one likes to feel duped or back-doored. I don’t either. So how do we get our books with Christian messages into the hands of non-believers without them feeling like they’ve been carpet-bombed with CHRISTIAN propaganda?

On a side note, and totally unrelated. I recently did an interview with Jeff Gerke and WhereTheMapEnds.com. You can read the interview and get a sneak peek at the prologue for Darlington Woods here.

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on January 4, 2010, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Discrimination against Christians gets me waving my arms on my soap box also. One thing I’ve appreciated about Movie Guide (movieguide.org) (a Christian movie review organization)is how they review. The movie gets stars for quality, then a rating for Christian content. Some movies get a 4 star rating (the top rating) but get get a minus number for the “anti-christian content”. Would that book reviewers could be so objective.

    The genre of your books is not my forte, but after reading your “teaser” for Darlington Woods, I’m looking forward to reading the whole book – as I have your other two.

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    • Yes, Doris, I too wish reviewers could be more objective. I don’t have a problem with a book getting 1 star if the reader really thought it just wasn’t well done (I actually have a couple of them on one of my books and am okay with it) but this other stuff is just nonsense.

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  2. I’ve runa cross this as well — there are trolls who deliberately rate reviews on Amazon as “unhelpful” is they are about Christian books.

    The fact is that hostility will always be there and will likely be increasing for a time, given the state of the culture today, with so much partisan anger, a public square filled with venom, and so-called “elites” ready to dismiss or attack anything they think is “Christian.”

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  3. I dont know what the answer is.I do know that satan is working as hard as he can trying to carry everybody he can with him to hell.These people are little imps looking to try and hurt anybody that is Christian and they are sick.I would encourage everyone on your email list to forward your newsletter and by doing so maybe we can get some unsaved people to read your books.Maybe they will feel like its Christian fiction and could be something to kinda peak their interest.I will be praying for GOD to give you wisdom on how to best market your books.

    Keep your head up brother.

    Blair

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  4. You’re preaching to the choir here, Mike. Just went to see Avitar in 3d with my oldest son and granddaughter. It was visually stunning and powerfully told. It also was a 2 1/2 hours of new age, mother-earth, evils of capitalism, propaganda. Am I now leaving flaming reviews at RottenTomatoes.com complaining about it?

    I have noticed the same thing about negative reviews of Christian fiction. A recent review at Audible.com concerning Athol Dickson’s River Rising went something like this: “Great story, powerful dialogue, totally ruined by its typical right wing evangelical preachy message.” Go figure!

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  5. Blair, I think you’re on to something. More and more I’m becoming convinced that the best way to market fiction with a Christan message to non-believers is through believers, not through traditional means.

    Glynn, that comment about Athol’s book is exactly what I’m talking about. Irritating.

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  6. I’ve grown to distrust — at least, be skeptical of — Amazon reviews for this reason, Mike. It’s the downside of democratization — everybody gets a say so. However, I think this goes both ways. From my perspective, most Christian reviewers rarely give Christian books bad reviews. We seem to feel obligated to issue 4 to 5 stars to our brethren. I think it’s just as bad to LOVE something just because it’s Christians, as it is to HATE something just because it’s Christian. So it goes both ways. Blessings, Mike!

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