CSFF Tour-Mindflights, 3

CSSF Blog Tour

Banners, banners, and more banners, not to mention buttons. In case members or friends of CSFF have missed it, we have banners and buttons available. In fact, one of our members, Robert Treskillard created a number of additional ones of various sizes and looks. Quite sharp. These are free for the taking, and we welcome you displaying buttons or banners on your own site.

As I’m sure regular readers have notice, I’ve moved beyond simply listing the blog tour participants and have given a method for visitors to know which other sites they may wish to tour. I’ve also decided to give a Top Tour Participant Award to the blogger who has written the best content over the three days of the tour. This is significant to me because the CSFF tours are as much about my visitors learning about other CSFF’ers as it is about promoting our genre and our feature.

And speaking of our feature, the spotlight this month is on MindFlights. I suspect most writers who stopped by the web site were quick to check out the submission guidelines. I suppose it’s what we do. 😀 One point caught my attention right away. While the editorial staff (I assume that is the “we” mentioned) believes “ultimate truth resides in the person of Jesus Christ, who as Savior embraces us with eternal life, and as Lord asks that we give ourselves over to service, to love, to purity, and to a greater purpose,” their writers are not required to believe the same.

From the MindFlights guidelines:

We are not isolationists. We don’t bar the door to the skeptic, or the seeker who hasn’t found, or the one who has an allegiance to a different set of doctrines. Our faith says the door should be open for all who want to befriend us. Hospitality is an early and enduring virtue in Christendom. Therefore, we want to offer broader visions of truth. While contributors need not be Christian, familiarity with compatible values will increase the likelihood that your submission will fit.

So here’s kind of the reverse approach from that of the general book publishers—starting out with a Christian worldview and willing to include anyone not opposed to it (in contrast to starting out with a non-Christian worldview and willing to include anyone not too overt in their differing view). I find the idea intriguing. After all, I would characterize most of my writing as aimed at Both, Christian and non-Christian alike.

The realities of marketing in today’s society, however, seem to dictate the need to “target” a particular group. My decision was to earmark Christians and leave it in their hands to pass my writing along to the non-Christians in their world. That strategy may or may not work.

But what about MindFlights? In their decision to be inclusive—hospitable, I believe was their term—are they gaining or losing an audience? And is there any way to know? I mean, unlike Christian bookstores or the shelves of Christian fiction in a general market store, there is no way of knowing who visits MindFlights, barring a poll of some kind.

Of course, there was no Big Announcement of a change of policy, so perhaps there has been no change in readership, other than would be expected from the merge of two established webzines.

Seems to me a webzine, and a book store, for that matter, should be very different from a church. After all, Christians are to be in the world but not of it. So “in” seems to mean non-Christians can hang around with us and enter into discussion with us about our plots, our characters, our themes, our faith, our hope, our Savior.

OK, before posting the list of other May CSFF Blog Tour participants, I want to make the first Top Tour Blogger Award. For his three posts on MindFlights, the award goes to Steve Rice, who, by the way, takes a different view from mine about MindFlights’ change of direction.

And the others:

*Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
**Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Michael Heald
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
*Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Pamela Morrisson
*John W. Otte
John Ottinger
**Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Rachelle Sperling
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
*Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Linda Wichman
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Bold type indicates a site I know has posted.
An * indicates “must read” content.
** “Must read” content, an intriguing discussion you might want to join

Published in: on May 21, 2008 at 11:41 am  Comments (5)  
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