Matthew Kelly says “we become the books we read.” So don’t we want to read fiction with virtue? If you’re searching for great Catholic fiction, it is out there. I promise! Here are sixteen ways you can support the Catholic fiction industry and the authors who create it.
This year (2022), I became a self-published author with my first novel, The Love We Vow. Through my journey, I’ve been able to meet and learn about so many other Catholic authors who share my passion and I want to support them and their efforts! There is demand for Catholic fiction.
1) Borrow their books on Kindle Unlimited (KU) and read the whole thing!
Authors get paid based on number of pages read in this program. You can sign up for KU through Amazon (I will not miss a chance to mention that you can always shop smile.amazon.com to make sure a percentage of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice. So you’ll be supporting Catholic fiction and a nonprofit!)
2) Buy their books in whatever format you prefer.
I know this seems like the most obvious one but there are actually many ways to buy books. Some authors sell directly from their website, often signed copies. They typically make more per book this way because they’ve cut out the middle man of a retailer. Another lesser known way to buy fiction in general is through bookshop.org, where you can support your local book shop at the same time. Of course, there’s the big retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Don’t forget your local bookshop!
3) Join Catholic Reads’ newsletter to get reviews and deals on Catholic fiction!
This is how I’ve been introduced to so many new authors. I interviewed the founder of Catholic Reads, ARK Watson on my podcast.
4) Listen to podcasts /Youtube shows about Catholic fiction to learn about new books and authors.
Some include: Cath-Lit Live!, Tales with DeSales, A Seeking Heart, The Catholic Author Show
- Listen to Victoria’s Interview on Cath-Lit Live!
- Listen to Victoria’s interview with Catholic author Carolyn Astfalk.
- PS: Carolyn has a great blog post on her website called “Catholic Fiction and Where to Find It”
5) Leave reviews for books on GoodReads and Amazon
Reviews are like gold for authors!
6) Sign up for author newsletters.
Here’s mine, the Nothing Fancy Monthly-ish Newsletter. Authors often keep their readers abreast of discounts on their books and their progress on current works.
7) Check out the work of the Catholic Writers Guild
I’m a member of CWG and it’s been one of the best decisions for my writing career. I highly recommend their online annual writer’s conference. They also have a program called the Catholic Seal of Approval, where authors can submit their work to be considered for it. A book with a Catholic SOA lets readers know that they’re picking up a piece of fiction that is in line with Church teaching and doesn’t disparage our faith. CWG also has an awards program called the Catholic Arts and Letters Award. You can find a list of past winners here.
8) Check out self-published Catholic books at Thy Olive Market
This is a really unique marketplace because it features Catholic books that are self-published. To my knowledge, there’s not another shop out there that focuses on this. Yours truly is in the process of selling her paperback on there.
- Listen to my interview with Thy Olive Tree Founder Kate Frantz
9) Write and share your own fiction!
10) Request Catholic fiction at your local library.
Most library websites have a form where you can request a book they carry. If there isn’t a form, just call and ask or email your request!
11) Tell your friends and family about Catholic fiction you liked.
It’s hard to beat word of mouth book promotion. Many ebooks now have a feature where you can lend them to people for a short time. While this doesn’t generate revenue for the author, it could be a way to get a skeptical reader to try them out (and hopefully become a long-time fan)!
12) Start a book club at your parish.
You could even invite the author of the book to speak at your book club! If the author doesn’t live in your area, then consider doing a virtual meeting so that the book club members can ask questions and hear about the writer’s process.
13) Drop a Catholic fiction book off at a free little library in your neighborhood!
I just heard this idea from a colleague and I love it! You may have seen a tiny library outside of a neighbor’s house or in your city where the concept is often the same: take a book, leave a book. Why not leave your favorite Catholic fiction in there for others to discover?
14) Follow authors on social media.
Many authors spend time engaging with their readers online. It’s a great way to keep readers aware of what you’re up to and also let them know when you have new releases. Giving them a ‘follow’ shows you support the work they do and you’re cheering them on!
Self-published and traditionally published authors usually have to take their marketing efforts into their own hands. It’s not easy to write a book and it’s not easy to market it. There’s so much an author has to go through before their book falls in your hands. From an author, it’s encouraging to know that someone notices my work.
My only social media is my author Facebook page.
15) Subscribe to the email newsletters of Catholic publishing houses.
Another way to discover good books and get deals is by signing up for the email newsletters of publishing houses that cater to Catholic fiction. Here are a few:
Fiction can shape our culture, so let’s pray for the authors who craft it! Here’s a great prayer for authors from a writer at Catholic365.
I got such an amazing response from other authors on the internet that I wanted to add in some more of their ideas to support Catholic fiction:
- Ask a Catholic author to be the keynote speaker at an event
- Buy an extra copy to give to a friend
- Collaborate with other Catholic authors to do a book giveaway
- List your book on the “Buy Nothing” app for people in your neighborhood to discover and enjoy