Ever Wondered Why It’s Hard To Find Islamic Fiction Books?
1. The word fiction is not commonly used in the language of Muslim publishers and retailers. Many publishers and retailers grew up without the benefit of reading fiction or being required to do creative writing in school.
2. Some scholars have issued “mistakenly” opinions that reading fiction is a waste of time.
3. Many home schooling parents and even Islamic school teachers/educators grew up without the benefit of reading fiction.
4. Many parents, as emigrants living in westernized countries, grew up without the benefit of reading fiction in school or at home.
5. Most Muslim publishers do not publish fiction books for readers beyond the young children’s picture/illustrated book reading levels.
6. Most Muslim publishers, book retailers, educators, and even parents of children attending public schools do not realize that reading fiction and writing creatively are educational requirements of the public school systems most of our Muslim children attend in westernized-English speaking countries.
Muslim fiction writers have been seeking out creative ways to get their work published. Some have learned how to self-publish. Others have found small Muslim publishing businesses willing to publish their work. More and more Muslim fiction writers are turning to publishing solutions such as Amazon’s CreateSpace or Lulu: both fee for services businesses. And most recently in the last couple of years, Muslim writers are now looking at publishing their creative stories using one or more ebook publishing services.
Finding Published Islamic Fiction Books
Muslim Fiction Writers are Finding Ways to Get Published…BUT…their difficulty lies in getting the information about their books to Muslim Markets/Muslim Readers once the books are ready to sell.
1. Most Muslim book retailers are not sure there are markets for the Islamic Fiction books. They don’t want to take the risk of buying copies of books and then not selling them. Fiction books are relatively “new” to Muslim retailers for older readers: youth, teens, adults.
2. Our private Islamic school educators and librarians continue to promote and buy mainstream fiction books for classroom and library reading. Students and their parents are encouraged to by the mainstream fiction books at book fairs annually and semi-annually.
Why do our educators do this? Fail to support Muslim Fiction authors? The answer is not most Muslims would want to hear… it is because the large mainstream publishers and retailers sell books at such low costs that self published authors and small Muslim publishers publishing fiction cannot compete with this pricing nor all the “freebies” the mainstream book retailers give as inducements to buy and promote their books. Many Islamic schools choose low price over quality almost every time.
What Can YOU Do to Help Support Muslim Authors and Their Work?
— Tell your school boards and PTO you want Muslim authored/Islamic fiction books in the classrooms, libraries, and promoted to your children.
–Tell your schools you are tired of seeing recommended summer reading lists posted on school web sites and on papers sent home with students with only mainstream fiction books listed!
–Contact book retailers in your neighborhoods and online and tell them you want more Islamic fiction books made available for youth, teens, and adults.
–Write to Muslim publishing businesses and tell them you want them to publish more quality Islamic fiction for youth, teens and adults.
Note–> You can find contact information on the web sites of book retailers and publishers.
Use of the word Fiction by Muslims – May 27, 2010
You all know my jihad for almost a decade has been to write, publish, and promote Islamic fiction…getting Muslim publishers, retailers and readers to even acknowledge the word F-I-C-T-I-O-N has been an uphill battle. But… there is progress!!
How many retailers, people, publishers are now using the word “fiction” on their web sites to categorize books? contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the blogs and web sites you find describing Muslim authored books as “fiction”.
Islamic Libraries and Islamic Fiction
I recently had the pleasure of receiving a comment to one of my articles on this blog. The sister is amazing! If you need to know how to create an Islamic library.. well her web site can help you do just that.
Below are web links to two of her sites that are both beneficial and I highly recommend both.
Now my problem, and that of all authors of Islamic fiction and the few Muslim publishers of Islamic fiction have is that Islamic Libraries world-wide don’t have a section of their libraries dedicated to fiction works! … well at least the libraries I visited were lacking in this category of Islamic literature …there weren’t any genres identified for any knid of a standardization or reading levels either for Islamic fiction…because…fiction.. the word.. doesn’t seem to exist in a great portion of the Muslim book world and Islamic libraries.
Millions of Muslims living in westernized countries know the word fiction and what it means. Their children read fiction in school (unfortunately not fiction written and published by Muslims), and their children are taught creative writing in school also.
Yes.. even in Islamic schools children must learn to write creatively.. if they don’t they won’t pass competency tests.. and won’t be eligible for moving to a higher grade level, or even pass college entrance testing. Reading and writing fcition and reading comprehension is critical in the educational and testing systems in all westernized countries…and Islamic schools that want accredited by those systems have little choice but to incorproate fiction reading and creative writing into their courses.
So why do they continue to keep Islamic fiction out of their school libraries and reading programs? Why do they keep shoving secular authored and published books at our kids? Our kids will grow up thinking Muslims don’t know how to write a good story if it is left up to the educational system Muslims have right now.
Why aren’t the movers and shakers in Muslim education… you know.. the ones responsibile for putting together texts for Islamic schools and home schooling parents… Why are they not doing anyting about getting quality fiction stories pubished and approved and made available to our Muslim kids of all reading levels?
I don’t know the answer. I write emails and attempt to contact them by phone but..hey.. no one is at home.. they ignore any correspondence from me.
Perhaps if I were a “certified” educator I might have some “pull” and get the attention of someone in our Muslim educational system, but over the past 8-9 years… most of our educators, teachers and school administrators remain totally ignorant or they willingly ignore the needs of our Muslim kids? I’d rather think the latter.
Harsh words? Perhaps. Sometimes the truth cannot be prettied up, packaged, and tied with a pleasing bow.