The Difficulties Faced by an Online Mormon Lit Bookstore

A couple of weeks ago Jonathan Langford posted his vision of an online Mormon Lit bookstore–something I’m also quite interested in. I very much believe in that vision, and if I had the resources and connections necessary, I’d start the bookstore he describes as soon as possible. I think such a bookstore could be successful, and would likely be a great help to building and audience for Mormon literature.

There are, however, some large hurdles to overcome.

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The Concept of an Online Mormon Lit Bookstore

Many of us (here and elsewhere) have lamented over the problem of trying to reach and/or create an audience of Mormon readers who might have an interest in fiction reflecting a Mormon perspective but grittier or more realistic than what standard LDS bookstores can or will carry.

I don’t have any new ideas about how to find those readers. However, I do have an idea about a different piece of the puzzle. At the moment, there’s no single place to send people where they can browse for authors and titles that might interest them. My suggestion: an online store that caters specifically to Mormon literature, organized to make browsing easy — like a good brick-and-mortar bookstore — with a broad and inclusive enough selection that people could explore with a fair confidence of finding what they’re looking for.

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LDS Stores, Chains and the rise of the Internet; or How did we get here?

We’ve all heard the sentiment, I think. Independent bookstores are better than those inhuman chains, whose employees don’t even know books and whose policies made it impossible for new authors to break into the market. A few months ago, a friend made these same familiar claims, that chains of bookstores, especially Barnes & Noble, are somehow “evil” organizations destroying the virtuous, hard-working independent bookstore owner.

It somehow sounds like the plot of an early silent-film melodrama.

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