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The Thin Line of Influence for Christian Publishing

As a Christian writer or publisher, you wield a lot of power over the lives of many people who really take Christian books very seriously. Unlike secular and fictional novels, where readers already know that what is contained is fictional and strictly for entertainment purposes, readers take Christian books very seriously. This is where the thin line of Christian publishing appears, and all writers and publishers must walk this line with a lot of care.

The negative

There are some Christian publishers who do not put much thought into outputting Christian books that have a negative impact on their readers. The use of fear is one of the tactics that many authors have used to get increase readership. “If you do this, then something bad will happen to you.” This approach has been used by many writers in an effort to scare sinners out of their ways and into Christianity, and also to keep those within from straying. Although there has been some success in some cases, there are cases where people view themselves as being unworthy, when they read about some of the issues written by an influential Christian writer.

The positive

On the other hand, there are Christian writers who have a knack of showing the greatness of living a Christian life within a positive context. The issues spelt out in the book show the positive results that one gets from being a good Christian. This approach is said to work wonderfully, but in some cases it has brought about a feeling of being too good. “I am a good Christian and deserving to go to Heaven, while these sinners will go to Hell”.  The individual disassociates from people who are not Christians and will not even have a simple conversation with non-believers.

Walking the thin line

A good Christian writer knows how to balance between these two extremes when writing books. He should be able to show the result of living a non-Christian life and that of living a Christian life. Weaving through these two extremes and coming to a wonderful conclusion at the end of the book will bring about a positive and lasting effect on the reader. Actually, most of the writers who have a long-lasting relationship with their readers carefully toe this line.

The role of the Christian publishers

The Christian publishers should engage the writer right from the start. The writer may have a great idea, but the way it is fleshed out in the book may be on the extreme. Publishers need to know how to work with the writers to come up with books that are well balanced and will influence readers in a manner that is long-lasting.

Christian publishers and writers have a huge responsibility in ensuring their readers get books that will have a positive effect on their lives.  They must always keep the thin line in focus. With this in mind, writers and publishers will not only win large readerships, but also ensure that their influence is Godly in nature.

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Christianity

Steps towards Self Publishing

When most people think about self publishing, their hearts are filled with fear. This is an uncertain terrain for many aspiring Christian writers. They do not know which platform to use, which agent or publisher to use, and a lot more. We endeavor to put down some steps that one can use to make it as a self published Christian Writer.

Find the right Publisher

Always search for a publisher who shares your views. It is important that you pray before you go out and get a publisher. You need a publisher who publishes books which have Christian themes and morals. If you decide to publish where secular books are also being published, then your message may become diluted in the process. So always make sure that you really know the kind of publisher that you want before you start your grand self publishing journey.

A publisher who walks with you

You need to find a publisher who will walk with you through every step of this new literary journey. For a first time writer, this journey can be confusing and the publisher should be sensitive and patient with your requirements.  Every contact that you make within the organization should be ready to answer your questions and allay your fears and concerns.

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You want a publisher who will understand your vision right from the submission of your manuscript, all the way to viewing your cover image and design. They should have a deep understanding of what your objectives are in publishing the book. They should be willing to go out of their way to accommodate your vision for the book. The service should be exceptional and all-inclusive.

Get proper recommendations

You need to find people who will recommend you to certain Christian publishers. You should do your due diligence and find out which publisher is the best when it comes to publishing and marketing the book. Some publishers have a wide array of channels that they use to market your book. They should be enthusiastic in their efforts. Reading through some forums will help you get a clear picture of the publishers that are available for you.

Pray Always

The power of prayer is clear to every devout Christian. When you reach the point of writing your own book, you need to pray a lot for the vision of the book and also getting the right publisher. This may seem like a small matter to many, but it is not. Take time to pray before you even start structuring the book and let the Holy Spirit guide you on what you should do.

In conclusion

There are many other aspects that you should consider when you are staring off into self publishing. Not all Christian publishers may share your vision, and this could result in a frustrating process, and a bad result in the long run. The message of your book will not get to the people in the proper manner, and your vision will be diluted.

Have Faith When Writing Your First Book

Every writer has one through an initial phase when they thought that they would not finish their first book. At such times, you need encouragement from people within your circles and also from your publisher.  Christian publishers play a great role in fostering new writers so they can fulfill their dreams of writing their first book. There are many obstacles, both real and perceived, that you will go through when writing your first book, but you can overcome them by having faith in your ability.

Reach deep within you for the faith and courage

Most new writers are driven to write from a deep conviction that they have something to share with other Christians. In some cases, a person has had a bad life growing up, and this changed upon getting salvation. This may drive the person to want to share this experience with others who may be going through the same.

In such a case, reaching deep within to embrace what has happened to you may overcome some of the initial jitters that you may be having. Know that the message that you have is important to millions who are going through the same rough path that you went through- and conquered! This faith that the message must get out will give you the impetus that you need to overcome whatever fears and doubts that you may have.

Have faith in your publisher

After looking for a great Christian publisher, you must have unwavering faith in their ability to get you through this initial stage. You should take them into your confidence and let them know exactly what you are feeling and any challenges that you may be having. Publishers have worked with aspiring writers from all walks of life so you can believe that they probably have come across another writer with similar challenges.

Create faith through prayer and communion

Always pray for your book before you sit down to write. Let the Holy Spirit guide you on what you have to write. The power of prayer is something that every Christian knows and you should have faith in it too. You should also commune with the people in your church and also other members of your family. The encouragement you get will push you beyond any obstacles that you may be facing. They will support you spiritually and in other ways to ensure that you attain your dream of publishing your first book

Take the leap

Talk about taking a leap of faith. When you decide to write your first book, then take a leap of faith and start writing. When your book is finally published, you will be glad. You will be overwhelmed with emails and other messages from people whose lives you have touched. This is one of the best results of publishing a book – when you know that you have changed somebody’s life for the better. This thought should always stay in your mind, even if you will be expecting some financial recompense for your effort.

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Christian Publishing and the Church

Not many people consider this question, especially because the decision to buy any sort of Christian publication is a personal one for many people – Where would the church be without Christian publishing companies?

There stands your preacher, teaching his sermons every time. Armed with only the Bible, but not having Bible references, periodicals and journals that enhance his understanding of the Bible. Imagine that you do not have any hymnals, choir music and only a few Bibles on each pew. The big question is whether the teachings would reach people without all of these publications.

Of course, the word would get out. In several parts of underdeveloped countries, Christianity is taught under such tough conditions. So how does Christian publishing impact the church?

Christian Publishers, especially those owned by secular publishing conglomerates, seek to expand their profits by appealing to the market, rather than truly meeting the spiritual needs of the readers. There are small publishers who seek to enhance the spiritual lives of their readers. Publishers tend to concentrate on the personal link between the reader and God, rather than the link between the reader and the Church.

Unfortunately, many readers have embraced this kind of thinking, and look more towards their own personal relationship with God, rather than their relationship with the Church. The Bible warns that appealing too much to the market may lead to publishing untrue or outright heretic material. The Apostle Timothy warns of this when he says that people will have itching ears to accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and turn away from listening to the truth, (2 Tim 4:3-4).

Well, Christian publishing on one hand may seem to be a detriment to the Church, but let nobody forget just how much it has done for the Church in the past and will continue to do so. In the last Century, Christian publishing has energized the Church. There was a true reform of theology and the churches resurged, thanks to Christian publishing.

There is a large number of youth who are turning to the church at an early age thanks to publications that they read. This will give rise to a largely Christian adult generation in the future. Christian publishing is playing a greater role now, more than it did in the past.

In the second half of the 20th Century, Evangelism has been the major publisher as compared to any other denomination. Christian publishers played a great role in the proliferation of the Bible, and hence the Church. One can see the large number of translations that were put forth, and also the reference material, which enhanced the understanding of the Bible. Christian publishing did make a great impact on the Church in the past, and is set to make an even greater one in the future. The answer to the question above is that Christian publishing, when done properly, has a great impact on the growth of the Church and should be lauded.

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All about Christian Fiction Publishing

Christian Fiction Publishing is a lucrative business and it can really pay off, but it also comes with a lot of challenges. There are some companies that have completely abandoned Christian Fiction publishing while others have reduced the number of titles that they send out every year. This may give the notion that the market for Christian fiction books is shrinking, but when you look at industry statistics, you see a different picture.

The estimates show that the mass market format, is the one favored by most publishers. This is a format where the books are produced in huge amounts, and then prized at what you would use to buy a snack. Harlequin has produced a Christian fiction romance line called “Love Inspired” with each book being sold at $5.99. This has made the books very popular, and one can see the appeal of the mass market format.

The challenges of Christian Fiction stave from this ability by some publishes to drive prices to such a level that the smaller publishers cannot break even. Industry insiders say that only 3 or 4 publishing houses take the lion’s share of this market. They have mastered what their readers want and keep on producing hit after hit. There are those that have specialized in Romantic suspense, which is what most readers are looking for.

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There are other Christian Fiction publishers who have partnered and pooled their resources to produce best sellers. This is another strategy that is being used in order to beat the mass make strategy that is employed by the bigger publishing houses. Another strategy that has made a great impact is reinventing the publishing house.

When talking about reinventing the publishing house, it does not mean that the overall strategy of printing and marketing should be changed; it means that there should be a change in the topics that are being output.

Christian Romance has really been saturated. This subgenre is dominated by a few major publishing houses and it would be very difficult to publish a new romance book if you are a small publisher. That is the reason why some publishing houses are looking for less common Christian publishing subgenres. One of the most popular is Amish fiction because there is so much that can be written about these people. Again, the Amish are avid readers and are a huge pool of potential customers.

For a small Christian publishing house to truly make it, it should consider entering into a new subgenre and then producing a best seller. It would be prudent to take time to find such a subgenre and then properly create and publish a formidable book, which would take the Christian publishing world by storm.

When considering entering into the world of Christian Fiction publishing, one must be ready to take a different approach and then market it with a lot of gusto. A new method that has become popular is “time slipping”, where the reader is taken to different time periods throughout the book. Do you have any new ideas?

Should Popular Stories Be Used To Tell Christian Stories?

Children love popular stories and fairy tales, since they are universally known and read as they have always been. Hansel and Gretel will sound the same, whether it is read in the UK or in Asia. Given the universal nature of these stories, do they have the potential to be used in teaching Christian Values?

It would be great if one could walk into a Christian Bookstore and find one of these popular books which has been adapted to fit certain Christian values. One should note that the stories do not have to change at all, but their summary can be used to teach a different lesson, other than the fact that good wins over evil.

A look at some stories that have the potential to teach Christian values

When you walk into a Christian bookstore and find the book about Hansel and Gretel, you immediately think of the “entertaining value” of the book and do not see much value from a Christian point of view.

Now imagine that the story is told just as it has been for centuries. Hansel and Gretel are lured into the lair of the wicked witch by the sweets and yummy stuff that she had laid out for them. Little did they know that they were to be fattened so they could be eaten.

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Hansel and Gretel eventually defeat the witch and escape with their lives. The Christian value here is about how temptation looks very sweet at the start. How temptation can lead a person into a life that could eventually have serious consequences. It tells of how one should rely on the good lessons learned from a Christian point of view to defeat the temptation.

The challenges to be addressed

Publishers who would like to see such popular stories end up in a Christian Bookstore have a lot of challenges to face.

The first is the copyright issue, which should be addressed with the publishers holding the rights for such stories. With such partnerships, popular stories can be used to teach Christian values to young children.

Publishers and authors also need to sensitize parents and children that the stories now have a new lesson to teach and they should visit a Christ bookstore to get the new versions. This means proper marketing to Christians through social media and other online avenues.

What other stories can be used to teach the same values?

Various cultures have their own popular stories that they tell their children. A Christian Bookstore should explore stories from several cultures all over the world. Pastor Andy Yiangou has a book, Jungle Tales, which has stories from the Karoomba Jungle, a popular jungle in Asian Folklore.

Kingdom Publishers is a Christian Bookstore that has a wide range of books that use popular stories to teach Christian values to children and adults alike. Visit their online store and check from their extensive catalog and see which books would be great for you and your children. Popular stories and characters can play a crucial role in shaping the Christian lives of both adults and children alike.