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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.

How to succeed in Christian Fiction Publishing

Christian Publishing has been fraught with a lot of challenges, especially for small publishing houses. The industry is dominated by just a few of the major publishing houses. So how does one succeed in this field of Christian publishing? There are a few strategies that smaller publishing houses are using and this article will take you through some of them.

Follow your readers

There are several subgenres within the Christian fiction industry. Some of the most popular are Amish, romance and holiday themes. These already are dominated by the major publishers and a small publisher would face a big challenge in succeeding I these subgenres. Well, one way that you can succeed in this area is to create a series of novels, which tell just a part of the full story. This strategy has successfully been used by some small publishing house, because it leaves the readers in suspense. Once the first one comes to its conclusion, it indicates that the story is not yet finished, and reads are let anticipating the release of the second novel.

Another way to follow readers is to write a historical fictional story. One can take the history of a successful personality and then research on the spiritual life of that person and write a quasi-fictional story that would show how the spirituality of the person influenced his or her success. For example, one could think of writing a spiritual story of Nelson Mandela and how his spirituality gave him strength through his struggle to end Apartheid.

Consider the libraries

Marketing channels are another challenge for smaller publishing houses that do not have the resources of the bigger publishers. When it comes to Christian fiction publishing, there is a great demand for books in libraries. The library editions should be in hard cover so they can stand being borrowed many times over.  Librarians play a great role in advising people on which the popular titles are, and also new releases, whether they come from small or big publishing houses.

Go for the mass markets

Mass marketing a book can be a costly affair, and this is where pooling of resources comes in. Several small publishing houses can pool resources and take a book to the mass markets. This model has the effect of having high sales volumes of the low-cost books, resulting in quick returns. This model is successfully used by large and established publishing houses.

There is a lot of soul searching going on within the circles of smaller Christian fiction publishing houses. They need to know how to survive in a very competitive industry. These strategies mentioned above are just a tip of the iceberg. It only requires some great imagination in order to break it big in this industry. Questions about whether they should use data or go by the gut and just publish are issues that they are looking into. New methods may be empirically researched or adopted just because they seem like “Good Ideas”.

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Beating Writer’s Block

Now every Christian writer has struggled with this at one point or another, whether experienced or novice. It is a very crippling experience and affects your writing in a major way. There are ways in which you can manage your writer’s block so it does not become a challenge to your writing efforts. Here are some tips on how to handle this issue.

Understand what writer’s block is

For some people, the word brings about some form of paralysis and they panic and even start doubting whether they will finish the book. However, this is not some way or mountain that cannot be scaled. To better understand writer’s block, think about it as a crossroad. You simply do not have a clear idea about the direction you should take next. It does not mean that you do not have ideas, but you simply do not know which one you should follow next.

This is not unique to you

If you look at any famous Christian writer, be sure that he or she has experienced writer’s block at one time in their career. If they have at one time looked at a sheet of paper or computer monitor and failed to decide on what to write, and later went on to produce classics, then you can too. When you realize that other writers have faced the same challenge and overcome it, you will know that you will overcome it too.

Keep your standards reasonable

At times, new writers tend to set their standards too high. They start off with a wonderful idea, but it gets to a point where they cannot flesh out the full story and maintain the same standards. Always make sure that your standards are manageable. Manageable does not mean you produce poor quality, but you produce the best that you can maintain from start to finish.

Shelve it for now

You have written chapters 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, but do not know what to write in chapter four in order to bridge these chapters. Leave it alone for now. Keep on writing and when you finish the book, you will have found a way of writing that elusive chapter 4. This method of filling in the gas is used by many writers. The stable parts of the story simply lend themselves to the gaps after a while.

Don’t wait for inspiration

If you were an accountant or a waiter, you would go to work every single day. If you are a writer, you should do the same. Write every day, even if it seems like gibberish. In this process, the inspiration will come along and the writer’s block will be gone. If you sit there for days, doing nothing and waiting for the donkey to lead you to the water, then you may be wasting your time.

These are some tips that you can use to beat writer’s block when you are looking to get published. This is a common occurrence and every Christian publisher will tell you not to worry.

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The Future of Christian Publishing

All forms of Christian Literature, especially fiction books are really having a hard time selling to the public. The market for Christian Publishing is very large, but most publishers are having a hard time competing in the technological world of the Internet. There are still very many publishers that are still active in this market, but most of these are the ones that have been established for a long time and have a great history with their customers. We look at some of the challenges that Christian Publishers are facing today, and what they can do to make it better.

The pricing of books
The main issue affecting Christian publishers is the pricing structure today. When the time came for eBooks and the many self-published books available on the Internet, Christian publishing took a serious hit. There has been a lot of pressure to lower prices in order to keep prices at levels that would attract customers. There are customers who would not mind paying premium prices for a good book, but these are a very small portion of the total readership base.

There has been a definite race for the bottom when it comes to pricing and this makes it very hard to sell new books at the usual prices. This pricing structure has brought about complete restructuring of the Christian publishing industry over the years.

Following reader tastes
Readers of Christian books have varying tastes in the material they read. Just like the wide range of preachers in the world, each with his or her way of preaching, readers tend to follow publishers and authors who are well known. This has forced new publishers and authors to try and follow the readers, instead of the other way round. People are making the mistake of writing according to the style of yet another writer, and this dilutes the content of the book. Ideally, each author and publisher should stick to their style, market the books well, and let the readers come to them.

Expanding to mass markets
This is the situation where a Christian publisher has to go to great lengths to get a book out, pay out a lot of money for printing, and marketing of the book, and also pay out advances to the authors, and only find that the book cannot be sold at break even prices. The mass markets have been liquid when it comes to new Christian books. Some of the larger publishers enjoy a full list of customers, but others end up struggling.

These are the major factors affecting Christian publishing and they should be addressed. There is a need for a concerted effort to get Christian publishing back on the map once more. People who love owning a book, will not hesitate to buy one from the store, but others who prefer digital editions will still be a challenge for these publishers.

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Digital Christian Publishing Makes an Indelible Mark

Digital Publishing has had a profound effect on Christianity as a whole. When people and churches set up a website, they attract a huge following from their faithful flock. Many people log onto digital publishing platforms on a daily basis looking for the latest scripture, daily inspiration, and a lot more. This shows that digital publishing has had a profound effect on how Christians relate to the Word, Church and Christian Community.

Social Media
Every Christian Bookshop London has a social media site, where they announce their latest releases, and any offers that they may have. The sites are also used to pass on tidbits from some of the publications in an effort to influence their followers to buy the titles. Some of the social media sites run competitions that offer publications as prizes to the winners. Basically all this is only possible thanks to digital publishing. The books promoted in this way can easily be downloaded and read, without having to go to the Christian Bookshop London.

Audio books
Now this is one of the digital publishing platforms that is yet to take hold in Christian Circles. People love to read and see pictures, rather than listen to the book being read to them. However, for people who would not mind listening to the book, (not a sermon), audio books are a great way to get Christian publications in an easy-to-follow format. Some audio books go a little further to explain some of the issues and concepts that are found in the book.

Video
Now this is one of the best ways of publishing digital content online. It has been shown that some Christian writers have first produced content on sites like YouTube, which has then been published for sale at a Christian bookshop London, and have gone on to be bestsellers. The visual appeal of video can be seen even when you go to physical churches and video is used to explain what is being preached about in the sermon. People tend to remember videos much better than the scripted word. So authors should look into ways of publishing their books in video formats. The book entitled “The Secret” is one such boo that has successfully been produced as a video.

eBooks
One cannot talk about digital publishing without talking about Books. This is one of the simplest ways of getting your book published and sold on the Internet. Every Christian Bookshop London has a digital eBook store, where their audience can buy and download some of the titles that they stock in hard cover or paperback. eBooks are safe, thanks to digital signatures, and can be produced within a fraction of the time it takes to print a paper copy of the same.

Digital publishing has changed the landscape for the way a Christian Bookshop London can get books to their readers. It has also changed how authors and publishers work in today’s digital world. Basically, this new way of publishing books has left an indelible mark in the world of Christian publishing.

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Christian Publishing and the Children’s Ministry

There are several benefits that Christian publishing imparts on the Children’s Ministry. Every parents should make it a habit to walk into a Christian Bookshop UK and find a book that will help shape the Christian future of their young ones.

Ensuring that children are exposed to beneficial books right from the start ensures that they grow up to build a better society, family, church and world. The importance of Christian publishing in this aspect cannot be understated.

Ways in which Christian publications benefit children

The negative results of sin – You want your child to know that it is wrong to sin, and Christian publications have many ways of teaching children this. The 10 commandments are some of the basics that children start to learn, and they should follow them with dedication. A Christian Bookshop UK should have publications that teach about the bad outcomes of sin.

Understanding the world – Children are usually confused about the ways of the world. Christian publications help them understand who made the world and what the initial desire of the Maker was. They get to know about what went wrong with God’s initial plan and how this has shaped the world as they know it today. With this understanding, children will then get to know how they can stay close to the teachings of the Bible, and to God’s initial plan, so they can one day get to meet Him in Heaven.

Acceptance of Christ – It has been shown that people who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior at an early age tend to keep their faith. Children are very impressionable and tend to keep what they learned at a tender age for longer in their lives. These are the years in which they are molded into the adults that they will become. A Christian Bookshop UK should have books that encourage children to embrace salvation from an early age.

Counterbalancing worldly influences – The influence of worldly things can make a child stray from a Christian way of life. Christian publications have helped children in countering this kind of influence, by teaching them what really matters in life. A child is less likely to steal or lie in order to get ahead in life, if he or she knows that there is a clean and honest way of getting to the same objective. A Christian Bookshop UK should stock books that tell children about some of the challenges that they will face in life and how to overcome them in a Christian manner.

It is fun – Any Christian Bookshop UK will testify that Christian publications targeted at the Children’s Ministry are full of fun lessons. Children easily assimilate information when it is presented in a fun way. It may be in the form of cartoons, comics, stories or activities.

Christian publishing has a great responsibility and role to play when it comes to the Children’s Ministry. Authors and publishers should always think about these young and impressionable minds when they are creating content for them. The industry will help shape the future society with proper dissemination of Christian teachings.

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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.

Christian Publishing Embraces Folklore to Spread the Good Word

It has been the norm to think that anything that is not rooted in Christianity is detrimental to the development of Christian values in children. Many believe that folklore contains too much paganism and can lead children astray from a Christian upbringing. However, tales and folklore can be used to cultivate Christian values in young minds.

Christian children are able to tell that the characters in some of the folklores are fictional, but they stull identify with them to some level. When you talk about the Legends of King Arthur, and how he defeated evil dragons, the Christian child can relate this to how good always wins over evil, and he or she will be convinced to embrace the good values taught in Christianity. Christian publishers are now realizing that characters found in folklore can be used to teach Christian values in a manner that children can relate to.

How to start using folklore in Christian publishing for children

Christian Publishers need to look at how children start off learning to read and write, and how this can be used in developing Christianity from an early age. Children start off by listening to what parents read to them, and also reciting nursery rhymes. Publishers should look at rhymes and simple stories that children can understand, but have a basis in Christianity.

The next stage is that of folklore and tales –Most tales and folklore talk about the basic good that is found in humanity. Granted, there are some evil characters in these tales, who eventually get defeated, but the good characters outshine the bad. Folklore embraces basic human desires and experiences, which are eventually fulfilled by having a good spiritual life. Getting children to have an understanding of the good that is enshrined in folklore will help them understand the basic tenets of Christianity.

Why folklore?

There are many stories contained in the Gospel, and they contain marvelous, moving and artistic form. Similarly, there are stories contained in folklore that have the same characteristics. Christian Publishers have a vast wealth of stories with characters who can be molded to fit a story with deep Christian values. Children will already be familiar with the characters, and this new twist in the stories will have a profound effect on their minds.

Children will always relate to the charactersin the stories that they hear, and will usually imagine themselves taking part in the events unfolding in the stories. When they hear about a magical land, filled with great people and animals, they want to instantly be transported there in their minds. Christian Publishers should take advantage of this desire to tell Children about Heaven and the fulfillment in going to meet their maker after life here on earth.

Pastor Andy Yiangou has published a book entitled “Jungle Tales” which tell stories of various events in Karoomba Jungle, which have a deep Christian lesson to teach. Christian Publishers are today looking for such stories to help develop Christianity in young children.

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