Posts

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.

You may like: Becoming a Christian Author or Publisher

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.

You may like: Becoming a Christian Author or Publisher

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”.

You may like: Creativity Targeted at Young Minds May Shape Their Christian Life

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.

You may like: All about Christian Fiction Publishing

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.

You may like: Readers Expect More from Christian Publications

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.

You may like: How Can a Publishing Company Help You In Many Ways?

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.

You may like: Christian Publishing Embraces Folklore to Spread the Good Word

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?

Christian book sellers

Christian Publishing and Secular Holding Companies

Christian publishers who are owned by secular companies have always made for strange bedfellows. Christian publishers are bound by some ethics which they follow – one of the main ones is that they must always remain Christian in the materials that they produce. So what happens when a Christian publisher is owned by a secular company?

A certain case comes to mind, where one secular company produced a controversial book about gay Christianity, and the publisher had to ask that the ethics be examined. This brought to an end a business relationship that had endured for long. This case underscores the problems facing Christian publishers who are owned by secular companies.

Different ethics
A secular publisher will sell a book as long as it can bring about high readership volumes – the readership may be a result of outrage, excitement, amazement and more. Basically, as long as they are within the law in releasing a publication, secular companies will not balk at selling any book.

A Christian publisher is bound by the ethics that are in line with the teachings of the bible. Even if there is Christian fiction being sold, the titles have to show some Christian value. Children’s books are written about monsters and how they are defeated, but the whole story has to toe the thin line between a fairy tale and a horror story.

A tale of survival
In order for some publishing houses, Christian or secular, to survive in the tough publishing business, they sometimes form mergers. Some of the companies that run these mergers are strictly secular in the way they publish books. This is a story of survival, and sometimes it does not auger well for the Christian publisher. Stories of corporate battles over the kinds of books to publish are seen on the news every day.

Do Christian publishers have to work with profitable secular publishers in order to keep their books on the markets? This is an interesting question and this is because this is what happens most of the time. In rare cases is a Christian publisher acquired by another Christian publisher. Secular publishers have great incomes and funds, given that their titles are more widely sold. Christian publishers lack this financial backing and that is why they seek such mergers, which can sometimes be very embarrassing.

So what should be done?
Christian publishers need to find a way to merge and form bodes that can come together and pool resources to get financial and market stability. There are associations for Christian publishers but these are not run as enterprises. It is now time for Christian publishers to run a collective enterprise. They will be better positioned to compete with secular books once they do so. It is all up to the individual publishers now to think of other ways, other than getting acquired by secular companies.

You may like: Will the Internet Promote or Corrupt Christian Publishing?

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.

You may also like: Will the Internet Promote or Corrupt Christian Publishing?

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.

You may like: How Can a Publishing Company Help You In Many Ways?