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.

Becoming a Christian Author or Publisher

It is really great and encouraging that you are considering becoming a Christian writer or publisher. Getting the word of God to people is a truly noble and admirable venture. However, you need to know the proper way of becoming a Christian writer or publisher.

The first thing that you need to do is read all about the Christian publishing industry.  There are certain tenets that govern the industry, which are quite different from those of the secular publishing industry. For example, in the secular publishing industry, many people will use unethical marketing practices in order to drive traffic to their websites to maximize sales; in the Christian publishing industry, such methods are discouraged.

The next thing you need to do is think about your book as a business. You need to study the business like any other business, which means that you should know what your prospective readers want, and how you will put the message across to them.  This will require you to do some research of your own, and also talk to people about what kind of books they would like to read.

You need to look for a literary agent, and you may start off by following some of the best literary agents on social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Attend some writer conferences and introduce yourself to fellow writers and agents, and then connect with them on social media. You should also start reading their blogs. You may wonder why you need to read their blogs, but they have a lot of helpful information that you can use to build yourself as a writer or publisher. These blogs will carry information on what is going on in the world of Christian Publishing

In order to grow your knowledge and understanding of this industry, you should start commenting and also interacting with people online. Try to start up tops on forums and be a major contributor.

When you are preparing to take the next step and write a book, you should read the submission guidelines properly. If you want to be a publisher, you need to understand how you are going to launch your business and get writers to stock their books with you.

You should also avoid being the writer who is too aggressive in a negative manner. When you have your first manuscript, do not send pitches to literary agents on their social media, or hound them at conferences. They have very clear guidelines on how to submit your manuscript, and you should follow them.

As a Christian writer, you have prayed a lot about the kind of message you want to put across and also how it will perform in the market. Keep on praying even after you have submitted your manuscript. You may have just handed in the next best seller.

Keep strong in the belief that you will be a great writer. Becoming a Christian Author or Publisher has its challenges just as any other business, but with prayer, you can become successful in your endeavor.

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?

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?

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.

You may like: Non-Human Characters Relatable When It Comes to Christian Publishing

Readers Expect More from Christian Publications

There is a perception that Christian publications are not as interesting as secular ones, and one wonders why this is so. For avid readers, who can go through a book in a single week, there has been tis view that Christian books are the most challenging to read. This is to say that readers expect a lot more from Christian publications. The challenge to any Christian Bookstore UK is to find those books that are easy to read and have content that will keep the reader glued to the pages.

Issues raised about Christian publications

The length of Christian books – Now this does not have anything to do with the number of pages that a book has. There are secular non-fiction books that have a lot of pages, but are still quite interesting to read compared to Christian boos of the same length. The issue is the time it takes for a Christian author to make a point. A great Christian Bookstore UK should have authors who have been known to be quick in getting to the point of any chapter in their books.

You may like: Christian Publishing is ushered into the New World

The books seem like sermons – There have been sermons in the past that have been transcribed and become best sellers, but this is not something that all Christian books should try to emulate. The spoken word will not always seem as brilliant one it is written down on a page. Most Christian authors tend to base their content on sermons that they have preached in the past, and they often fail to give as much zest to the written word, as compared to their spoken sermon.

Doomsday writers – Many Christian authors tend to write about something bad, rather than something good. They talk about the impending doom for all non-believers. However, great writers will show the joys of living a Christian life, in a manner that will captivate the reader and inspire some real change. The audience needs information that they can invest in, rather than be shocked or irritated.

Too many quotes – Go into a Christian Bookstore UK and browse through some of the titles that you find there. One thing you may notice is that most books have too many quotestalking about the same tenet. Writers tend to write biblically, and quote from several biblical boos to support something that they are writing about. It would be great if these quotes would be reduced to just the most essential.

What readers really want

Readers want a Christian Bookstore UK to stock books that are readable, even when someone is tired in the evening. These books should have informationthat is full of zest and will inspire the reader to implement the teachings in his or her own life. Secular non-fiction, such as travel, is used to inspire people to visit places that they have never been to. The same should be done when it comes to Christian publications. A Christian Bookstore UK should do their due diligence and look for title s that have some of these basic “readability” factors.

Will the Internet Promote or Corrupt Christian Publishing?

The Internet has pervaded the lives of people all over the world, and this influence has reached into areas touching on religion and faith. You can easily find a Christian Bookstore UK that is selling Christian books online, in an effort to start a good relationship with people who use the Internet to buy goods and services. The Christian experience is now being pushed into cyberspace and one question stands above all – will the Internet promote or corrupt Christian publishing?

The World of online Christianity

One in every three churches has a website or other online channels of getting to build relationships with Christians online. Statistics show that 25% of Internet users have received some form of religious teaching online at one time or another. This figure is set to rise as many a Christian Bookstore UK set up online stores where they can sell Christian Titles to avid readers. People are treating the Internet as an ecclesiastical library to look for information that will inform their Christian beliefs. This shows that the Internet can indeed be used as a formidable channel to spread the Word of God.

The Concerns of online Christian channels

Any Christian Bookstore UK will say that there is a definite move towards online purchasing, and this may also be felt in other aspects of Christianity. People are now getting disembodied from physical churches as they seek for online churches to get their spiritual nourishment from. It is important for people to interact as they do when they go to physical churches, since they can discuss issues that are related to Christianity with other believers. This interaction is important in the creation of a vibrant Christian society or community.

Another concern that can be raised by a Christian Bookstore UK is information overload. There are too many books being sold online, with some providing differing opinions on the same Christian tenets. Which books should Christian readers rely on for the truth about their faith?

The Internet is very difficult to harmonize and the literature being disseminated online will always differ. This is the reason why publishers, authors and churches are concerned about the effect of the Internet on Christianity as a whole and Christian publishing.

The way forward
Kingdom Publishers, a leading Christian Bookstore UK, has urged Christians to follow guidelines that have been developed by some Christian learning institutions. Christians must look at:

  • The author or site creator, the credentials, background and experience.
  • The accuracy of the information available
  • The date that the information was published
  • The purpose of the information
  • The writing style

With these few guidelines, readers will be able to get information from a sustainable and stable source. Once a readers decides on getting information from one Christian Bookstore UK, or a particular author, he or she should keep this trend in order to get information that will provide consistent content.

With care, Christian publishing can be promoted by the Internet but there are also concerns that should be addressed with care.

You may like: Christian Publishing and the eBook Boom

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.

You may like: Can Fiction Be Used to Teach Valuable Christian Life Values?

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.