Did you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month? This is the month where parishioners are supposed to show their pastors how much they appreciate the effort they put into shepherding the flock.
If you need ideas on how to appreciate your pastor, you can find an online guide, developed by Focus on the Family, featuring step-by-step instructions on how to care for your clergy. You can also check out the book, Mnistering to Your Minister, which is currently up for review on Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) BookCrash book review program. This book is also full of practical suggestions on how to support your pastor so he can minister effectively.
Pastors are one of our nation’s most loyal book-buying audiences. The vast majority of pastors (92%) say that they buy at least one book every month. On average, a pastor buys 3.8 books per month. That is 12 to 46 books a year. Compare that to the average American adult. Only 29% of adults buy more than 10 books in a year.
Not only do pastors buy books. They also read them. In one study commissioned by Pulpit & Pew, clergy from eight denominations reported spending an average of four hours a week reading beyond the reading done for a sermon or teaching lesson.
In essence, pastors represent a fallow customer field for authors and publishers. Not only do pastors’ buy books, they recommend books to their parishioners and pastor friends.
So, in addition to appreciating your pastor, make sure you give him (or her) copies of all the books that you publish. Your pastor can help you spread the word about your books.
If you have published a book that is written for pastors, your challenge is to sow your seed in that fallow field. How does one reach hundreds of pastors with the message about a book they should read?
One way is through magazines geared toward pastors. These magazines offer advertising opportunities as well as opportunities for article submissions that can inform pastors about a subject and the related relevant book. A few of the magazines geared toward pastors include:
This, of course, is just a starting place. There are many ways to market your books to pastors.
I encourage you to appreciate your pastor this month (and every month of the year) and remember that pastors are book buyers too.