A Drinkable Book

A new book and its design are giving new meanings to the phrase “A Good Book Can Change Your Life.”

I am always amazed at the creativity of book publishers. However, this new book design is simply incredible. Having recently gone to Nicaragua on a mission trip, this book especially caught my attention.

Water is essential for life, yet many communities around the world lack fresh water that is free from contaminates. In fact, 3.4 million people die each year from preventable water-related diseases.

WATERisLIFE, an organization devoted to providing clean water to those in need, recently teamed up with researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia. The result is a Drinkable Book.

This Drinkable Book is revolutionary. It will change lives. You can learn more about it by watching this video.

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How Many Americans are Reading?

Earlier this year, Pew reported that according to their research 76% of American adults reported that they had read a book in some format in 2013, with the typical adult reading or listening to five books a year. Those are great numbers. If true, it would mean good news for authors and publishers—the majority of American adults are still reading at least one book each year.

reading

Not so. After reporting the findings listed above, Pew came out and said that had discovered a flaw in their study. Many of the American adults surveyed by Pew were under the impression that prizes would be awarded, so they gave answers they thought would increase their odds of winning. In essence, as many as 38% of the survey respondents lied.

Given those numbers, the findings appear to be closer to 38% of American adults reporting that they had read at least one book in the past year. These numbers are not as bright. One piece of good news for Christian authors and publishers is that research consistently shows that Christian adults report reading more than the general populace.

Whether 38% of American adults read a book each year, or whether that number is closer to 76%, the important thing for anyone marketing a book to remember is that connecting with your potential readers is key.

In other words, if your target audience does not read, you will find selling books difficult whether or not you connect with your audience. On the other hand, if your target audience does read, you still need to find them and connect with them to sell your books.

What is your best vehicle for connecting with your target audience?

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Great Reads for Christians

Did you know that May is “Get Caught Reading” month? What will you get caught reading this month?

Each year, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) puts together a cooperative catalog featuring products from our member publishers. This year’s catalog features 78 titles from 26 of our member publishers.

I invite you to click on the catalog cover pictured below to check out the great titles CSPA member publishers produce! You might find a new book to read this month.

Due the the number of beautiful book covers featured in the catalog, it may take a few minutes to load. Please be patient.

2014 Cover jpeg

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United in Prayer

Today in honor of National Day of Prayer, I invite you to join with me in prayer for our country and for authors and publishers.

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Heavenly Father:

You are the creator of heaven and earth. You hold all things together. I praise you for your creative design and the creativity with which you have made us and placed within each of us.

I thank you for the United States of America and the freedoms that I have to freely speak and worship you. I ask that you would place it in the hearts of our leaders to protect these freedoms for our nation. May our nation continue to be a light of democracy and religious freedom for the world to follow.

For both our local and national leaders, I ask that they would be filled with integrity and that the decisions they make would be for the good of all. I ask that the judges in our court systems would make fair decisions. For the churches, I ask that you would give them renewed zeal and purpose to the mission of the Gospel.

Your word tells us that if we lack wisdom, to ask for it. Today, I ask you for wisdom. I especially ask for wisdom for Christian publishers and authors: Wisdom to know what to publish, and wisdom to create and execute a marketing plan that would reach the people who need to hear the published word. For Christian authors in particular, I ask that you would fill them with creative ideas that bring kingdom principles and life-giving messages to readers. Most importantly, I ask for wisdom to discern your voice and then the courage to engage in the tasks that you ask us to.

I specifically ask that you, who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will also supply and increase our store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of our righteousness. Bless us abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that we need, we will abound in every good work.

Father, you alone are able to do abundantly more than all we can ask or imagine according to your power that is at work within us. To you be glory and power both now and forevermore.

Amen

Don’t Miss This Opportunity

Over 200 books by small publishers and independently published authors pass my desk each year. That is a lot of books that I get to look at and learn from.

A Bead and a Prayer

Some of these books have great elements that fascinate me and I think are wonderful marketing techniques and ideas. Others, while good books, sometimes miss important opportunities.

A Bead and A Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads by Kristen E. Vincent was one of the books nominated for the 2014 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award. The book caught my eye mostly because of its unique subject matter, but also because it has a nicely designed cover.

The book is a short read. I read it quickly. At the end, I noticed that the author gave instructions on how to make prayer beads and included websites where readers could purchase supplies to make their own prayer beads. For those who were not interested in making their own prayer beads, four websites were mentioned where pre-made Protestant prayer beads could be purchased. I think all these resources were great.

However, one of the buzz phrases in publishing today for authors is, “Don’t look at a book as an end product.” In other words, consider the ways your book can direct readers to make more purchases—whether that is for a service or a product.

This author did miss an opportunity. She missed the opportunity to sell Protestant prayer beads directly to her readers either through her own website or through partnering with someone who made these beads via an affiliate relationship. Doing either of these would have brought the author increased revenue, as well as allowed her to collect customer information for future marketing efforts.

I encourage you to take this message to heart and don’t miss an opportunity with your next book.

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