National Day of the Bible

Today is National Day of the Bible.

The Bible has often been called “The Best-Selling Book of All Time.” It has undoubtedly sold more copies over the many years it has been in print than any other book. It is believed to have sold well over 6 billion copies.

In honor of National Day of the Bible, the National Bible Association is asking that people gather at noon today in a public square or public building and read out loud a section of scripture, no more than about 15 verses in length.

Since my blog is a public place on the Internet, I have chosen to post 15 verses in honor of National Day of the Bible today. These verses come from the 1984 edition of the New International Version of the Bible.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.                                                                                   ~I John 4:7-21

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Hand-Crafted Books Are Still Alive

In the age of digital publishing, one company is keeping the old hand-crafted, clothbound, hardback book alive. Slightly Foxed, located in the United Kingdom, chooses to publish a limited number of certain editions of books via craftsmen printer Smith Settle. These books contain colored endpapers, headband, tailband, and silk ribbon marker.

Believe it or not, there is still a niche market for these hand-crafted books. Watch this interesting video to see how these books are produced.

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Now Thank We All Our God

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who is going through a hard time. She kept talking about people who have it better than she does. Each time she told a story about someone who is better off than she is; my friend would then ask why God is not doing this or that for her.

I told my friend I thought she was focusing on the wrong thing. I reminded her that for every person who has it better than she does, there are more that are worse off than she is. I told her I thought that for every person she thinks of who is better off than herself, she should think of two or three who have it worse than she does. Then, she should thank God that she is not that bad off. I encouraged her that each time she thought of someone worse off than herself she should say “but for the grace of God, there go I.”

We have so much to be thankful for. It’s all in our perspective and what we choose to focus on.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the ways that God continues to shower his blessings.  Here are a few:

  • Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) has over 110 member publishers, our highest membership rate since we started in 2004.
  • The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award had more nominations this year than it has had since its inception in 2008.
  • Christian Small Publishers Association’s new blogger book review program, BookCrash, has over 130 bloggers signed up to review books and that program just started a few months ago.
  • Small publishers continue to rise up and publish outstanding materials to strengthen and encourage the body of Christ.

Martin Rinkart penned these words in his “Now Thank We All Our God” hymn in 1636:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

Thank you God for your blessings and gifts of love!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Engrossed in a Book

Just the other day, someone I was talking to at a conference told me a story about reading while she was driving. After she mentioned this, she stated, “That’s probably not too smart of me.”

Inwardly, I concurred. Imagine my surprise when, a few days later, I stumbled upon this YouTube video of a man reading a book while driving 75 miles per hour on a California highway.

That led me to the YouTube video of the bus driver in Portland, Oregon, who was reading a Kindle as he drove his public transit bus around town.

Reading while driving has got to be as bad as texting while driving. However, it does my heart good to see people so engrossed in books that they can’t put them down. Now if they were Christian books, that would even be better.

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Stalled

I recently received a sales statement from my distributor and was surprised to discover that I had sold zero books the previous month. Yep, you heard that right, zero.

I think this may be the first month in years that my books’ sales were zip.

That sales statement sure made me sit up and take stock. What I discovered was that I had gotten busy with a number of other things and had let my marketing activities slip. I remember thinking a number of times over the past few months that I should do this or that to keep the momentum of my marketing efforts, but each time, I made an excuse and put it off.

When I put something off, it usually means it drops to the bottom of my “To Do” list and stays there for quite awhile. Not a smart thing to let happen with marketing.

Needless to say, I have pulled out my marketing plan and revisited it. I have come up with a list of things that I have been putting off that I need to do. Among these are:

  1. Advertising in a few journals.
  2. Creating and ordering some new promotional materials.
  3. Making my books available in ebook format.

Now, these are not new goals. These are marketing objectives I have had for some time. I just have not made them a priority and carved out the time to do them.

Have you experienced a stall in your books’ sales? If you have (or do in the future), let it be a sign to you that you need to revisit your marketing plan and get back to business. Sometimes that means doing more of the activities you are already engaged in, and other times it means coming up with some new marketing strategies.

It’s summer and we all want a vacation. Just don’t let your vacation mean an extended break from marketing activities. Marketing is a prerequisite to selling books.


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