I recently had lunch with a dear Christian friend. As we talked, she shared with me her desire that her just-turned teenage daughter grow in her relationship with God and read God’s word regularly. Knowing that my friend had done devotional studies with her children when they were young, I asked her if she had thought about doing a mother-daughter Bible study with her now teen daughter to encourage her continued involvement with God and His word.
My friend responded that she had been to her local Christian bookstores and searched and searched for mother-daughter Bible study material, but that she had found none geared to a teenage child. Knowing I am an author, she then suggested I write one.
I told my friend that there was no need for me to write one. I was certain that some small publisher or self-published author had already written an outstanding mother-daughter Bible study for teens. I explained to her how small publishers were starting to fill in the gaps in Christian material that the major Christian publishers were missing. Sadly, Christian bookstores have not yet recognized this and begun to offer more breadth and depth in the books they sell.
I was sad to hear yet another story about how a local Christian bookstore had failed to offer the right mix of books to adequately nurture their patron’s faith. My friend really had no idea how to go about finding resources that were not in her local Christian bookstore.
How many Christians are like my friend? They have a need for a book or material that their local Christian bookstore does not stock, yet they don’t know how to find the quality Christian materials that they need any other way.
How do small publishers and self-published authors better reach this audience?
I wish I had the answer. I don’t. I did explain to my friend about small publishers and self-published authors and how they were creating materials to meet her needs. We did go online and search for mother-daughter Bible studies and found a small Christian publisher who had published a wonderful series for Christian mothers and their teen daughters that my friend could order online.
I don’t have the answer on how to better reach the average Christian. I do know that I am doing my small part to promote small publishers and self-published authors. How about you? Are you just promoting your own books, or are you also letting your friends and family know that small publishers and self-published authors have something great to offer Christians even though most of these materials won’t be found in their local Christian bookstores?