Do You Give Books as Gifts?

I think that anyone involved in the publishing industry, whether you are an author, publisher, distributor, bookseller, editor, publicist, or literary agent, should give books as gifts.

Why?

1. It’s good for business.

Giving books as gifts means more books are being purchased. This is good for business. We need books to sell to keep the business of publishing and selling books alive and active. The more people you expose to a good book, the more people you win as enthusiastic fans who will help you promote that book, resulting in more book sales.

2. It promotes reading.

According to statistics, reading is decreasing in the United States. Giving books as gifts encourages people to read. The more people read, the more books they purchase. It’s simple math.

3. Books have the power to change lives.

Ultimately, only Jesus has the power to transform lives, but books still have the power to change people’s lives. Books provide people with insight and information that can help them learn to think and act in new ways. Most importantly, good Christian books can lead people to a better understanding and relationship with God.

I encourage you to give books as gifts this Christmas season and throughout the year. Books make wonderful gifts and last a long time.

Need some ideas of good books to give as gifts this Christmas? Let me suggest you check out the great books offered by member publishers of Christian Small Publishers Association. Just click on the CSPA 2009 Product catalog below and flip through it to be inspired!


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Happy Thanksgiving

God is good and deserves our praise and thanksgiving.

This is my favorite Thanksgiving hymn. It reminds me that I need to “give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
 

Thanks to God for My Redeemer

August Ludwig Storm

 

Thanks to God for my Redeemer, Thanks for all thou dost provide!

Thanks for times now but a memory, Thanks for Jesus by my side!

Thanks for pleasant, balmy spring-time, Thanks for dark and dreary fall!

Thanks for tears by now forgotten, Thanks for peace within my soul!

 

Thanks for prayer that Thou hast answered, Thanks for what Thou dost deny!

Thanks for storms that I have weathered, Thanks for all Thou dost supply!

Thanks for pain and thanks for pleasure, Thanks for comfort in despair!

Thanks for grace that none can measure, Thanks for love beyond compare!

 

Thanks for roses by the wayside, Thanks for thorns their stems contain!

Thanks for home and thanks for fireside, Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!

Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow, Thanks for heavenly peace with thee!

Thanks for hope in the tomorrow, Thanks thru all eternity!

 

What are you especially thankful for this year?


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Surprised by God

Has God surprised you lately?

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! Isn’t God like that?

When my husband and I wrote and published Baby Bible Board Books: Stories of Jesus, a collection of four board books for infants and toddlers, I never envisioned these books being published in another language, in another country.

I had my plan. My plan was to sell as many of these books as we could in the United States and Canada. So, I was pleasantly surprised when a distributor picked them up to sell in Australia.

God had even greater plans. His plan included foreign rights for these books. He wanted them published in Asian countries.

When the books were first released, we were approached by a publishing house in Central America that wanted foreign rights to publish the books in Spanish. However, after the initial contact, the publisher dropped the conversation and so this agreement never materialized. Since foreign rights were not in my plan, I wasn’t bothered by this and didn’t continue to pursue this avenue.

Then out of the blue, last year, God brought a foreign rights agent to us through Christian Small Publishers Association. This agent wanted to show our books to his publisher contacts in Asia. We said, “Yes!” The agent showed the books. As a result, we have received contracts for Baby Bible Board Books to be translated and sold in Korea and Indonesia.

Exceedingly abundantly above all that I asked or thought! God is good!

Has God done something exceedingly abundantly above all that you have asked or thought in your writing or publishing endeavors lately?


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Create a Facebook Page for Your Book

Have you created a Facebook page for your book yet?

A Facebook page is a great way to publicize your book and stay connected with your fans.

One of the best things about Facebook is that it is free. Creating and maintaining a Facebook page only costs you your time.

Not sure how to create a Facebook page for your book? Watch this step-by-step tutorial produced by the University of Michigan on how to create a Facebook page and learn how.


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A Lesson in Selling Books

I recently received an email from a member publisher of Christian Small Publishers Association. This gentleman is an independent publisher with a children’s book that released this year. He was writing to update me on the upcoming media appearances he would be making in connection with his book.Cover (LR)

His email ended with this:

Also have won a few book awards recently, but nothing is leading to any major sales figures.  This is a tough business, I am reminded once again.”

This publisher could not be more correct. Selling books is a tough business. Even with doing all the right marketing maneuvers to promote his new book, major sales are not appearing. This gentleman’s list of marketing activities is impressive.

He has:

  • written and published a professional-looking children’s picture book.
  • pursued and received endorsements and reviews.
  • secured national distribution for his book.
  • created a professional-looking website for the book.
  • displayed his newly published book at both BEA (Book Expo America) and ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) and handed out many free review copies at these shows.
  • created and posted on the Internet a promotional book video.
  • obtained coverage in local newspapers.
  • received coverage in some well-targeted Christian publications.
  • been featured on both Christian radio and television programs geared toward his target audiences.
  • pursued foreign rights for the book.
  • entered and won two book awards.

Yet, major sales are not happening.

Selling books is a tough business. It takes work and more work to sell books. Major sales are not necessary for success, although they are nice. Steady sales are good. Even in smaller numbers steady sales eventually add up.

I am reminded, again, that only a very small percent of books ever reach best-seller status. Don’t get discouraged, you never know what success your next marketing ploy may produce.


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