“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.” ―Heraclitus
The publishing industry is no exception. It is in a constant state of flux. This past year contained numerous changes for the book industry, especially for the Christian retail industry.
Following is a quick recap of important publishing news from 2019 that you should be aware of if you write and publish books.
Publishing Association Rebranded: After fifteen years of service Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) was rebranded to Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) to better reflect the changing book industry.
New Christian Bookselling Association Formed: With the demise of CBA, the Association for Christian Retail in 2019, Munce created a new association, Christian Retail Association (CRA) for independent Christian bookstores and upgraded their Christian Product Expo (CPE) to an International show.
LifeWay Stores Close: LifeWay Christian Resources announced that they would close all 170 of their brick-and-mortar stores in 2019. The company will continue to offer products through their online store at LifeWay.com.
Independent Christian Retail Stores Counted: The Get It Local Today program for Christian retail launched an interactive map showcasing existing retail locations that sell mostly Christian products. The program identified more than 1,800 stores across America.
Baker & Taylor Ceased Distribution to Bookstores: Baker & Taylor decided to exit the retail book distribution business in the US, to focus on library sales. This leaves Ingram as the only major print book distributor to bookstores in the US.
Ingram Launched a Stock Check App: Ingram, the largest book distributor, released an app that anyone can use to check Ingram’s on-hand quantity for any title in the company’s vast inventory. Once downloaded, you can search for any title by scanning the book’s barcode or manually entering the ISBN (EAN), book title, or author name to check the stock instantly.
Amazon Eliminated Two Book Promotion Services: Amazon closed its Kindle Matchbook program and ceased allowing Amazon Giveaways. On the flip side, Amazon expanded their advertising for authors to the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany.
Barnes & Noble Implemented an Advertising Portal for Authors: Barnes & Noble Press introduced an advertising portal giving authors the opportunity to create ad campaigns. Ads appear on relevant BN.com pages based on chosen genres.
BookBub Introduced Chirp for Audiobooks: BookBub responded to surging audiobook listening by extending its platform for book discovery and promotion to audiobooks through Chirp.
Google+ Shut Down: Google+ shuttered in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.
One of the services that Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) provides our Members is up-to-date book industry information related to publishing and marketing books. Each month, our newsletter provides our Members with this valuable information. If you are not a Member of the Association, I encourage you to join for the 2020 year. You can sign up today at www.christianpublishers.net.
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Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske.