Publishing News You May Have Missed in 2019

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.

Publishing News from 2019

Following is a quick recap of important publishing news from 2019 that you should be aware of if you write and publish books.

Associations:

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.

Bookstores:

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.

Book Promotion:

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.

Christian Indie Publishing Association

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.

Related Posts:
5 Book Publishing Trends You Need to Know for 2020
Good News: Religious Book Sales Are Strong
How Many Christian Bookstores Remain?

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Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske.

Gifts for You

The giving of gifts at Christmas is not a universally accepted idea. Even Christians are divided on the issue. Those who choose not to give gifts often cite that they feel that gift giving takes the focus off of Jesus Christ and places it on commercialism. Those who choose to give gifts often do so because of the example set by the Magi.

Gift givers believe that we give gifts to each other to celebrate and demonstrate to others the gift Jesus Christ gave to us in becoming incarnate and providing a way for us to have peace with God. I fall into the latter category. I love to give gifts at Christmas as a symbol of my love for others. After all, Jesus gave me the ultimate gift due to his love for me.

This year for Christmas, I have decided to give you, my readers, gifts. Since reading this blog is free, it is an on-going gift to you from me. However, this month, for Christmas, I will be giving you specific resources in each post that can aid you in your publishing and marketing endeavors.

I am sure you have had the experience of receiving a gift of something that you already had in your possession. This month may not be different. For some of you, the resources I am giving may not be new. If that is so, let the gift be a reminder for you, and pass along the information to someone else who may receive it as a gift of an item they do not already have.

My first gift to you will start with the basics. If you are an author or a publisher who is publishing a book that you plan to sell, then you are running a business. As such, you should be approaching the publishing and marketing of your book as a business endeavor.

A new book, Every Book is a Startup, by Todd Sattersten is set to be released in December 2015. This book will strive to provide a roadmap for publishing professionals interested in bringing a fresh, entrepreneurial approach to the business of book publishing, based on techniques proven effective in the world of tech startups.

You can learn what Todd Sattersten has to say about this concept in this free 60-minute presentation.

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What Do You Do?

I have a book that I want to get published.”

As Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), I hear this statement multiple times each month from potential authors who are looking to get a manuscript published. Since CSPA has the word “publishers” in our name, these authors assume that we are a publishing company.

After I tell these authors that CSPA does not publish books, nor do we assist authors in getting their books published, I direct them to the “Author Seeking Publisher” page of CSPA’s website where CSPA member publishers who are actively seeking manuscripts are listed. Once I have done that, most of these aspiring authors ask:

question-mark

“If you don’t publish, what is it that you do?”

I answer, “We are an association for publishers.”

“Yes, but what do you actually do?” they ask again.

My reply is generally, “We assist publishers in marketing their books.”

Inevitably the author will then ask, “Can you help me market my book?”

To which I say, “Yes, once you publish the book.”

What I believe these potential authors are really asking is: What exactly does belonging to a publishing association do for publishers? That answer is too long and complicated for a short phone call, so I thought I would answer it here.

1. First and foremost, belonging to a publishing association brings you credibility. It says we are a legitimate publishing house, serious about our business. Associations are known in the book industry, so when different entities within the trade business see that you are a member of an association, they take notice. For example, Midwest Book Review puts requests for book reviews by publishers who belong to an association ahead of those from publishers who do not.

2. Belonging to a publishing association keeps you informed. One of the main responsibilities of an association is to keep their members informed and up-to-date on standards and requirements within the industry. That way, you won’t be using a 10-digit ISBN when a 13-digit ISBN is required.

3. Every association offers their members cost saving benefits. At Christian Small Publishers Association, our focus is helping our member publishers with marketing. Therefore, we offer a number of affordable programs that help publishers get the information about their books out to the Christian marketplace.

4. Being part of an association provides you networking opportunities. Two are better than one and three are even stronger. In other words, finding other people who are doing similar things allows you to make alliances and create greater opportunities for spreading the word about your books. In addition, networking allows you to learn from other publishers who have gone before and can keep you from making costly mistakes.

I always encourage publishes and potential publishers to not limit themselves to help from just one association. Join as many as you find you can benefit from. Each organization specializes in different areas of publishing and marketing. Here is a list of the national publishers associations for small publishers and independently published authors:

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