Many Styles, One Book

A friend of mine, who is just about a generation younger than me, invited me to come to a new church opening up in our community recently. When I walked into the church service, I felt old. Everyone was almost a generation younger than me.

Everything about this new church was set up to interest this younger age group. The church had a coffee-shop style coffee area complete with bistro tables. The sanctuary was set up with chairs in a semi-circle around coffee-type tables all facing the stage. Each coffee table had a vase containing the offering envelopes and information about the church. Many of the people attending used these tables to set their coffee on during the service. No one was dressed up.

While the outward elements of this new church were quite different from the traditional churches I am used to, I noticed that it held the same service elements. These elements included: a time of singing worship songs, a sermon, and an offering.

This reminded me of publishing books. Books come in all shapes and sizes. They look different and are geared toward different audiences. However, there are some basic elements that make a book a book. These include: a cover, a title page, a copyright page, a table of contents (for nonfiction), and the body of the book.

What the cover looks like and how information is presented in each book will differ, but these elements are what make a book a book, just like singing, a sermon, and an offering are what make a church service a church service regardless of the physical setup or how the information is presented.

Just like this new church used a style of music, an informal sanctuary set-up, and coffee to draw the audience they wanted to minister to, so should your book contain cover art, font style, and a layout design that are geared to the audience you are seeking to minster to through your book.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and add cutting-edge elements to your book. It may be what is needed to reach your intended audience.

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