the road ahead

Publishing Panic?
November 21, 2008, 2:39 am
Filed under: business, ministry

panic-picThese are trying days in the publishing industry. Just recently a number of Christian nonprofits have been feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown. The retail sales situation is quite serious as we enter the holiday season. Sadly the media has created among consumers a level of fear that seems to me to be immoral and exaggerated.

However, in these days there are a number of issues at work. Some industries are experiencing job losses, drops in the stock market, changes in consumer purchasing preferences, and declines in readership across all ages, to name just a few. One of our newest authors, Matt Bell, has some interesting thoughts on some of these financial issues as individuals seek to find their way in these tough days.

I talked with a fellow publisher the other day who said that this economic slowdown will have a dramatic impact on the publishing business going forward. I would agree that this will be a time of change. But does it have to be panic? Or can there be an opportunity within this economic tidal wave?

Here is my appeal to my friends in the Christian publishing world.

1. Let’s focus on quality not quantity. Less is more in the new economy.

2. Let’s partner together from publisher to retailer. Now is the time to rethink some of our roles.

3. Let’s build new alliances with authors and agents. We all have a valuable role in this work!

4. Let’s remember that it is important to honor God and trust Him in these days!

5. Let’s ask God for wisdom to be better at our work as a result of this crisis.


4 Comments so far
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The media seems to have that ability to create a level of fear because of the reach they have into our living rooms. We glue ourselves to the TV news to hear the lastest on the stock market and what the goverment will do with the big three auto makers. In our house we turn off the news and read. Reading has a positive affect and one book that our household is enjoying at the moment is the daily devotional Holiness Day By Day by Jerry Bridges. One of our favorites was week 13/Wednesday “Why We Worry”. So why do you worry?

Comment by Pamela J Mendoza

A good reminder. Since mid-Sept or so, we’ve been encouraging our customers not to panic and pull back on advertising. Research shows that firms that maintained or increased advertising during a recession had higher sales growth than those who eliminated or decreased advertising.

Advertising during an economic downturn is smart for a number of reasons:
– protects your existing market share
– captures new market share
– sustains brand recognition
– less clutter … your voice is heard
– moves readers to take action

Just a few thoughts to remind others the “sky isn’t falling” …

Comment by Bob Yates

I’m with you, Pamela. One thing I’m praying for my team (and myself) these days is that we allow what we know about God to determine our perspective, not what we hear on the news. It’s hard to tune out the media; after all, fear seems to get better ratings than quiet confidence. We have an opportunity here, as publishers and people, to demonstrate that life with Christ IS different.

Comment by Sue Kline

“Couldn’t it mean more opportunities?” Perhaps there will be more chances for Cristians to find their way through such a cloud! Beilevers can become the friends of GOD. Services can begin happening for people who’ll begin seeing us experiance the feeling our Jesus had as HE girded HIS garment,grabed the foot pan, and began cleanseing the nasty desciples feet. Brothers? Faith without works is dead faith! Get busy…Find some non-profit thing to do. Let us become sure we’re into this serving thing. We are the body of Christ. this means our hands and our feet are HIS too. GOD bless you,in Christ, John…

Comment by John Hancock

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