posted earlier today by Bethany House on Twitter.
This is our Facebook cover image, sized to fit FB (851px X 315px; click to show full size or request via email). It’s not perfect, as the source images were varying in size, but you’re free to use it for whatever.
I haven’t been posting much here as my mother passed away on Thanksgiving Monday and then we had her funeral the following Monday. I’ll try to increase the frequency as we head toward Christmas.
This is the first one-third of a longer article by Chris Marchand that appeared today at his blog Post Consumer Reports and sent to me by a friend. I encourage you to consider what Chris is saying here, and also click through to read the whole piece.
This past weekend I had a most amazing concert-going experience in Champaign, Illinois.
I was there seeing two little known aging rock artists. I say little known because the crowd was mostly in their 40’s or above, with a few sprinklings of people in their 20’s and 30’s, as well as a few kids. I also say little known because only around 200-300 people were there, and though the venue was mostly full the two artists who performed have both had sustainable music careers for over 40 years. So…you’d think more than 200-300 people would be there…
And I should also say both of these artists are rock legends who continue to put out music showing they are still at the top of their craft. Well, what was the problem? Why weren’t there more people there? The answer is easy: they both are “Christian” artists who put out “Christian” music within the realm of the Christian music industry. The concert I went to featured a doubling billing of Glenn Kaiser playing solo blues and Phil Keaggy playing a rare show with a full band. Most anyone who knows anything about these artists would easily call them “rock legends”, most especially Keaggy but I think Kaiser deserves to be up there too. It was the best concert experience I have had in years and it made me a little bit sad.
“Christian”music, you see, has a legacy problem and it manifests itself in two main ways:
1.) there is basically no infrastructure for artists to go on tour.
2.) there is basically no infrastructure for artists’ music to stay in print or reach a new audience.
Let’s break it down a little further. I am deeply concerned about the future legacy of what was once known as “Christian Music” or CCM because: The Christian music industry does not know how to take care of their artists in the latter half of their careers, nor do they have a system in place to ensure their music lives on into future generations. The other side of this coin is there really is not much of a demand for our legacy artists. There were not as many fans to begin with (due to the “ghetto” nature of CCM), and fans of CCM artists do not tend to remain as ardently faithful as fans of “secular” music. Basically, it is up to diehard fans to keep their memory alive in the public consciousness. So, while Kaiser and Keaggy’s “Christian” label and the Christian oriented music they make is not a problem for me, in many ways I do not think it has done their careers any favors towards getting them mass appeal.
Please do not hear me wrong: I know they are both artists living for the glory of God and are not seeking the praises of men or to bring glory to themselves. I am not concerned that their music makes them insanely rich either. Instead, my only goal is to get their music heard by as many people as possible and to get them remembered. Why? Because it is world class music. Because it is just that good and could bring joy to people for years to come. Like I said, both these artists are at the top of their field. They make music within the confines and structures of certain genres (rock/blues/gospel/folk and sometimes jazz), but they are both as skilled as anybody out there. Think of the most renowned rock and blues guitarists of the last 50 years. If you know anything about Keaggy and Kaiser’s music, tell me why they should not be included among the great artists of our era. And if you do not know their music but you know something about the above genres, go acquaint yourself with their music and come up with an opinion on where they stand in the echelon of world class musicians. …
I really don’t know how this book came into our home. I was looking for something else and suddenly there it was, published by Zondervan in the year MCMXLVI.*
The book is part of Christian Education resource genre referred to as “Object Lessons,” and these may have been more prevalent in early days than they are presently. (Though a quick search at CBD for the phrase netted 85 results.)
The book naturally fell open to the following page:
At the list of necessary chemicals at the bottom I realized that this book would never be published today.
First of all, local church insurers would probably be all over quashing the idea of someone showing up for church with turpentine, ammonia and kerosene. I know that when I show up for church with those things, the greeter at the door always takes me aside.
Second, Zondervan’s lawyers would have the same concerns and not want to be in a position of liability encouraging people to do this little trick. A page later, we’re warned, “Care should be taken not to spill any of the ingredients or the completed solution.” I guess so. I would be uncomfortable with the idea of doing this with adults, let alone teens or children. Things are simply too litigious these days than to risk presenting this in a church basement.
*70 years ago in 1946
We’re looking for a buyer for 200 Marriage, Parenting, Women’s and Men’s units most of which are from 2008 to 2014. These are already ticketed between 25% and 45% (with most landing in the middle) and you get 64% off the lowest marked price. There are no more than two copies per title with the vast majority being single copies. Shipping is extra, or we can use your Purolator account. This is a carefully curated collection which touches on vital issues facing families. Some titles are still in publishers current catalogues. More than 90% are paperback. No hurts, though some with non-bleached paper show age; all titles are new; approx. half show remainder marking. Canadian retailers only. Also available, 120 units at 56% off lowest marked retail. Remember the pricing is based on the lowest marked retail, not the MSRP. Contact Paul at Searchlight in Cobourg, Ontario.
U.S. retail chain Books-a-Million interviewed Francine Rivers about Earth Psalms: Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature, a 224-page hardcover devotional now available from Tyndale at $16.99 US. Here’s a sample:
- Explain the title. How did you come up with the idea of Earth Psalms?
A psalm is a song, and the earth and everything on it, in it, above it, and beyond it is God’s creation. Everything God created sings praise to Him, and I believe also teaches us many lessons about our Creator as well. It’s exciting to look at things we might have taken for granted and see what they teach us about the Lord. We are never to worship any created thing or even creation itself. We are to worship the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Word that created it all.
- What will readers find inside the pages of Earth Psalms?
Readers will find an earth psalm (essay) about something God has created and a lesson God has taught me through it. There are questions for readers to ponder or use for journaling: Reflect, Apply, Connect with God. There are also some additional facts, Scripture, and hymns, as well as beautiful pictures. The earth psalm essay was my part. The enriching questions and details are Karin’s, and the beautiful artwork was put together by Jennifer Ghionzoli at Tyndale.
- What was it like working with a collaborator for the first time?
Working with Karin Stock Buursma was a pleasure. We talked about any editing that needed to be done, the questions and elements of the devotional. I hope to work with her again.
There are 14 more questions and answers. Click here to read at their blog, which is called Chapters.
Carolyn Arends posted this on Twitter. That counts as Canadian content, doesn’t it?
Other than inventory, shelving, a POS machine and a cash register, I can’t think of a piece of equipment more vital than pricing guns; especially in the Canadian Christian publishing market where we need to convert prices from U.S. to Canadian on the majority of our titles; not to mention music, giftware, jewelry, Bible cases and DVDs.
We’ve written before about the Contact line of price guns, but the contact information (no pun intended) has changed. The company has a new name, Shiny Canada, and our good friend Robert — who is also my favorite worship team guitarist — can direct you to one of his nearby distributors for faster service.
I’ve known people — and had employees — who got confused between cost prices and retail prices; but here in Canada the complexity doubles because we basically work in two different currencies. Probably well over 95% of everything we sell originates in the United States, and while some publishers are establishing Canadian retail prices, re-pricing product is a fact of daily retail life north of the 49th, and the clicking of price guns is like background music in our main store.
We actually keep four price guns loaded at all times, and by comparison, our store is very small:
- a two-line, white label gun for regular price product, date codes and additional special codes when needed
- a two-line, red label gun with original list price on top, sale price on the bottom and room for a date code in the upper right
- a one-line, white label gun for small items where the large price tag would be too intrusive on the product and date codes don’t matter
- a one-line, white label gun with no pricing, just a constantly increasing number that is applied to giftware pieces and the boxes that match up to them
For more than two decades, we’ve always used the Contact line of price guns. If you don’t have one (or four!) Robert Steen at Shiny Canada can set you up with the distributor closest to you. I believe a two-line starter kit is a must-have for even the very smallest store. If you’re using hand-written stickers or your price gun has reached the point where you can’t tell a ‘3’ from an ‘8’ or a ‘2’ from a ‘7,’ then make today the day to upgrade.
Nothing is worse than the customer having to ask for the price, because each one represents several who didn’t ask. Make sure your price points are well labeled on all your product.
121 McMaster Avenue
Ajax, ON Canada L1S 2E6
PH: 866-801-3565 or 905-686-4004
FAX: 800-313-8661 or 905-426-2235
This was somewhat buried — in the 6th paragraph — in Publisher’s Weekly’s monthly list of Religion book signings.
Hyatt Signs a Triple with Baker
Baker Books’ editor Chad Allen closed a three-book deal with Michael Hyatt, former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson. Releasing in spring 2018, spring 2019, and spring 2020, the three yet-to-be-titled books will focus on personal development and productivity—topics Hyatt has explored on his blog, podcast, and in his online courses…
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
For us, I think this means remembering that God is holy and what we’re doing is serious business. Working in an around Christian products all week might cause us to trivialize or minimize the importance of our mission and the message we bring to our communities. The things of God can become too familiar. We need to focus our attention heavenward more often.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
We are part of God’s overarching plan and as we join in what God is doing we will see that he wants his will to be done individually in the people we serve, and collectively in our cities and towns. How is God’s will done in heaven? He just speaks and its happens. We should be that obedient to his voice.
Give us this day our daily bread
This is the prayer many of pray most often. These are tough times for bookstores in general, and more so for Christian bookstores as interest in faith, God and the church seems to be waning. We ask God to help us meet our needs so that we can pay our suppliers, our employees, our rent, and our utilities on time.
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
We all get hurt. Sometimes in a Christian retail sense this can involve a supplier who let us down, or a customer who never picked up an order. We need to forgive. Also, sometimes we fail to operate our stores by the highest Christian ethics and our actions can hurt others or do damage to Christ’s cause. We need to be forgiven.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
We occupy a position of Christian leadership in our communities, and Christian leaders are subject to many temptations and can be the target of many attacks. We need ask for God’s help as we endeavour to guard our steps, our eyes and our hearts.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory
Forever and ever, Amen
It’s his kingdom, not ours. We easily forget that. And it is eternal. It extends beyond the life of our stores. And it is his power that enables us. And it is for his glory that we do what we do. Amen.