Archive for March, 2011

Word Guild/Write Canada Associate Director Wanted

The Word Guild is looking for an associate director to oversee the annual Write Canada conference.  Full information is posted here after the break.  Click to continue reading. Read more…


Karen Kingsbury New Children’s Title Aimed More at Boys

Releasing mid-April from Zonderkidz, Karen introduces The Brave Young Knight, a title similar toThe Princess and the Three Knights, but aimed less at attracting a girl-only readership:

What’s Your Store’s House Specialty?

My wife and I don’t get to eat out as often as she would like (!) but there’s one restaurant that uses a particular logo next to certain entrees to indicate that they are specialties of the house.

Most bookstores have a house specialty as well.  In my store, I have a weakness for any apologetics title that I think can find practical use for my customers.  So my apologetics section is somewhat overstocked, but I like it that way.

Here’s a fall 2010 title from New Leaf Press that conveys its clear intent in this book trailer that runs only 38 seconds:

Greg Sczebel Picks Up A Juno

The Juno Awards — Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards — are being broadcast live on Sunday night as I write this.

But in the Saturday night gala where 32 awards were handed out in advance of the televised program, Greg Sczebel picked up an award in the only gospel category

Love & the Lack Thereof Greg Sczebel Soultone*Fontana North

CT Poll Reflects General Attitude Toward Bell Title

I think this not only speaks for itself, but is fairly representative:

Categories: Uncategorized

UK Christian Retail Challenges Continue

Different book covers, but an industry facing the same challenges

I’m very grateful for the mutual benefit gained by following Phil Groom’s Christian Book Shop Blog (a name similar to our own*) and having him being a regular reader of this page.

Here are a couple of articles from their recent news roundups worthy of your consideration, and your prayers:

But there are good news stories as well, including plans for a coffee-house and bookshop in one of the former Wesley Owen locations.

And we would be remiss in not congratulating Phil on the ten year anniversary of maintaining the UK Christian Book Shop Directory.   With his trade blog dating back to July 2003, I don’t know anyone who is more knowledgable and insightful as to both the history and the current state of the breadth of Christian product retail across the pond.

= # = # =

*Of course, I didn’t know Phil’s blog existed when we started this, so early on he asked me why we chose “book shop” instead of the term more common here, “book store” and I explained that “shop talk” is used here as a term for “trade talk.”  Had I known, I would have chosen something less similar!

Sales Fluctuate With The Only Economic Barometer Customers Own

Most of my customers don’t follow the leading economic indicators.  They don’t change their purchasing according to the latest consumer price index numbers or how the TSX or NASDAQ did the day before.

I am convinced that spending in my store is very much moderated by the only economic barometer they have: The price of gasoline.

I know this is entirely subjective analysis, but I do believe our daily sales are tempered by the price of petrol at the pumps.

Have you seen any correlation between these?

Hillsong is a Top Concert Draw

Hillsong’s youth-oriented group, Hillsong United, has become the first Christian group to sell out The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The event also raised $33,000 (U.S.) for earthquake relief in New Zealand.

Read the full story at BreatheCast.

Prayer Works! Landlord Capitulates on HVAC Lease Clause

For those of you who are followers of our own personal drama, on Tuesday of this week at exactly noon, our landlord came in the store and announced he was exempting us from the lease clause requiring us to repair and replace the Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC) system if necessary; what two electrical contractors told us would almost certainly involve a minimum $5,000 outlay.

We can only attribute this to prayer, but only afterward did we learn of the people, not all of whom are customers, who were praying for us; not to mention one entire church congregation last Sunday.

While we still face challenges, as does every store staff person reading this, at least we know we don’t have to be out in six weeks.  We can continue to find ways to run lean, continue to try and find ways to attract people to our stores, and continue to pray for a heightened interest in the products we sell.

Eleven years ago I interviewed a prospective employee who asked me, “What do you think of the idea that there is a revival waiting to break out in Canada?”  I told her that I wasn’t sure about that particular issue, but that, if there was revival breaking out, she would be the first to know, because it would produce a hunger and thirst for greater knowledge of God.

That’s what we need to pray for.  If people will seek more of God, our stores will improve as a direct result. It can’t not play out that way. I am convinced of that.

Pray for people to be hungry and thirsty for a greater knowledge of God.

Nelson’s Self-Pub Subsidiary Bumps Title Up To Big Leagues

For the first time since its Westbow self-publishing division began producing titles, one of its titles has been drafted for greater exposure by parent Thomas Nelson, Inc.

The children’s book is Three Cups by author Mark St. Germain, contributor Tony Townsley and illustrator April Willy.

Watch the story as described on this two-minute video.

Wanted: Supplier For Plain Brown Wrappers

I’m trying to find the least controversial way to get Rob Bell’s new book out the door.

I’m reminded of a time more than 30 years ago when Jesus Music (later called Contemporary Christian Music) was so radical that a bookstore in Sault Ste. Marie would herd customers into a stockroom, place their Larry Norman or Randy Matthews or Love Song album into a plain brown paper bag and then return them to the front of the store to ring the albums through the cash register; with the product thereby not being seen by other customers.

I just need a source for some plain brown paper bags that will fit a book.