Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Parasource: The End of the Story

As of Saturday (5/27) morning, the Parasource wholesale (B2B) site had been taken down, and the message below is all that was left of the consumer site. Parasource Marketing and Distribution is now a memory.

Categories: Uncategorized

Alberta Author Invites Readers to Embrace Life and Hope

Embrace Life, Embrace Hope: Cultivating Wholeness, Resilience and Margin Through the Unexpected

From the forthcoming titles list at Ingram:

Fern E.M. Buszowski invites you to consider ways to embrace life and embrace hope through the unexpected.

Is life not turning out the way you planned?

Do crises push out all hope making it seem impossible to grasp?

Drawing from personal stories the author invites you to consider ways to Embrace Life, Embrace Hope through the unexpected. Whatever crisis you or your loved ones are going through, she extends an invitation to join her as she shares her walk toward hope and wholeness. She uniquely weaves concepts and practices from different fields to help you learn new ways to:

  • cultivate sacred space for your soul;
  • be inspired to live well even in difficult places;
  • create space for your heart, body, mind, and soul to flourish;
  • build resilient ways, uncover wholeness and hope; and
  • not just survive but thrive.

A cancer survivor, counsellor, and retired pastor of counselling and soul care, Fern has dedicated her life to equipping and empowering others to grow, develop, and find hope. She has written and designed training programs and resources: Soul Care Companioning, Unstuck, Sojourning, and peer-led programs for leaders. Fern lives with her husband Steve in Alberta…

Visit her website at

186 page paperback | Word Alive Press | $14.99 US; $19.99 CAN | 9781486623693

The Nuts and Bolts of Christian Retailing

Eight months out of college and every job lead has evaporated. As the doorbell rings, you assume it’s one of the people from the church dropping off a home-cooked meal. Ever since you placed your plight on the church prayer request board, there’s been no shortage of food.

Instead it’s a well-dressed man you don’t recognize. He says he’s looking after some local interests of your recently deceased aunt who has lived several provinces away. She’s left you in her will, but not in a direct monetary sense. Instead, remembering your love of books she’s bequeathed you her Christian bookstore.

He’s got of lot of personal details right — yours and hers — but you protest that you know nothing of running a Christian supply shop. “Not to worry;” he says, “She’s left you a book of operating instructions; a store owner’s manual to guide you through the tough decisions.”

…I’m not the greatest writer, but I hope I’ve cast a picture of how I value a newly-released book by BC’s Lando Klassen, Successful Christian Bookselling: 169 Tips to Help You Thrive. Klassen spent a lifetime as owner of House of James — still operating in Abbotsford — starting out as a long-haired, bell-bottomed, counter-cultural hippie-type, and ending 48 years later as one of the most respected Christian retailers in all of Canada.

The book is part memoir, but all too few of the many stories he must have make it into print. Mostly it’s the nuts and bolts of retail, but retail with an eternal purpose. Some of the book reflects that mid-point between working for the bottom line and working to build God’s kingdom.

Successful Christian Bookselling is very concise. There is a bullet-point type delivery of the 169 points, though many involve a multiplicity of considerations that store owners and managers must face on an ongoing basis. I would love to have read more.

There are things here that other retailers will agree with, and others to which they might strenuously object. I found a number which wouldn’t work in my smaller town, but also many that were food for thought; things I could implement starting today.

My first objective is to start at the beginning and read the book a second time. I can see this being used as a guidebook for many, many bookstore staff meetings. Staff could debate the merits or the applicability of each suggestion for their store or their location.

For example, the book encourages prospective store owners to maintain a list price structure, even higher in the case of giftware. Yet at the same time, there are many, many suggestions that involve the use of giveaways, prizes, thank-you gifts, and free gift cards.

He also advocates not attempting to act in a role of censorship, but my experience has been that local pastors see us as ‘gatekeepers’ and appreciate how, with an eye on the bigger picture of personalities and publishing, we have steered away from certain authors and publishers. In the end, I guess we all have to draw the line at different places.

The book is also a testament that could be useful if we saw a revival of specialty faith-focused stores. Many of those who pioneered such stores in Canada have aged out of their working years or are no longer with us. With contracted staff, the number of next-generation people who really know how such a store ‘breathes’ is actually quite small. With this book, a new crop of front-liners could weigh the importance of issues with which they would have to deal.

…So what about our imaginary college graduate who just inherited his aunt’s store. His (or her) learning curve would still be steep, and I’m not sure how they would make out with the first sales rep visits. But once he (or she) has mastered the store’s climate control, security system and point of sale terminal; everything else needed in terms of operations is in this short book.

With what the author admits to be great irony, the book is available for purchase on Amazon, or direct from the author.

Note: Many of the tips provided would work for stores in the wider marketplace.

Hats Off Press | ISBN 9781738925407 | 88 pages


Recent Graphics

Note: This Thomas Nelson title is an update of Not Forsaken (B&H Books)

Note: This title is HarperMuse, not Thomas Nelson

This image via Kennedy’s Red Deer

Re-introduced due to trade paperback edition

Categories: Uncategorized

Bridge-Logos Title to Avoid at all Costs

When you’ve been doing Christian retail for 30 years and handled any given publishers’ titles throughout all of that time period, you reach a point where you trust their imprint to indicate a quality product. Unfortunately, that trust was shattered for us last month with a title which, even at half its current list price, would be priced too high.

The pricing structure with Ed Harding’s book What Will You Do When You’re Dead? is a reminder to retailers and consumers alike to always check page counts and trim sizes. This book has issues on both counts, and with its $10.99 US / $14.99 CDN suggest list price, you expect one condition but not both. The book clocks in at only 52 pages. Yes, I know CBD and Ingram state 64 pages, but the last twelve pages are all advertising of other titles. On top of that it’s a mass-market (pocket) title with a widely spaced font. The book is only 7 inches by 4 inches.

We reached out to Bridge-Logos on April 20th, and after ten days have received no response.

We’re a smaller market store, and we don’t have money to spend frivolously on products that don’t offer good value. I don’t wish to place the book on display at full price because I don’t want people to associate our store with overpriced products. But I also can’t put it out as a red-tagged sale item, because I doubt customers would believe the regular price stated. Either way, it damages our reputation.

For the same reason, I don’t want to be petty or punitive, but at the moment, I’ve suspended Bridge-Logos titles from our future orders. Their pricing on this has all the marks of a sketchy down-market self-publisher, not the Christian publishing veterans I’ve known for years.

Book buyers: Always check trim size and page count; even if you think you can trust the publisher.

The Book I Needed Right Now

A review of God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer by Pete Greig (Zondervan).

Every once in awhile I take an interest in a book, not for reasons related to the store, but because it’s something that I need in my own life at that time. To borrow from a very old advertising campaign — I think it was for electric shavers — “I don’t just own the company, I’m also a customer.”

Although the 2020 title was published “a forever ago,” especially in an industry so focused on frontlist, I decided to check it out. My interest came about because one author leads to another — if you allow that to take place — and so just as through John Mark Comer I was introduced to Tyler Station, so with Tyler I was introduced to Pete Greig.

Pete is the founder of the 24/7 Prayer Network ( defined as, “an international, interdenominational movement of prayer, mission and justice; a non-stop prayer meeting that has continued for every minute of this century so far, in over half the countries on Earth.” It’s based in the UK, and Tyler is the head of the U.S. branch. To talk about 24/7 would be an article in itself, but you can learn more at the link above, or you fully immerse yourself by downloading the Lectio 365 app for your phone.

But we’re getting off course here; back to the book.

God On Mute was originally written in 2007, and what I’m holding in my hand as I type this — which makes for some tricky keyboarding — is actually an updated edition.

The book operates on three levels.

First, the birth of the book is somewhat personal, as Pete’s wife Sammy has suffered with a chronic condition for decades now, which involves seizures, although she is doing better now than when the first edition was written. It’s so much more meaningful when the author can empathize with their readers.

Second, the book uses Holy Week as a motif for our journeys through the times God seems silent. Reading the chapter on Holy Saturday on the day it was actually Holy Saturday made this especially poignant for me.

Third, the book is a teaching on a subject that we all will need from time to time. I got the sense that instead of of just listing principles and steps — although the book does that in places — the author comes alongside those who are grieving the situations where God seems absent. In this book at least, I found a sympathetic voice on what can be a sensitive topic.

There’s also a substantial guided prayer section at the back which I am still reading, but it is very similar in style and pacing to what one finds on the Lectio app.

Finishing the book a week ago, the status of my prayers is unchanged, but I feel I have a bigger picture. I also did something I’ve never done before with any book, and as I was reading I created an index inside the front cover of some anecdotes and quotations to which I might want to return.

Learn more at

My review of Tyler’s book, Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools is directly related, and to read that you may click here.

Thanks once again to Mark at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Canada for this great resource.


Wood Lake Books Ending Print and Distribution Services

Not long after celebrating a 40th Anniversary, Kelowna, B.C.-based Wood Lake Books today announced their decision to cease print operations and close their warehouse. Some products, including a few not-yet-published resources, will continue to be available online.

The publisher has long resonated with United Church of Canada leadership and laity for which they produced curriculum and small group resources, but their books enjoyed a readership across a broad spectrum. This is the full text of the announcement from publishers Patty Berube and Debra Joyal MacDonald :

After almost 41 years of publishing quality resources serving our customers in Canada and throughout the world, it is with much sadness that Wood Lake has had to make the tough decision to discontinue publishing books and curriculum.
We had hoped that following the pandemic we would see a return to sales similar to 2019, but due to a softening of the market and a less than anticipated return of orders, that hasn’t happened. We don’t have the resources to continue as we did, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to hold up the legacy of our best sellers and of our history!

Until the end of May, we will continue to sell our printed books, while quantities last, with no returns or refunds. Throughout June we will be packing up and moving to continue work, although on a much smaller scale, from home. We will continue to sell Seasons of the Spirit for the Season of Creation/Pentecost 2 season – in web-delivery version only. Wood Lake has an excellent reputation for quality customer service – and that will continue for as long as we can. We hope to continue selling ebooks and other downloadable products that do not require warehousing for the foreseeable future.

This was a very difficult decision to close our office and clear out our physical inventory. The past few years have forced all of us to examine how we live our lives, how we interact with each other, how we work and communicate, how we conduct our affairs, and how we can best meet the challenges of the future. This is how we have to move forward. All of us at Wood Lake want to thank you, our loyal customers, for supporting our endeavours over the last nearly 41 years.

On their website, Bev Milton described their humble beginnings:

Wood Lake Publishing began on the ping pong table in Ralph Milton’s Calgary home. For many, Wood Lake wasn’t just a job. It was a place that held us when we needed to be held and gave us a dream and support and encouragement when we most needed those things.

Stormie Omaritian: Praying Wife Crosses 10 Million Mark

Congratulations are in order to Stormie Omartian and Harvest House Publishers on the receipt of the ECPA Diamond Sales Award for 10 million copies sold of The Power of a Praying Wife.

The book joins a very select list of titles to reach this milestone. In addition to a number of Bibles, the books include:

  • Purpose Driven Life 
  • The Shack
  • Prayer of Jabez 
  • Heaven is for Real
  • Jesus Calling
  • More than a Carpenter
  • The Bible Promise Book (Barbour)

Some of the books are so iconic that as dealers, we have acronyms for them such as PDL, PPW, and HiFR; and naming authors seemed rather unnecessary!

See the complete list at this link.

Christian Fiction Winners

Recently a customer asked why we had run the list of Christy Award winners in our store newsletter in previous years, but had not done so last November. I didn’t realize that our customers were tracking these things so closely. So I included it on Monday, and having typed it all up, thought we’d run it here as well.

Although several of the winners were from the broad Baker Book Group imprints, they weren’t titles we’ve carried. (She ordered one of each, so the award carries some weight in her mind.) What it reinforces to me is that critic awards are not the same as sales rankings. Not at all. And some great books get missed because as buyers, we tend to focus on the “A list” titles.

How many of these do you carry? If you’re going to expand your fiction section, better to start with titles which have at least won critical acclaim.

Book of the Year – The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery – Amanda Cox – Revell

Amplify Award – In Search of a Prince – Toni Shiloh – Bethany House

Contemporary Romance – All That Really Matters – Nicole Deese – Bethany House

First Novel – All That Is Secret – Patricia Raybon – Tyndale

General Fiction – the winner in this category also won book of the year (above)

Historical – Drawn By the Current – Jocelyn Green – Bethany House

Historical Romance – Until Leaves Fall In Paris – Sarah Sundin – Revell 

Mystery/Suspense – Aftermath – Terri Blackstock – Thomas Nelson 

Short form – Under the Texas Mistletoe – Karen Witemeyer – Bethany House 

Speculative (science fiction) – Windward Shore – Shannon Hinck – Enclave Publishing

Young Adult – Shadow – Kara Swanson – Enclave Publishing

The awards are presented through the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (ECPA) and the full list, including nominees, and including cover images, can be seen at this link.

Graphics for The Watchmaker’s Daughter

Updated March 30th

This is one of the most significant releases we’ll see this year and will take Corrie Ten Boom’s story to a whole new audience. Steve Brown said, “When it comes to Corrie ten Boom, if you’ve only read ‘The Hiding Place,’ you only know half the story.” After this posted, we learned that Brown taught author Larry Loftis in seminary! Order in hardcover or paperback from HarperCollins.






Categories: Uncategorized

Bill Reimer’s Official Retirement: Photos

Wednesday, March 1st marked the official retirement of Bill Reimer from his position as manager of the Regent College Bookstore in Vancouver, B.C. after over three decades of faithful work. On its Facebook page, the store announced:

For 34 years the Regent College Bookstore has been faithfully stewarded by bookstore manager Bill Reimer. He has carefully curated the bookstore’s collection, recommended countless books, and been a prayerful and pastoral presence to other staff and customers… He’ll always been part of the Regent community

Bill is a veteran of our industry bringing equal parts knowledge and passion to his career with Regent. The college sent him off with a rather moving public event that featured many tributes from the Regent staff, faculty and students.

I got to finally meet Bill in the summer of 2019, when the photo at right was taken.  For more on that visit, click here. There’s another picture in the article where I asked Bill which shelf section he’d like to be photographed with, and without hesitation, he took me to the History section.

Event Photos: Nathan Douglas; with files from Nathan Douglas and Alex Strohschein. Lower photo: Paul Wilkinson.

If you have more photos from Wednesday night, send them and we’ll update this piece.

Alberta Author: Meeting Jesus in the Middle of ALS

Canada’s population is spread out along a thin line and communications are always challenging. We found out about this book and its author browsing the Ingram listings for Christian books releasing in March. I’ll let author Stephanie Morales-Beaulieu tell you about this autobiographical book herself:

Anything But Ordinary is a refreshingly vulnerable real-life story of the broken road that led an ordinary Filipino immigrant and mechanic to a life-changing encounter with Jesus that was anything but ordinary, providing insight into what living by faith looks like when life isn’t working and a spotlight on the legacy of faith my father left behind when he passed away from ALS.

The Author Spotlight page at Word Alive books states:

Stephanie Morales-Beaulieu is a lover of God’s Word and shares that passion online, from the stage, in her living room, and anywhere else God opens the door.

Through losing her dad and learning how to hold onto God’s promises came a passion to make the transforming power of the Word accessible to those new to it, overwhelmed by it, or longing to be changed by it.

Her first book, Anything But Ordinary: Finding Faith that Works When Life Doesn’t, won the 2022 Braun Book Award for Non-Fiction from Word Alive Press.

She is the creator of Bite-Size Bible Study® and has authored A Roadmap to Trials: Journey through James, Walk in Love: Ephesians, and most recently The Flourishing Life: The Parable of the Sower. She is a born communicator with a contagious love and enthusiasm for Jesus.

As a wife to Mike and mom of four littles, she shares from her wealth of relatable stories that will inspire you to see everyday life through the lens of truth. She is authentic and funny and you will wish she lived next door.

Stephanie and her husband are planting a church in Airdrie, Alberta. She is a coffee-sipper, brunch enthusiast, and crafter. When she’s not writing, you can find her building Duplo, visiting with friends, or playing a game with her family.

The page also contains an interview with Stephanie about her writing and about the book.

Anything But Normal: Finding Faith that Works When Life Doesn’t, a 352-page paperback, is available through Word Alive for Canadian stores at $20.99 CDN or through Ingram at $20.99 US using ISBN 9781486623211.

The book blurb concludes:

For anyone feeling discouraged and blindsided by life’s difficulties…
For anyone struggling with their humanity who thinks heroes of the faith don’t…
For anyone thirsting for a genuine encounter with a God who is real…
For anyone looking for not a perfect, but a faithful example of following Jesus…
For anyone yearning to know perfection isn’t required in order to have impact…

There is hope.

This book serves as a powerful reminder that the birthplace of inspiring faith is often the soil of impossible struggle, and when life isn’t working, you can hold onto the God who always is.