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Christian Book Shop Talk is part of Paul Wilkinson’s Thinking Out Loud network of blogs. Paul and Ruth own and operate Searchlight in Cobourg. Once a chain of three stores, hard work and determination are keeping our remaining store open against the odds.

Major Publishers: Review copies of nationally distributed books are always welcome, and are reviewed on both this blog and my primary blog, Thinking Out Loud (see link list at right.)   But don’t send me books just because I have blogs; please remember that retailers are the hand that feeds you. If the retail machinery — in whatever form — breaks down, you have a problem; so be generous with review copies with my fellow retailers. Their enthusiasm towards your products feeds your family. 

Canadian authors: Time does not permit us to review every book we’re offered, but if your book is available through Ingram or Send the Light or a Canadian distributor, send us your info and we’ll reproduce the cover image and publisher blurb here.  Since we have no way of knowing who you are and where you’re coming from in a spiritual sense, please indicate that you are connected to a local church that we can use a point of reference.

If this blog has helped you out in some way that you want to respond to financially, you can phone Searchlight at 800 210 5661 from 10 AM to 5 PM weekdays EST, and inform whoever answers that you’re calling to make a credit card donation to the bookstore blog.  Full name/address info required, but we’re not a charity so we can’t receipt you for tax purposes.

Non-Canadian Christian authors, and all non-Christian authors: Please do not use the contact form to ask us to review your book.

  1. April 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I’m just wondering if there is anywhere on your site that I could mention our Christian Publishing Company? We’re three years old and have 29 authors so far and would love to find more manuscripts to publish. We are a POD publisher and we’re located in Canada.
    Thank you very much for your help.

    • paulthinkingoutloud
      April 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Hard to know where to begin here.

      As someone who has had a manuscript unpublished for two years now, I’ve been very frustrated with the assembly-line mentality of the whole POD industry.

      Still, I’m sure there are stores who meet with customers who, like me, are also working on something and are looking for suggestions.

      If your product is being listed at Ingram/Spring Arbor that’s a good start. (I’d recommend STL as well, as I do believe their influence will grow once they get their database and logistics in order.)

      I’d also recommend getting your product listed at CBD. For us booksellers, CBD is competition to be sure, but we use their online resources to check out product; and it also gives your products spiritual “cred” since no one is ever sure if an item listed at Ingram is actually part of the narrower Spring Arbor database as well.

      I can try to run something on the weekend, or you could send me a press release; but if you do, try to write it highlighting the features you think a bookstore would be interested in knowing about. But remember, the stores want a respectable working margin on the titles they sell, but the customers needs are equally important, they don’t want to pay over $20 for a paperback. That makes it difficult, doesn’t it?

  2. ToSoonToSay
    January 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Hi. I just wanted to take a second and thank you for your blog. You put a lot of time and effort into your writing and I really appreciate it. Your topics are very timely, relevant and well thought out. Makes me feel less isolated in my little corner of the Christian book industry. I am only surprised by the lack of feedback (comments) on your blog.

    • paulthinkingoutloud
      January 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Dear TSTS:

      Thanks for writing. The comments thing is frustrating if you see the purpose of blogging to build community. In this case, I started out with a couple of e-mail blasts to a full mailing list of Canadian stores, and then over time, the daily readership — which is almost always a minimum of 125 views daily, with peaks over 300 — drifted to about 70% U.S. readership with many seeking out information on a particular topic, but not staying for the long haul. But we get new readers every day, including some from the UK, Australia and beyond.

      Thanks for reading and commenting… If you ever want to write a guest post, let me know; although it would have to be a little less anonymous!!!


  3. March 29, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I wrote the book I felt I had to. It is rather difficult to get around for an international author. After all it is not so important. I just feel strange that there is no actual interest in the world’s huge English-language book market in learning the exact time of Jesus’s birth and death and the circumstances (3 days and three nights in the tomb) of his death. I tried to wrap up the story in an entertaining novel consisting entirely of dialogues. I also managed to publish some news releases in the US… Palm Wednesday. I also recommended the book to Pope Benedict in German language, have sent him two chasers… no reply. He published his new book in March 2011 about the Holy Week. The same old false story.
    If someone is seriously interested in this topic they can read an essay by me at
    Sandor Balog (pen name: Attila B. Magyar)
    Budapest, Hungary

  4. TwoByTwo
    April 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    A friend sent this via Twitter… dont know if you can open this on here? and I see no other way to send it to you.

    Maximus Clarke (@bookofsand)
    11-04-02 2:09 PM
    Sign in window of soon-to-close Borders store in Chicago. Someone’s a little bitter.

  5. September 6, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Just found your blog. I am independantly published under my own imprint, “Songdove Books”, here in Canada. My books are available through Ingram/Spring Arbour and by extension, I’m looking for information on reaching the Canadian Christian audience here in Canada. I’m in the “starving artist” category and doing all current marketing and promotion for free. My author page on FB is: and my own blog/website is: I’m interested in ways and means of getting word out about my books to my fellow Canadian Christians.

  6. Travis Schaber
    August 4, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Mr. Travis Schaber
    I am writing the Christian bookstore community, Christian Music and Christian Publishing industries as a point of value added service. I have been shocked by the impact of Amazon on the industry and I am now concerned that it and other online distribution houses are taking an anti-Christian stance on faith materials and have embraced support of pro-Marxist groups such as Black Lives Matter which isn’t a race or civil rights group but an anti-Christian, anti-free speech, atheistic, anti-Israel group. I have seen organizations in the music industry such as VEVO ban Christian music videos, speakers and conventions. That being said I was wondering if any discussion has been sought out to bring back the local Christian bookstore movement with an aim to expand online purchases and online video/ music download services. Also would the industry call on suppliers to revisit loyalties to Amazon and other secular distributors which are not supporting the faith community’s beliefs and solely support faith-based retailers only. I am wondering if the suppliers combined with the retailers were to do a campaign saying to the Christian community to support the Christian booksellers and their online stores as the suppliers are pulling back from Costco, Amazon and Hallmark stores, etc., because of anti-faith bias. Would the suppliers look to solely support the Christian bookstore industry and help expand the online Christian bookstore industry as a invested point of loyalty, to help make the volume of sales go up with better access in the absence of former big distributors? I believe we need to pull back from the big box online companies as reliance on such alliances will put the local bookstore out of business and put a non-Christian industry in the drivers seat of censorship on Christian materials. I for one have always purchased my Bibles, books and music from Christian retailers and find it hard to so at times, because they seem to be disappearing! Thank you for your time; it’s greatly appreciated!

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