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Posts Tagged ‘Tyndale House’

A Winning Formula for Selling the New Filament Bibles

It’s obvious.

It’s easy.

But I’m presenting it here in case it didn’t occur to you.

Simply have every employee go to the App Store, or Google Play Store and download (free) the Filament Bible App to their phone or tablet.

That’s it.

You’re now in a position to demonstrate the feature each time a customer asks, since most people carry their phone in their pocket anyway.

Remember that this isn’t just an NLT thing; Filament Bibles come in KJV as well.

If you missed the video earlier, this takes only one minute of your time:

I found balancing the book and the phone while sitting in a chair a bit challenging, but if you’re sitting at a desk and have the book and your phone both on that same flat surface, it works best.

Some editions are missing the Filament icon on the title page. Simply indicate this and it will direct you to a particular page to activate the app. Note also that customers can do this in the store on their phone — the app downloads fairly quickly — and do their own demonstration. I suggest having a designated hardcover copy or a lower price leather copy of the Bible for this purpose as it will get a little shopworn over time.

 

The Third Edition of the Life Application Study Bible

This is simply a re-post of information you should have seen in the October sales kit from Foundation, but if you missed it, I think this particular study Bible, and this launch of the Third Edition is important enough to merit reiterating. On a laptop, PC, or tablet, simply click the image to make it easier to read. (Or see pp 6-7 of the sales kit.)

On the same page spread, taken from the Tyndale catalogue, there is this chart showing the importance of this study format:

And finally, also on the same page, is a look at what one of the revisions to the notes looks likes. Remember, the translation is unchanged, it’s the features that have been greatly updated. (Click the image to see larger or refer to the sales kit.)

You Can’t Sell a Bible Edition You Don’t Respect

Gift and Award Bibles, regardless of translation, have one thing in common: They’re cheaply produced (and they look it.) Fortunately, there are better options.

Thankfully, one of the elements of the Bible publishing industry that seems, from my vantage point at least, to be fading is what is called “Gift and Award Bibles.” Most of the translations on the market have a contract with a publisher to produce these combined Old-and-New Testaments which, like the name implies, are usually given out by churches to visitors or awarded to Sunday School children as prizes.

These Bibles have one factor which unites them all: They’re cheap.

And while a child of 5 or 6 may be honored to receive one, for anyone else, closer examination proves how cheaply they are made. Here’s the way it works:

  1. Newsprint is the cheapest paper available
  2. Newsprint is thicker, meaning the Bible would be “fat” if printed normally
  3. Type-size is therefore reduced to some infinitesimal font size.

So basically, we’re talking about a hard to read Bible printed on cheap paper which fades after a few years.

To be fair, a few companies have tried a better paper stock, but this only resulted in the price going up, defeating their purpose.

I have two observations about these Bibles:

  1. I think that in some respect, these are Bibles churches give away to people that they’re not always sure they’re ever going to see again.
  2. I think that, at least in how it appears in 2018, this genre was developed by people who had little respect for the Bible to begin with.

The only way to avoid giving these away without breaking the church budget was to use pew Bibles (produced in mass quantities and therefore still quite affordable) as giveaway hardcover/textbook editions. But for some reason, people like the appearance of leather when choosing a Bible for giveaway. Also, if your church uses the same Bible edition in the pews, the “gift” can look like you just went into the sanctuary/auditorium and grabbed something off the rack to give away.

The good news is that many churches can afford to do better, and many publishers are now making this possible.

♦ The NLT Bible (Tyndale) introduced some “Premium Value Slimline” editions several years back including both regular print and large print, retailing at $15.99 and $20.99 respectively. (All prices USD.)

♦ Then the NIV (Zondervan) entered the race with their “Value Thinline” editions, again in two sizes at $14.99 and $19.99, with five different covers.

♦ Next, The Message (NavPress) created three “Deluxe Gift” editions in regular print at $15.99.

♦ Then, back to NIV for a minute, Zondervan upped the game by discontinuing their existing editions and replacing them with new ones using their new, much-easier-to-read Comfort Print font. Pricing stayed the same.

♦ Because of their expertise and success with the NIV product, HarperCollins Christian Publishing recently introduced the similar editions in NKJV, using the same Comfort Print font.

♦ Finally, ESV (Crossway) is also in the game, with “Value Thinline” and “Value Compact” editions. I have to be honest here. These are in no way up to the binding standard of the others, and frankly owe more to the old-school, aforementioned Gift and Award Bibles, albeit with better paper stock. The sleeve — from which the Bible is difficult to extract — claims this is “bonded leather” but in my opinion, that’s a stretch. While the others get an A+, I’d give the ESVs a D at best.

These Bibles look like something the church isn’t ashamed to give away, and the recipient is proud to own.

Further, for customers on a budget, there’s nothing stopping these from being purchased individually and becoming someone’s primary Bible.

Francine Rivers Discusses New Devotional

earth-psalmsU.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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Eight Years Ago: The R. G. Mitchell Meltdown

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As a supplement to the September 16th story we announced that Augsburg-Fortress had picked up Westminster John Knox and Abingdon. Here’s how other trade lines fared in the weeks that followed; use the archives tabs to find the stories.

September 24: Baker Books Declares Open Market in Canada
September 26: Foundation Confirms Distribution for NavPress and Gospel Light
September 30: STL Announces Consolidated Shipping and Brokerage
October 6: Thomas Nelson Soliciting Canadian Stores Directly
October 10: Tyndale Assigns Canadian Distribution to Foundation
October 17: Harvest House Signs with Foundation Distributing
October 21: David C. Cook Cooks Up Drop-Ship Deal with Baker
October 28: Baker Books Locks in with David C. Cook
November 6: David C. Cook Confirms Moody and Kregel Trade Lines; Jettisons Others
November 12: David C. Cook Confirms Broadman & Holman Distribution
November 12: Upper Room Books Signs with Augsburg Fortress

 

 

Perry Noble Book on Dating Postponed Indefinitely

From Greenville Online

Perry Noble on DatingA Christian publishing company has decided to shelve, at least temporarily, the latest book from former NewSpring Church pastor Perry Noble.

The book, “11 1/2 Questions To Help You Date Without Regret,”was originally scheduled to be released to the public Sept. 27.

A spokeswoman for Tyndale House Publishers said Wednesday that the company has moved Noble’s book to “unscheduled status.”

“We plan to review this status at a future date and then evaluate the viability of releasing this book at another time,” publicist Margie Watterson said in an email to the Independent Mail.

Watterson said there is no set date for that evaluation to occur…

continue reading at Greenville Online.


 

Plagiarism Issue Puts Spotlight on Christian Publishing

December 7, 2013 1 comment

If you missed it, the eyes of a much broader Christian populace have been focused on the world of Christian publishing this past week, as the story we brought you last week continues regarding charges of alleged plagiarism that were brought against author Mark Driscoll in an interview on a U.S. talk show.

Here’s an update of the past week, but please remember this is still a developing story.

Without actually retracting any of the substance of her allegations, U.S. talk show host Janet Mefferd has withdrawn all of her posts related to the charges of plagiarism she brought against Seattle author and pastor Mark Driscoll because of the manner in which she brought those charges publicly.

A transcript of the apology from her radio show reports her saying,

…I feel now that in retrospect, I should have conducted myself in a better way. I now realize the interview should not have occurred at all. I should have contacted Tyndale House directly to alert them to the plagiarism issue. And I never should have brought it to the attention of listeners publicly…

But also acknowledges that the subsequent publicity has been overwhelming:

…I didn’t anticipate that the story would go viral online the way it did and creating such dissension with the Christian community was never my aim. And so in an effort to right things as best as I can, I have now removed all of the materials related to the interview off my website, and also off my social media.

I’m not sure how removing the source documents “rights” things. I live in Canada, in a society which has in more recent years been labeled with the stereotype of a nation that is “polite” and “always apologizing.” True or not, this Canadian believes that if you make a statement, you have to own it. What you say is either true or it isn’t. If it was worth saying in the first place, it’s worth holding to. It’s what I think Jesus is saying in Matthew 5:37 when he tells us to you “Let your yes be yes.”

Perhaps that is what drove Ingrid Schlueter, a senior producer for Mefferd’s radio show to resign on Thursday with this statement:

I was a part-time, topic producer for Janet Mefferd until yesterday when I resigned over this situation. All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex.

In a later post she said,

Being limited in what I can share, let me just say that truth tellers face multiple pressure sources these days. I hosted a radio show for 23 years and know from experience how Big Publishing protects its celebrities. Anything but fawning adulation for those who come on your show (a gift of free air time for the author/publisher by the way) is not taken well… The easiest thing in the world is to do fluffy interviews with fluffy guests on fluffy books. So hats off to those like Janet who have the courage to ask at all. And my own opinion on Mr. Driscoll is that despite the bravado, despite the near silence of his Reformed peers and enablers, his brand is damaged, and damaged by his own hand.

The link above is to Warren Throckmorton’s blog, which in turn links to Spiritual Sound Board, where Ingrid Schlueter’s comments may have been removed subsequently. Throckmorton claims he had permission to use them.  (Also reproduced at Religion News Service.)

On Twitter, there have been hints that an issue here may involve the fact that Janet Mefferd’s radio show is distributed by the Salem Radio Network, which has Tyndale House Publisher’s as a major sponsor. I’ll leave you to consider that one without further comment.

And Mark Driscoll hang up on Mefferd? For that read here and here.

This story is BOILING HOT, and it’s possible that this blog will receive a request to take down the story.  In the meantime, the Topic Producer at the radio show suggests that our industry is somewhat corrupt. Do we, as booksellers on the front-lines want to rush to defend our industry, or do we, with her, suspect that she may be correct?

I personally believe that Tyndale House founder, and Living Bible writer Ken Taylor would not have tolerated even a hint of plagiarism for a single minute. As both a blogger and someone who has worked in the arena of Christian publishing for 35 years, I am concerned for this and other reasons that Tyndale House may be evidencing a state of moral and ethical decline.  Only full repentance of this current situation will reverse that opinion. 

Timeline from the blog Bene Diction Blogs On (which has only covered this once, and thereby has a broad, general overview of the story worth reading):

November 21 – Mefferd interviews Driscoll
November 22 – Tyndale House (publisher) releases audio of last two minutes of show (as recorded by them and/or Mark Driscoll; NOT what aired)
November 27 – Mefferd releases more allegations of plagiarism
November 27 – Tyndale House says review indicates no plagiarism
December 4 – Janet Mefford removes all tweets, posts and alleged plagiarism material, issues apology
December 5 – Part time topic producer for The Janet Mefferd Show resigns

Social Media Publicity Gambit Floundering

February 15, 2013 7 comments

John (not his real name) gets about six visitors to his blog every day. Despite some rather dismal stats, John is currently reading book number ninety-four as a member of numerous blog book review programs he’s signed up for. It’s doing wonders for his personal library, though the manager at his local Parable store is kinda wondering what happened to him.

Nobody ever really asks for stats. Only one organization, Graf-Martin in Canada had the good sense to ask bloggers to share the size of their readership. There isn’t a single book publicity program for bloggers that teaches them how to ‘tag’ their stories to attract additional readers, or how to register their URL with search engines. So bloggers of all shapes and sizes enjoy a bounty of free stuff in the hope that it will do something to spark sales, including people like John who intersperse the book reviews with pictures of his new truck, which isn’t really new, but is new to him.

As someone who has benefited greatly from these programs in the past five years, I wish to herewith advise Christian publishers everywhere that you are totally wasting your money.

Meanwhile, as I’ve mentioned here many, many times; retail frontliners have an almost zero chance of every getting one single free book in the course of a year, unless they attend a trade convention. (Though in fairness, David C. Cook Canada has a program with Baker Books that allow staff to share advance copies, but sadly — for me anyway — the program is almost complete devoid of non-fiction titles.)

But things are about to get worse — far worse — for blogs like my own Christianity 201 (which publishes excerpts of books I’m sent ) and Thinking Out Loud (which publishes reviews of books I’m sent) and Christian Book Shop Talk (which concentrates on the trade and marketing angle on new titles) as the programs are cutting back.

First of all, it’s becoming just about impossible to get an actual print book sent to a Canadian address. Since I don’t have any interest in reading electronically, I’ve already told a couple of the publishers to take a hike. Shelf-naked I came into the book business 37 years ago, and shelf-naked I shall leave.

But now Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze program has handed me the greatest insult of all. They suspended my account because I haven’t reviewed any of their books in over 90 days. Here’s a suggestion, Thomas Nelson: Publish some decent books every 90 days. Seriously. (I did in fact offer a title I would be willing to be consider, but was told yesterday, basically, ‘Tough luck, you missed out;’ despite my attempts to parade out my reader stats as a kind if trump card.)

You know what? The social media promotion gambit was an idea that had merit. And my store is filled with dozens upon dozens of titles that I would never have carried were it not for the buzz that was created in the Christian blogosphere. Furthermore, many of the authors were originally nothing more than bloggers like myself, and through their various iterations online — blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. — I feel like I really know these people, even though we’ve never met. Heck, I can name their spouses, their children, their favorite restaurant.

And now, as the industry contracts, industry hirelings who know neither the publishing industry they work in nor the Christian blogosphere where they are paid to toss out freebies are suddenly all busy shooting themselves in their collective feet.

So to the golden age of social media publicity in the Christian publishing industry — 2007 – 2012 — I say, Rest in Peace.  You were Christian publishing’s last great idea, and last great hope; and your loss is about to be reflected by sales at both physical and online sellers.

~Paul Wilkinson, former book reviewer


For the record, Thinking Out Loud is currently ranked #7 out of all Christian blogs in North America for incoming links from Google, the number one search engine.

The Way Bible: Everything Old is New Again

My instructions that Sunday morning were clear. Look for a man with a long beard, he has a case of the new Bible everyone’s talking about. It turned out there was also another guy in what was Canada’s only megachurch running copies through an underground economy.

The Bible was Reach Out. It was a New Testament using a new translation, The Living Bible. I’d seen Living Letters and Living Epistles on my parents’ bookshelf, but this was a youth edition with over a hundred pictures and graphics. A Bible that was cool. Who would have thought? (I later received a copy of Get Smart, an equally youth-targeted version of Proverbs; more on that here.)

My Reach Out was well read. At a Christian music festival in Pennsylvania, I obtained a couple of bumper stickers and used them to keep the book intact. Here was a Bible that talked like I talked, and looked like other books I would read. And I did read, discovering that when the text is flowing and easy to follow, one of Paul’s epistles only takes five minutes; a gospel might be read in 20 minutes. The book that had intimidated me for years was suddenly accessible.

Later, a full edition with both Old and New Testaments was released as The Way; and now, in 2012, The Way returns in the same spirit, with sidebar stories and black and white pictures. Spearheaded by Mark Oestreicher, the goal of this particular labor of love was to capture the spirit of the original but with new Bible book introductions, new sidebar stories, and of course, substituting the NLT for the Living Bible.

(I should say at this point that the publisher, Tyndale, has kept the original Living Bible in print. They even added a second anniversary edition last year, effectively doubling the number of formats available.)

In a world where Bible publishers have gone overboard adding color pages, The Way is very counter-cultural in black and white. I wasn’t sure how one approaches reviewing a Bible, so I jumped into Leviticus. (Rob Bell would be proud.) I enjoyed the intro, which is empathetic to non-Bible-readers.

The list of contributors to this is not exactly a Who’s Who of Christian writers, though you might recognize a few names like Luke MacDonald, Matt Maher, Austin Gutwein, Charlie Peacock and Dan Kimball. For the most part, these are younger writers. (Christian blogosphere types will also recognize UK photographer Jonny Baker.)

There are many features in this single column NLT including smart phone QR codes [sample]; but probably its greatest distinctive is a selection of “laments” that runs throughout set in white on black.

“These are the questions we’re all afraid to ask God, and the complaints we might hesitate to voice to him. The truth is, God desires our honest doubts, questions and complaints. After all, the writers of the Bible regularly lament, crying out to God and questioning him about injustices, pains and problems.

The paper is thin and sometimes the print is small, because there’s a lot packed into the nearly 1600 pages; but overall, I think this is probably the best of all the NLT editions to give to someone under 30, even if they have not yet crossed the line of faith. I was given a paperback; it’s also available in hardcover and imitation leather.

Watch the promotional video

Dave Wainscott remembers the original The Way cover

A copy of The Way was provided to Christian Book Shop Talk by Graf-Martin, a Canadian company representing key U.S. Christian publishers for promotion and publicity.

Congratulations to Tyndale Publishing House on 50 Years

As the story goes, Ken Taylor wrote Living Letters on a commuter train to read to his kids in their nightly family Bible story time.  Armed with yellow lined paper and a copy of the NRSV, he restated the text in words they could relate to. 

And a whole lot of other people related to those words, too.  When nobody was interested in a publishing deal, Ken formed Tyndale House Publishers which turns 50 this year.

I have a threefold relationship with the company that’s identified in my internal systems simply as TYN. 

  • I’m a longtime consumer.  We share the same values and I respect their product integrity. Readers of my two other blogs will note that when I need a go-to translation for a scripture, my preference is NLT.
  • I’m a blogger. Tyndale, Nelson and Zondervan have been most generous with print review copies, and though I haven’t done much with Tyndale product in the past year, I appreciate the opportunity that exists.
  • I’m a retailer. At this point, I’m prepared to say; “Two out of three ain’t bad.” I don’t let the politics of retail cloud my admiration for the company’s products, though I really do wish a lot of things were different right now.

So congratulations to Mark Taylor and the rest of the gang at Tyndale.  I most sincerely wish you all God’s best in the years to come.

The picture above is from a photo history of the company.  Click this link and then click the small boxes under the timeline.  See also the company’s 50th Anniversary press release.