“It may seem counter intuitive to some, but I didn’t set out to become a publisher. I set out to honor God through publishing.”
Why did you become a book publisher? It may seem counter intuitive to some, but I didn’t set out to become a publisher. I set out to honor God through publishing. I like nearly every aspect of publishing, but I view publishing as a tool--a means to an end--to support the Great Commission to tell the world about Jesus Christ, to equip believers to better share their faith, and to help create a positive Christian worldview.
What do you like best about publishing? It is a great joy to come alongside Christian authors, artists, and organizations from around the world to help them accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for them to do. Partnering with fellow believers to glorify God through our publishing efforts is very fulfilling.
What do you publish? We publish Christian and wholesome fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, eBooks, audiobooks, music, and film. But I think our real calling is not exclusively publishing, but rather partnering with our authors, artists, and organizations to accomplish what God has laid on their hearts to do for His purposes. Sometimes our most valuable contributions may be as a prayer partner for our clients, or helping manage large complex initiatives that involve publishing, or perhaps providing insights into how to market and publicize a large event. In a very real sense, I consider our clients our extended family.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? We receive a lot of press from our traditional and social media campaigns as well as direct mail and email programs. We create 6-month rolling publicity campaigns and assign publicists to work directly with our authors, artists, and organizations. But honestly our most effective results come through individual and corporate prayer.
How do you define a successful title? A successful title is one that accomplishes one or more of our goals: it helps fulfill the Great Commission by teaching people about the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and His love for everyone; it helps equip followers of Christ to effectively share their faith and the hope we have in Jesus; and it helps create a positive Christian worldview to invite others to take a look.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. Our Little Tommy seven-book series represents a great partnership with parents and families who want to teach their young children important biblical principles in a fun way. Little Tommy is a young energetic boy with a Christian family who learns key biblical principles through family-friendly adventures (e.g. camping, sports, etc.). The author, Tom Toombs, travels widely performing live stage shows (in character) as “Little Tommy.” His shows are fantastic and include funny skits, mime, magic, juggling, and balloon stories that captivate the kids, while also teaching them important biblical truths. Another multi-book, multi-year series for adults, Reclaiming the Gospel at Home, is a series written by a consortium of pastors with the purpose of equipping families to grow in their practical application of God’s Word in the home. The series is accompanied by an annual conference during which families can study and apply the biblical principles presented.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? One of the larger challenges is setting and adhering to the right priorities. We seek to be personally involved with each of our authors, artists, and organizational clients. This work is our calling, and we strive to work as unto the Lord in all we do. As the old saying goes: the main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? As a Christian publisher, my advice to newcomers and seasoned authors alike is to remember your life’s purpose. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” In my way of thinking, it is not about being an author but about using your abilities as an author for Christ’s glory. From a publishing industry perspective, my advice to newcomers is to recognize that you are on a journey—and that authoring a book is only the beginning. Be mentally prepared to roll up your sleeves, put on many hats (some you may not like), and focus on the long term.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? What an amazing privilege to be able to work with authors, artists, and organizations from literally all around the world for a common purpose of lifting up Christ through our publishing efforts. Lord willing, in the coming five years we will have been found faithful with the resources entrusted to us and granted greater responsibility in times to come.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? First of all, publishing is great fun. I don’t think I’ve worked a day since I became a publisher. Spending time with my wife of nearly 30 years is, of course, great fun, as is my time with my daughter, son, and grandson. I also enjoy traveling, reading, and seeking to honor Christ through my life, local church, and the Gideon’s International.
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