Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Forgive me, Jesus, but I just don't understand why Christians have a much greater urge to self-publish than adherents to other religions

First, a few prefatory remarks:

(1) The chart above (left-click to enlarge) was done a while ago, but I have no reason to assume current figures differ greatly.

(2) The answers to some of the questions may be obvious to Christians, but I am Jewish, not Christian, and I don't know the answers.

(3) The table above is both revealing and mystifying. The data comes from Google, which is not 100% perfect, but does offer a pretty good snapshot of the world. The table leads to some questions:
  1. Why do Christians have a much stronger need or desire to self-publish than followers of other religions?
  2. There are about 150 Christians to every Jew on the planet. However, the ratio of links for "Christian publishing" to "Jewish publishing" is only about 3.7 to one.
  3. The ratio of "Christian self-publishing" to "Jewish self-publishing" is 4370 to one!
  4. Why do the members of my tribe -- who obviously do a huge amount of writing and publishing -- have such a tiny need for religious self-publishing compared to Christians?
  5. Do Christian writers feel they are blocked by traditional secular publishing companies, or merely feel more comfortable dealing with Christian publishers?
  6. Why do followers of Islam ("people of the book" like Christians and Jews) who make up over one-fifth of the world's population, and are strongly involved in publishing, have such a tiny need for self-publishing that reflects Islam?
  7. Why do Hindus and Buddhists -- who comprise one-fifth of the planet's population and have substantial involvement in publishing, have no apparent need for self-publishing that reflects their faiths?
  8. Why do the millions of Sikhs, Baha'is, Confucians, Jains and Shintos have no need for self-publishing services that cater to followers of their faiths. (Yes, I know that the English version of Google may not reflect links to websites in other languages, but since it does show links to "X-publishing" but not "X-self-publishing," I think it's valid to consider the Google numbers.
Yesterday I received a press release announcing the formation of the Christian Self Publishing Association. The organization intends to "Serve Authors and Raise the Quality of Self-Published Books." There are plenty of other organizations and websites that have the same admirable objectives.

I don't understand why Jains and Jews don't require such a service, but an examination of the website shows something very disturbing.

The "Association" is not really an association. Apparently there are no members and there is no way to become a member.

The website exists to sell the services (e.g., Contract Review regular price $75, special price $49) of  President/Founder Jim Kochenburger, who is apparently the sole member of the Association.

What would Jesus think?


  1. Slimy Jim Kochenburger seems to be following the long and sad tradition of preachers like Jimmy Swaggart who cheat on their wives and steal from their congregations.

  2. Why do Christians have a much stronger need or desire to self-publish than followers of other religions?

    The simple answer is the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19.

  3. Hey, Michael, fascinating blog… I like it. About your question, and the answer about Matthew 28:18, I think it is more complex than just saying that the urge for self-publishing among Christians is the Great Commission. I also don't know the answer, but I suspect it may have to do with American individualism itself and its influence in other parts of the world… we must remember that as social creatures, we mirror our societies, whether we see it religiously or not.