Thursday, November 18, 2010

Religion and self-publishing, Part Two

Yesterday I expressed surprise at the apparent over-representation of Google links to "Christian self publishing" compared to self publishing involving other religions.

I pointed out that there are about 150 Christians to every Jew on the planet, but the ratio of links for "Christian publishing" to "Jewish publishing" is only about 3.7 to one. Strangely, the ratio of "Christian self-publishing" to "Jewish self-publishing" is 4370 to one!
I provided statistics for the "top ten" religions and asked some questions, including "Why do Christians have a much stronger need or desire to self-publish than followers of other religions? "

This is a tumultuous time in publishing. One recent flare-up involved the venerable Christian publisher Thomas Nelson forming an alliance with Author Solutions to establish a "Christian self-publishing company" called WestBow Press. Some of the screaming (also directed at chick-lit publisher Harlequin) came from three important writers' guilds that disapproved of legitimate publishers getting into the pay-to-publish business. My personal wrath was triggered by the new Christian spinoff falsely claiming to provide  free books. I called Nelson's partnership with Author Solutions "a deal with the devil."

I could understand if Christian publishing and Christian publishers dealt with Christian subjects, but "Christian" books seem to cover a huge range of secular subjects.

I have a press release announcing Self-Publishing & Marketing From The Trenches by Peter H. Zindler. I was particularly interested because I am a self-publisher and I publish books about self-publishing. Peter's book is a potential competitor, so it's important that I know about it. I also thought I might learn something from it.

The press release starts out just like thousands of other new book announcements, but the third paragraph has this endorsement from a reader: "I liked how you quoted scripture in your presentation . . . ."

What the hell (sorry -- I couldn't resist) does that have to do with his ability to teach writers how to publish?

In the fourth graf we learn that Peter is "a follower of Jesus" and "a committed husband."

What does that have to do with his ability to teach writers how to publish?

The book description on and the press release tells potential purchasers that Peter "is also an associate minister for A Touch From Above Ministries in Ramona, California."

Again, what does that have to do with his ability to teach writers how to publish?

At the end of the release, we learn about the publisher: "Innovo Publishing is a family-owned, full-service, Christian-based, publishing services company. Innovo works hand-in-hand with Christian authors and organizations . . . ."

What does that information do to add credibility to Peter's book?

Peter and his wife have their own publishing company, David Bauer Press, but this book comes from Innovo and two of Peter's previous books were produced by  iUniverse.
  • Peter's book cover shows a battlefield and the title mentions "trenches."
  • His video is filled with war pictures and references.
  • And why is the Salvation Army an army instead of just an agency or organization?
Again, I am not a Christian, so I hope someone will please explain the apparent Christian obsession with warfare. I thought the Crusades ended back in 1291.

1 comment:

  1. Michael: Christianity isn't that monolithic. Even in the nineteenth century, plenty of Christians felt that "Salvation Army" was a cheesy sort of a name. And today the debate continues over the appropriateness of military imagery.