In a comment to yesterday’s post, Judging By Its Cover the New Book, “Turning Controversy into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality, a reader (hi, Don Rappe!) wrote, “I’m sure I’d resent publishers who told me they would burn the copies of my books they had in inventory. Still, this is the first review of an unread book I can recall.”
Don was (I assume) referring to this post of mine from awhile back: The Publishing Saga of My Christian-Market Book, “I’m OK- You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Nonbelievers and Why We Should Stop.” (Great memory, Mr. Rappe!)
Don raises a point it occurs to me I should address.
I’m not angry or resentful toward NavPress for what happened with my book, “I’m OK–You’re Not.” It’s true that I don’t much care for the title they chose for the book; it’s too confrontational, and doesn’t take into account that what the book is really about is the overall relationship between Christians and non-Christians; only one-third of it has to do with the specific relationship between the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
But other than that, I’ve got no real complaints with that book. NavPress assigned the book to an editor, Traci Mullins, who did superb work on it. The published text was exactly as I wanted it to be. After NavPress pulled the book out of stores, they reverted all rights for the book back to me, and at a very good price sold me the remaining copies.
So that’s a happy ending for me. I’m good with all that. I’ve got zero resentment about it. (I promise I will someday write about how, five years down the writing road, I personally feel about I’m OK—You’re Not, but that’s a different issue.)
I write pieces like yesterday’s because I know a lot of my readers are interested in writing, Christian books, and book publishing generally. I’m pretty insane about the value of writing; I wrote How to Make a Living Writing, and greatly enjoyed my years as a magazine editor, specifically because I want anyone who is even thinking about trying to get published—much less to make a living writing—to be as ready for that as they can possibly be. At every turn, I try to encourage new or would-be writers in whatever way I can. Writing is such a beautiful art form; I want everyone to do it. I love it.
Anyway, that’s why I write stuff like yesterday’s piece. I have a lot of readers who want to write for Christian publishers. I’m interested in doing what I can to make sure they have as comprehensive an understanding of that world as they can have before they go wading into those waters, which I know seem awfully warm—but can, in fact, be freezing cold. That’s all.
Thanks! I hope you guys are all having a wonderful Christmas!!