I Don’t Hate Christian Publishers; I Love Writers

This picture has about nothing to do with this post. Sorry. In a hurry!

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!!

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  • I am trying to figure out what a picture of Ron Ely in the role Tarzan and the little kid….don’t remember his name..has to do with this post…even though you said there was no connection

    I am also wondering how I instantly remembered who the guy was that played this character in a show that dates back to when I was very very young.

  • Diana A.

    1) I love the picture and the caption!

    2) I can understand why you would feel that the title of “I’m OK–You’re Not” is too confrontational but the title did it’s job, at least with me. I saw that title, did a double-take (especially, since it was in the Christian section of the bookstore), picked it up, saw the subtitle and instantly understood that I wanted that book. I probably read the back, flipped through the book to see if anything caught my eye (that’s my typical M.O. when I’m book hunting), noticed something funny that you wrote and thus confirmed my original decision to buy. A different title might have caused me to miss your book entirely–which would have been a shame.

  • Allen

    OK, the photo is going to bring up the whole “do I seem gay?” thread from several months ago , you might as well include a link to that post here.

  • Anonymous

    Is that Boy?

  • Anonymous

    For some bizarre reason I remember the boy actor’s name as Manual Padilla. I have no idea if that’s right, but … that’s the name for him my memory coughed up.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you’re very kind. Thank you, Diana.

  • Anonymous

    I have a friend who as part of his recovery from alcoholism needed to learn to live with his gaiety (?). He too bought this book. Probably the title, I think.

  • Anonymous

    I have a friend who as part of his recovery from alcoholism needed to learn to live with his gaiety (?). He too bought this book. Probably the title, I think.

  • Anonymous

    Where i wrote one about whether I personally seem gay? Oh, gosh, that’s right! I’d have to recall the name of it to hunt it down. Lemme go see …

    Right: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2008/12/10/am-i-gay/

  • Anonymous

    I hope it helped him.

  • Mindy

    Hi John – haven’t written anything in awhile but wanted to say hello to your little section of the blogosphere and point out that you are, as always, full of remarkable wisdom, the kind that helps people you’ll probably never even know about. Thanks for that.

  • Anonymous

    Always wondered how Tarzan found a Puerto Rican orphan in deepest darkest Africa. Padilla was credited on IMDB as acting with Sinatra in Robin and the Seven Hoods as well as with Pacino in Scarface. Dead at 51. Cause of death unreported. Served in the US Army for 30 years. RIP, Jai!

  • Anonymous

    I loved Tarzan movies. To me he will always be Johnnie Weissmuller swimming underwater holding a knife in his teeth and living in a treehouse with Jane and Boy. I read now that Manuel Padilla Jr. was a talented musician and actor who passed too soon. Condolences to his parents and four children.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes. How/why did MP die?

  • Anonymous

    Good to hear from you, Mindy, as always.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know.

  • Anonymous