I wanted to ask a question that’s bugged me for a long time about Catholic publishing: where the heck are the Catholic books in grocery stores? You see evangelical works popping up all the time–there’s a dedicated section for Christian/spiritual/Bibles/whatever in most grocery stores/Fred Myers’/what have you. Often, the books there are from publishers I never see anywhere else. What are they doing that we are not? What do they have that we do not? I can name off the top of my head a bunch of books that, given a snazzy cover and a cheap enough brand of paper, I could imagine populating grocery store shelves. I’d say your This is My Body would be one of them–accessible, eyecatching title. I’d say Dave Armstrong’s Biblical Evidence for Catholicism could do it–unexpected title, likely to catch people’s eye and prompt a response. Hahn’s A Father Who Keeps His Promises and Rome Sweet Home, at least. Pope Benedict’s interview books. Why the heck don’t we see more of his stuff at Costco?
I understand that the costs could be a real challenge to small publishers, but again–the evangelicals are there. It can be done and is being done. If we were willing to pump out our stuff in really cheap paperback format, I see no reason why we couldn’t establish a presence at Costco and Walmart–where I’d bet most Americans who buy books will ever shop for them.
Anyway–do you or your readers have any insights into why we just aren’t present there?
Beats me. Any readers in the Catholic publishing industry who can enlighten him?