Farewell, Christian Book Expo, We Barely Knew Thee

It seems that the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association will not reprise the ill-fated CBE. As Marcia Nelson reports in Publishers Weekly, the ECPA is “pulling the plug” on the CBE, and hoping to clean up the quarter-million dollar debt they amassed before diving back in to direct-to-consumer events.

As someone who just co-started a company that specializes in small events (100-300 persons), I’m neither surprised nor worried. There’s still a market for events, but I think the era of mega-events is coming to an end.

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  • As a person who just published a christian novel, I’m not worried either, although I have a different reason to cite:
    Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies in the fiel, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
    “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
    God Bless,

  • Kind of like the shift in programming from a few major networks to a whole host of smaller, niche cable channels. This is the way of the future.

  • Sara

    In the postmodern era there is definitely a shift to tribalization, where people with nuanced interests are more easily able to connect with one another. Books like “Jihad Vs. McWorld” and “Dignity of Difference” explore this trend toward tribalization and what it could mean for our future. On one hand it’s helpful that people with nuanced interests are able to connect more easily (blogs, clubs, niche conferences, etc.) On the other hand, it’s fragmenting to loose some of our common bonds (denominations, nations, Christian Book Expo, etc.).
    What will happen as we simultaneously come together (globalization) and fragment into subgroups (tribalization)? Time will tell.

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