Jim Fletcher of “Prophecy Matter” pens an unintentionally hilarious column:
It’s always important, I think, to separate our sometimes-disdain for other writers whose ideas run counter to our own … from the tools they use to market themselves. In other words, learning from someone is more useful than ruminating over their existence in the writing field.
Witness the book tour efforts of “Emergent” writers and speakers Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones. Full disclosure: I can’t stand their “theology” (Jones for example has recently announced that he simply doesn’t believe in the doctrine of original sin), but the tools they employ to ply their worldview in the marketplace? Now that’s something we can internalize.
A recent item in Publishers Weekly underscores the innovation certain writers and their publishers have in separating their projects from the ocean of books being published: “Meanwhile, some Emergents are redefining the book tour. This summer Jossey-Bass authors and self-described ‘postmodern Emergent hipsters’ Mark Scandrette, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt took to the highways in a biodiesel-powered RV on a 32-city, old-time ‘Church Basement Roadshow: A Rollin’ Gospel Revival.’ Says executive editor Sheryl Fullerton, ‘It was very Emergent, a complete reinvention of what a book tour is.’”
Look, I lament the fact that Jones, Pagitt and friends are conning our young people with aberrant theology, but in terms of marketing worldview, they are light years ahead of conservative authors.
Seriously, you should read the rest: Why your rivals sell more books.