Publishing Is Tilting Toward Authors and Readers

In this week’s post about preaching from an iPad, I referenced an article in the UM Reporter.  Later in that article, I am quoted as saying about the new era in e-publishing,

“It’s great for writers and for readers, and it’s horrible for publishers and agents.”

I firmly believe that.  I love my agent, and I love (almost) all of the editors I’ve worked with at publishing houses.  But I feel badly for them as we enter a new epoch of content delivery.

Last year, bestselling author Seth Godin made waves when he announced that all of his future books would be ebooks.  My next two books will be ebooks — coming straight to your Kindle this summer:

  • The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement
  • But How Does Love Win? A Friendly Rejoinder to Rob Bell

I hope that, after that, I’ll have another traditional book in the queue — probably on prayer.  My agent and I are working on that idea at the moment.

So I’ve still got a foot in each world.  But my success (or failure) in the ebook world will likely dictate the direction of my literary career over the next decade.

Rob Bell’s Editor Speaks Out

Mickey Maudlin, HarperOne

Mickey Maudlin, Senior VP and Managing Editor at HarperOne (and a former editor of Christianity Today) has spoken out about his satisfaction at seeing Love Wins do so well in sales — but also his “deep sadness about the book.”  With as many as six condemning books being rushed to press, the Southern Baptist Convention passing a resolution against Bell, and many evangelical leaders joining in the condemnation, Maudlin writes,

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Rob Bell Is (Not) a Universalist: What the Book Is

All this week, I’ll be posting about Rob Bell’s controversial new book, Love Wins.  And this Sunday, April 10, I’ll be guest hosting Doug Pagitt Radio from 12-2pm CDT, talking with Keith DeRose, Michael Horton, and a special surprise guest!  The entire two hours will be devoted to a discussion of the book, in advance of Rob’s appearance the following night at Wayzata Community Church.

Last Friday, I already complained about the font of the bookPaul commented that it’s Gotham, the typeface preferred by the Obama campaign and other movers and shakers.  I also pointed out a grammatical conundrum, and I commemorated the typo in the final line of the book, now available as a t-shirt!

Today, however, I want to muse about what the what the book is, and what Rob is attempting to do with it.

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Loves Wins: The Typo That Is Not an April Fool's Joke

Some of us have noticed a typo in the last line of The Book.  It says, “loves wins.”  Any author or editor knows this feeling — my book, The New Christians, ended up with a dozen dingbats and typos, even after the most thorough editing and proofreading process I’d ever seen.  I imagine (I hope), that Rob is having a good chuckle about this typo.  Stuff like this usually serves to keep us authors humble.

What’s kind of cool, I think, is that there’s been lots of fun speculation on Twitter about whether Rob was referring to the loves of all three members of the Trinity, other gods, etc.  Fun stuff, and a reminder that for all of the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments by some opponents of this book, Christianity is still meant to be Good News, and Good News can be fun.

In that spirit, that line has now been memorialized in a t-shirt, available for purchase at Cafe Press: