News You Can Use – July 10, 2012

Publishing on the Cloud is the Next Big Thing! – Mike Shatzkin writes yet another brilliant analysis of our industry.

Give Your Work Away for Free – Derek Webb makes an argument that “free” will end up making you money. Jeff Goins writes about how Seth Godin used the same principle in some of his promotions. The difference is that Webb is talking about music. However, the music business and the book business are not equal. Do you agree or disagree?

Do Christian Bookstores Have too Much Power Over Content? – Rachel Held Evans expresses her opinion that they do. The topic is guaranteed to generate visceral reactions against the Christian bookstores. Be careful not to lump all stores into one generality.

The Rumors of the Death of Publishing Have Been Greatly Exaggerated – Vicki Hartley presented a sunnier picture. I happen to agree with her.

16 Tips on How to Survive and Thrive as a Writer – Brian Feinblum provides some sage advice.

The “God Particle” – Joe Carter posts an invaluable explanation of this new scientific discovery. And if it still beyond comprehension watch the seven minute tutorial at the end of his post.

Top 10 Zombie Scenes in the Bible – Bet that headline will make you click through to see what Michael Gilmour came up with!

5 Responses to News You Can Use – July 10, 2012

  1. Avatar
    Timothy Fish July 10, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I seldom agree with Rachel Held Evans (never?), and this is no exception. The thing is, if the Southern Baptist Convention wants to limit what kind of material is available in their bookstores, that’s their business. Besides, you don’t have to read much of the Bible to realize that it is not through embracing worldliness that God intends for us to stand out. Rather, through rejecting what the world calls good and embracing what God calls good we surprise the world and they take notice. Rachel Held Evans is a prime example of this. Everything I’ve seen from her indicates that she is offended by people who seek to live a godly lifestyle. There are plenty of bookstore out there who would be more than happy to sell her all the worldly books she can carry. If Christian bookstores want to provide an environment where parents don’t fear their children will see something they shouldn’t, more power to them.

  2. Avatar
    Rebecca LuEllaMiller July 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I agree with Timothy.

    I’m a little tired of the Bible being held up as an example of gritty writing. I suspect if all those gritty books, with their use of crude words, glorified God and revealed the truth about His person, work, and world in some small measure the way the Bible does, we might not have a discussion.

    Another thing that I find interesting is that Christians seem to think only Christian authors get edited. Perhaps if they go to the ABA they’ll learn about writing to a politically correct standard instead of to a conservative Christian standard.

    But to the point of the article–do CBA stores have a choke-hold on the industry? I think Rachel’s article is about 10 years late. Once Christian books found their way into general market stores, then into big box stores, and of course into Amazon, any grip CBA stores once had certainly has been loosened.

    What’s ahead with easy self-publishing? I wonder how the CBA will get blamed for whatever goes wrong there. 😆


  3. Avatar
    Peter DeHaan July 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks for more great links. They’re all so interesting I’d like to read every one, but can only squeeze in a couple. Now I just need to deiced which two.

  4. Avatar
    sally apokedak July 11, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    In regards to giving books away and creating a long tail…

    I thought this was a great thing early on, but now I’m offered so many free books that I don’t download them anymore. I don’t even click over to read the blurbs. I just figure if you’re giving me a book and I don’t know your name, chances are it’s not a good book.

    Too bad. Because a lot of them are good books. But I only download books from people I know or from people who come recommended by people I know–whether the book is self-published or traditionally published.

    In regards to bookstores having a stranglehold…

    Um…they don’t strangle me. I’ll read what I want. I’ll write what I want. If I owned a bookstore I’d stock what I wanted.

    I think Christians, in general, are far too easily offended. Readers are offended by books that cross lines they don’t like, and instead of letting those books stand and presenting an opposing view so readers can make up their own minds, they demand the books be taken off the shelves. But writers are just as bad, whining about mean publishers who won’t let them talk about their private parts in public. Duh!

    Write what you want and sell your books to and quit whining. I hang out at general market conferences and writers there love to whine about being censored (it helps their sales). And today I found that Christians do the same thing. I followed links from Rachel Held Evans’s site to a Christianity Today article in which we are told, that using shocking language is a sacred calling from God and when modern-day prophets are asked to remove the language they’re being censored.

    Here’s a paragraph from the article:

    The problem with Vaginagate—and any other effort to remove specific and frank language from books written by faithful Christians—isn’t that bookstores don’t have the right to decide what types of books they will or will not sell. They are businesses after all, and to be successful, businesses need to sell products their customers will read without getting up in arms. The problem with Vagina-gate and similar forms of “censorship” is that, in an attempt to protect customers, publishers and bookstores are making it a lot harder for writers to tell the stories God has called them to write. And when Christians are barred by other Christians from serving God, it dishonors God. In fact, it’s sin.

    Doh! There is so much wrong with that argument, one hardly knows where to begin.

    It’s right up there with writing to an agent and saying, “God told me to write this book and you have a right to choose to represent authors you think will make you money, but…not really, because if you won’t represent me, you’re sinning. I am, after all, a prophet.”

    I won’t carry on in your comments section…anymore than I have already, I mean. I feel a 3000 word, five-part blog rant coming on. If there’s one thing that offends me more than the word “vagina” it’s illogical arguments by people who don’t know what the word “censorship” means.


  1. Martyred For A Noble Cause – NovelRocket - August 31, 2017

    […] the accusation of censorship on a Christianity Today blog when I followed links from one of Steve Laube’s News You Can Use posts. The author of the CT post, Caryn Rivadeneira, suggests that Christian publishers and […]

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