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In the coming weeks, we have some fascinating interviews: a couple of successful novelists and a Pulitzer-winning pundit.
While those are incubating, the Writer’s Bloc this week will analyze a variety of things in the publishing industry; it’s a busy time and fascinating time for book producers, sellers and buyers!
A Demi endorsement
Not surprisingly, actress Demi Moore has “tweeted” her enthusiasm for William Young’s “The Shack.” On her Twitter account, Moore said she’d “definitely recommend” the “life-changing” novel, and fellow intellectual/husband Ashton Kutcher commented that the book sounded like a “must-read.”
All this celebrity endorsement will continue to put wind in the sails of Young’s handsome clipper ship of a novel, which began as a little sailboat in the pond of his circle of friends and family.
As one who reviewed “The Shack” for WND, I was hammered by both critics and fans (“You were too soft and missed a golden opportunity to warn readers!” “Why are you so mean-spirited? ‘The Shack’ is life-changing!”)
For the record, I am not a fan of “The Shack,” and feel it is a significant boost to the multi-cultural, pluralistic effort to change America once and for all. Young appears to be an amiable chap, and history will one day record whether that persona is real or simply employed by a skillful change agent.
In purely book promotion terms, however, Moore’s endorsement is the kind sought by all authors and their publishers. One is reminded of Amy Grant’s concert endorsement of a novel by a fledgling writer two decades ago. When the Christian music icon recommended Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness,” it launched his career.
Oh, Moore’s site also recommends Peretti’s title, “Monster.”
These are scary times in our culture, and conservatives could be excused for being frightened by the worldviews of Hollywood celebrities, including those who read suspect novels.
Out with the old …
Evangelical Christian Publishers Association President Mark Kuyper has announced that the group will not repeat the “failed” March event in Dallas, the Christian Book Expo.
The show, projected to have 15,000 attendees, gathered only a tenth of that number (!) and analysis ranged from “trade-show model is outmoded” to “poorly marketed.”
The Writer’s Bloc has given extensive opinion about the state of Christian publishing, and we won’t comment on the reasons given for the CBE demise.
What we would like to point out is Kuyper’s refreshing candor. A nice guy, Mark didn’t duck the CBE failure, and this attitude is so, so rare today, especially in Christian publishing. At a time when the iconic Christian Booksellers Association is gasping for breath, seasoned observers realize the old way of doing things in CBA has been a non-starter for years.
Kuyper, then, is to be commended for telling it like it is, stating that if a similar event were to happen in the future, “It would be a very different looking event.”
He went on to say, “The problem still remains: This didn’t work.”
Amazing. Often, Christian publishing types issue rosy projections while standing on the bridge staring at the iceberg about to hit Titanic. Not Kuyper.
With leadership like that, the Christian book industry might just find its way back to robust business.
Or just out with sound doctrine
More signs of the destruction of American evangelicalism: The Evangelical Press Association recently announced award winners for 2009. Among the publications cited were Sojourners (winner in the General category) and Charles Stanley’s “In Touch” for the devotional category.
The reason this is significant is because, as leading Christian apologist David Reagan says, “The word evangelical has lost all meaning.”
Sojourners is a periodical loaded with raging liberalism, helmed by Jim Wallis, who cleverly labels himself an “evangelical,” just like his buddy Brian McLaren.
The Writer’s Bloc will go out on an increasingly rotten limb and say that if Wallis and McLaren are traditional evangelicals, then so is a ham sandwich.
By cuddling up to scholars and speaker/writers who denigrate the traditional Christian faith (McLaren pontificates that Bible prophecy enthusiasts follow an “eschatology of abandonment” – how would he know?), these fellows fool traditional evangelicals, who will one day wake up and find themselves embracing all sorts of heresy.
Ironically, it is truly a sign of the times that we see rank liberalism being widely accepted as the faith once delivered to the saints.
It’s too bad the EPA doesn’t have a category for Spurgeon’s “The Sword and the Trowel.”
But that’s so old-school!