If you read these entries very often, you will know that as a natural part of what I do, I keep track of a large volume of information about various aspects of publishing. I read the trade magazines and consumer magazines plus I try and think creatively about the different things that I’m learning then apply them to my own writing life.
Today for something different, I want to give you a bit of this insight and also show you how I got it (for your own education and growth). The overall result is going to be more eclectic than some of my other entries about the writing life.
First some publishing news from Thomas Nelson, the largest religious book publisher in the United States, named Mike Hyatt their Chief Executive Officer. Since February 2004, Mike has been the president of Nelson (a position he will continue to hold). Hyatt takes over from Sam Moore, the founder of Thomas Nelson and Moore will remain the chairman of the board of directors and the companies largest stockholder. Congratulations to Mike, who wrote for the cover of Book Proposals That Sell, “Following Terry’s advice will give you the edge you need to create a slam dunk proposal!”
In addition to the promotion at Nelson, I read a fascinating story in Publisher’s Weekly about The Women of Faith line of books, which is a Nelson division. Journalist Juli Cragg Hillard wrote, “The event's concourses already are "the biggest bookstore on wheels," said Tami Heim, chief publishing officer at parent Thomas Nelson Inc., where the lucrative conferences account for 14 percent of the company's revenue.” See that note about the percentage of revenue—and outside of the traditional bookstore market? A bit later in this short article, another couple of sentences stood out to me, “This is the 10-year anniversary for Women of Faith, which presents 30 conferences a year around the country that each are attended by over 400,000 women. The six core speakers--Sheila Walsh, Patsy Clairmont, Thelma Wells, Marilyn Meberg, Luci Swindoll, Nicole Johnson–include bestselling authors, but Nelson's research has shown that the Women of Faith brand is stronger than any of the individual authors, said Nelson's Carolyn Denny [Editorial Director for Women of Faith].” Here's another interesting fact "worth knowing" about these conferences, according to Mike Hyatt, during the last fiscal year there were almost 36,000 first time decisions for Christ.
I began to wonder how that 14% translates into dollars of revenue. Because Thomas Nelson is a public owned company and traded on the New York Stock Exchange, they have to issue public statements about their earnings and other matters—unlike some other publishers. Their annual report for 2004 is available online. For 2004 their net revenues were over $222 million so that 14% translates into over $31 million or a substantial portion of their overall income—and it’s outside of the traditional bookstore marketplace. I know most annual reports are boring type of information but you can learn a great deal from them about some of the details of publishing.
Who Reads Religious Books?
This week I ran into a great Barna Update about Religious Books. For many years, I’ve known George Barna and admired his work—but I had dropped off the list for his free updates. This one gives some great details about who reads religious books and what type of consumer. It’s almost what you would expect—but none-the-less worth knowing about and reading. If you found this one interesting, you can subscribe to these updates and receive them on a regular basis. It’s another free tool for writers to know about and profit from the information.
Information for Bloggers
I understand that blogging isn’t for every writer but if you want to read a white paper which introduces blogging and some communications tips. I recommend this white paper from Beacon’s International. Again it’s a free download and worthwhile from my perspective.
In the last day, I learned that a flood of spam has been affecting the blogging community. If you use blogger, I recommend you follow this link to Darlene’s site and learn about how to change your settings and protect yourself from this blog spam—which apparently automatically adds things to your comment section.
Free Tele-Seminar on Book Proposals That Sell
Last but not least, if you’d like to hear me teach on Book Proposals That Sell, next Wednesday, August 24th will be a terrific opportunity. Annie Jennings PR is sponsoring this tele-seminar. Use this link to sign up and receive the telephone number and pin#. It’s free.