Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christian Book Expo - The Expo for Christian Publishers?

There is still quite a bit of buzz about CBE (Christian Book Expo.) Every publisher who produces fiction that doesn't offend your basic Christian reader probably wonders if it's worth their time and money to go.

This information might help you. I visited a blog recently that claimed CBE expected a large turn out of "ECPA publishers and publishers from the general market who produce Christian fiction." I commented that I thought this wording was odd. ECPA and CBA came into existence to monitor work produced by affiliated publishers, "Christian Fiction" that could go into affiliated bookstores without offending a particular demographic of Christians, a market no general market publisher had yet to address according to CBA and ECPA.

In response to my comment I was told that "there are a bunch of general market publishers who do Christian books (HarperCollins owns Zondervan and HarperOne, Random House owns Waterbrook and Multnomah, Hachette owns FaithWords, Simon & Schuster owns Howard, etc). They'll all be there. And the parent companies will all be at BEA."

Do I really have to state the obvious? The publishers named above are all owned by general market publsihers but are not general market publishers themselves. They are all ECPA or CBA affiliated and serve that specific demographic CBA and ECPA were set up to serve.

So, if you're wondering about what Christian publishers will attend, so far it seems only CBA or ECPA affiliated ones. General Market publishers who produce books that appeal to the general market, Christians included, will be attending BEA of course or whatever other expo suits their demographic. ;)

Also noted was that CBE, under the leadership of Michael Hyatt of CBA affiliated Thomas Nelson, would most likely do well enough to replace International Christian Resource Show started by CBA themselves.

Well it certainly seems likely now doesn't it?


TWCP Authors said...

So, if you're wondering about what Christian publishers will attend [the CBE], so far it seems only CBA or ECPA-affliated ones.

Well yes, it does stand to reason that the publishers attending will be ECPA members considering the CBE is nurtured from the womb of this group.

I guess what I find frustrating is that while this group honestly saw itself as the only purveyors of Christian fiction in the past, they can't reasonably see it any longer.

With their very words, they perpetuate the myth that they are the only game in town. I don't know of a single Christian publisher who is NOT attending Christian Book Expo.

I hope what Mr. Hyatt meant is any real Christian publisher because obviously TWCP wouldn't register with its measely handful of books each year.

But, it doesn't come across that way. The suggestion that TWCP and other fine small houses aren't really publishers of Christian fiction is something we combat everyday in the market place.

. . . serve that specific demographic CBA and ECPA were set up to protect.

A word of advice, Sue: I know what you mean by the above, but some will misinterpret. I would reword this to something like, the specific demographic the CBA serves.

Remember, well over half of the readers of TWCP books come from this wonderful demographic and we wouldn't want to inadvertantly alienate them with a possible misinterpretation.


Sue Dent said...

Oh snap! I meant to say serve. Too many words floating around in my head. LOL

But needless to say, CBE will be a wonderful fit for CBA and ECPA Christian publishers. Not such a good deal for those publishers who provide work for the gneral market.

But maybe those publishers have figured that out on their own. :)