I’m sure the whole world is waiting to hear my thoughts of the state of Christian publishing. My thoughts seem all the more important now that I realize my last blog post was on April 11. But I was glad for this blog by Kevin Deyoung because his thoughts (as is so often the case) reflected some of my own. I especially appreciated point #5:
I’ve seen many books in the past few years that I would put in the category “Really good stuff, but I’m not sure it was book worthy.” These are books that might have been excellent sermons or terrific blog posts or could have been a wonderful long article, but a stand alone book they feel underwhelming.
I agree. I’ve become reluctant to buy much that is new and hot because I often put the book down feeling like I wasted my money. Going to a book store and reading the back cover, the introduction and the conclusion can often tell you everything you need to know AND save $20.
One observation that I would add: I’d like to see more guys waiting a little longer to publish their first book. I’m sure it’s cool to be an author. I almost certainly wouldn’t turn down a book advance or the opportunity to go on a book tour. But might it not be wise to wait a little while before putting your thoughts down on paper for the whole world to read? I’ve really appreciated Doug Wilson’s admonition to young/aspiring writers.
“Know something about the world, and by this I mean the world outside of books. This might require joining the Marines, or working on an oil rig or as a hashslinger at a truck stop in Kentucky. Know what things smell like out there. If everything you write smells like a library, then your prospective audience will be limited to those who like the smell of libraries.”
In the end I totally agree with DeYoung that we should be thankful for the “embarrassment of theological riches in the English language.” I love finding a book that I just can’t put down. Even better is finding that rare gem that challenges me, convicts me and helps me become more like Christ.