By Ramon Rocha, MAI Director of Publisher Development
Publishing leaders face a lot of pressure to build a successful Christian publishing business, let alone survive. Many of us have been tempted to cut corners, compete with cutthroat strategies, renege on promises, and even sacrifice integrity for financial gain.
In order to survive, is it okay to compromise by selling bestselling not-so-biblical books on topics like the prosperity gospel? People want these titles! If you don’t publish or sell them, your customers will go elsewhere. Are you prepared to lose sales over popular books bordering on questionable interpretations of biblical truths?
When I was new at OMF Literature some 17 years ago, my bookstore sales manager told me that we’d been selling many copies by a particular preacher. Some customers had complained that the author’s teachings were not sound. But this popular televangelist’s books were selling like hotcakes! After examining one of his books, we decided to pull them all off our shelves despite the high demand. The Lord honored our decision. Our total sales grew in spite of that financial loss.
Ask yourself: “Will you sell any book as long as it sells well? Will you compromise a principle just so you can meet sales targets? Are you bordering on selfishness and greed? Are you getting obsessed with growth at all costs? Will you do anything just to show a profit at the end of the fiscal year?”
Is it true that “cash is king”? You cannot operate without cash. We must be good at cash flow management, ensuring we have sufficient financial resources to pursue our ministry and business.
At the end of the day, Jesus is King! He is the One we should please. His will and purposes must be done. Everything in our publishing should be subservient to Him. Our loyalty and allegiance to Him and His cause take top priority over all else: content, cash, systems, programs and relationships.
What have you been tempted to do to survive or thrive in writing and/or publishing? What have you learned that might help others? Please comment here.