What good is publishing without a reader?
Publishing and writing for its own sake—oblivious to any intended reader—is a recipe for irrelevance. Not to mention poor stewardship and a fast track to failure.
“We still see many publishers deciding for themselves what they’re going to publish and then thinking afterwards, ‘How are we going to sell it?'” said a publishing trainer. “In some cases, it’s the director’s own hobby horse that gets published or a translation, only because it doesn’t cost very much.”
Even when publishers do produce a quality work that speaks to the interests and needs of their audience, they may fall short in its marketing and distribution, with few of the target readers knowing the publication exists or how to find it.
“Reaching Your Reader” is a key challenge for global Christian publishers and writers and the theme for the LittWorld 2015 global Christian publishing conference, organized by Media Associates International (MAI).
Some 200 Christian publishing staff and writers from 50 countries are expected to attend the November 1-6 (2015) triennial conference in Singapore. Plenary speakers—all seasoned publishing professionals from around the world—will instill fresh vision and skills for better knowing, serving and reaching readers in today’s fast-changing publishing world. The theme lends itself to topics such as:
—Conducting audience research to determine readers’ interests and needs
—Creating such excellent content that it captures readers’ attention, imagination, minds and hearts
—Sharing compelling news with your reader base about the release of your publication
—Choosing the best distribution channels to get your product to the final consumer
Along with large-group sessions, LittWorld will feature more than 40 small-group workshops in 7 tracks including: publishing leadership and finance, editorial, marketing, graphic design, digital publishing, writing and professional development.
What makes LittWorld so unique is the rich networking and idea-sharing between topflight Christian publishers and writers from so many countries and cultures. “For instance, ‘reaching your reader’ looks very different to a publisher in China compared to one in Uganda,” MAI President John Maust said.
LittWorld 2015 takes place in densely populated Asia, home to 80% of the world’s 4.4 billion people who are not Christians. Speakers and sessions will also address how to communicate spiritual truth and hope with general readers.
“We as Christian publishers and writers have a message worth sharing—even, the most important message,” Maust said. “So, if we truly love our readers, how can we be more proactive and effective in reaching them?”
Full conference registration and program details will be posted on the MAI website in the coming months.