|C. Kevin Thompson|
I attended the 2015 Florida Christian Writers Conference last month. This was my 5th year attending. It’s close to my home, allows me to commute, and fits within my budget. All good reasons to go, right?
Learned a lot about the ever-changing face of the crazy world we call “Christian Publishing.” E-books are reaching a plateau (flatlining maybe?), unless you practically give them away. A year ago, everybody thought e-readers would become little Terminators and take over the publishing world. Now, it appears a simple business model may have actually done what John Conner struggled to accomplish in three movies.
Thank you, Kindle Unlimited.
Paperbacks are on the rise, especially with millennials, those twenty-somethings who always have their nose in a…, uh…, phone. Go figure. They like the “feel.” Paperbacks don’t turn off or keep beeping with notification sounds. It also seems highlighting sections of an online textbook and then trying to locate them later is a little difficult on an e-reader. Huh? Who knew? (And no, I’m not going to make any blonde jokes about putting white-out on the screen.) Other younger non-student-type-folks are finding that holding a book works better with the brain. “I know I saw that somewhere. It was on the left-hand page, right-hand column, halfway down, next to the picture of the liver.” Ever been there? Done that? (For more details, you can check out The Washington Post Article link below.)
Said all that to say this: Nothing is concrete. Nothing is unchangeable. Except God.
Book publishers come and go. Contracts get violated. Trends are just that. Trends. Sometimes they devolve into “Fads.” People scramble to catch the next big wave, but most waves only hit the shore and fizzle. Even tsunamis go away eventually.
Then, there’s those “Christian” people in the publishing world who sometimes don’t do “Christian” things, like taking the notes of workshop leaders and then hitting the lecture circuit, pretending THEY came up with all that knowledge. Oh, yeah. It’s happened.
Or what about publishers and bookstore chains who “go under” or file for bankruptcy? It happens. Some events are just unfortunate. Others may have been prevented if the business model was better. Point is, this crazy world of Christian publishing changes with the proverbial wind.
I learned one very valuable lesson this year. It’s a personal one for me. One I cannot elaborate upon in print for the world to see. Too many contractual issues involved, not to mention biblical teachings to follow as well. Suffice it to say, that there comes a time in every writer’s life when he or she has to step down, off the platform, and allow God to speak to him or her off stage. It’s not necessarily that God wasn’t controlling their life or directing them in their journey, and therefore God had to “grab the hook.” It’s more of a season wherein everything was humming along, and then God stepped in and said, “Okay, I have a plan for you, and it’s going to look a little different from this day forward.” I heard several people tell their stories this weekend. The message was eerily similar. Like a “movement” was afoot. Like God was cooking up something special. I, too, fell into that category. It’s not that I’m saying goodbye to writing. Instead, I am saying hello to other doors I had not considered or pursued before. Doors that seem to be open right now because of other ones God has closed.
So, what’s a writer to do when the tumult of the publishing world rages? Be still. That’s what you do. In Psalm 46 (NIV), the director of music, of the Sons of Korah says, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” When the oceans rise and thunder roars, when the publishing houses close their doors and sales flit about like a water bug on a pond, be still. “The LORD almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (v. 7). He will guide. Like Moses and the Israelites, when Pharaoh’s army stormed closer, He will be exalted amongst the nations. And He will be exalted in your writing. If you’re still. And allow Him to bring you to the place where His Glory may be shown.
For more information on FCWC, go to www.floridacwc.net.
For The Washington Post link, click HERE.
“Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman
Something ominous lurks under the waters.
Dr. Evelyn Sims, a brilliant marine biologist, is being watched. Her husband's mysterious death at sea—with the only survivor of the Greenback telling a shocking, unbelievable tale—has thrown her personal life into chaos. Her scientific views are being scrutinized. Her husband's office and their home are investigated. Called in by the FBI to help solve the mystery, Evelyn is thrust into her toughest research project ever...and forced into a maze of deception and betrayal.
Micah Gregson, the Coast Guard captain who rescued the Greenback, is determined to find out why a special unit at the FBI—the one assigned to cryptozoological cases—is involved.
Together Evelyn and Micah will uncover a plot more deadly than anything the ocean could ever produce. One that will either save Evelyn's life and redeem her career, or destroy everything she—and myriad others—stand for.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, having served churches in New York, Mississippi, Texas, and Iowa. He is married (for 33+ years), has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He speaks in churches on occasion, presently works as an assistant principal in a Central Florida school district, and plays the drums in his church’s praise team. He is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic too.
Kevin is a member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN), ACFW, and Word Weavers International, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (OakTara, 2012; winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1 (OakTara 2013), as well as articles in The Wesleyan Advocate, The Preacher, Vista, The Des Moines Register and The Ocala Star-Banner.
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