Christian Retailing

Candid talk on industry changes Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 04:29 PM America/New_York

A group of Christian product leaders and insiders have spoken candidly about some of their hopes and concerns in the light of ongoing changes for publishers and retailers.

More than 20 authors, publishing executives, bookstore owners and managers and other industry professionals told Christian Retailing about changes in business practices and where they saw innovation and leadership, for a special report in the July issue of the magazine.

Among the issues they discussed were how digital publishing has affected their own consumer habits and practices, and what Christian stores can do to differentiate themselves from other channels.

David Almack, national director and publisher at CLC USA, applauded Hearts & Minds bookstore in Dallastown, Pa., run by Byron Borger, for running book tables at major conferences and events in addition. "The key idea is taking the books to the people rather than waiting for people to come to them," Almack said.

Paul Franklyn, director of Bibles, reference and e-publishing at Abingdon Press, suggested that stores serve local congregations by selling products that the online stores and secular chains don't focus on, including curriculum, supplies and Bibles. "Bibles are not so easy to sell online because most of them need to be touched while browsing for gifts," he said.

Best-selling author Jerry Jenkins, owner of the Christian Writers Guild, said that he hardly ever bought a book anymore if it was not available in e-format, "and as an author, that's a huge statement."

Mark Schoepke, owner of Tree of Life Christian Outlets and Stores in Oregon and Washington, noted that "challenging times can bring you down on your knees and help you stay there."

Read the complete report in the July issue of Christian Retailing magazine.