Okay, enough already, right? Jesus didn’t go around bashing things up forever, did he? He made his point quite conclusively with the money-changers and moved on. Let’s get to some of the positive things happening.
But just so it doesn’t go unmentioned, CBA CEO and president, Bill Anderson has made his PowerPoint presentation “Revitalizing the Christian Retail Channel—Why it’s Worth the Investment” to the ECPA spring seminar available online HERE. If you get CBA Marketplace, you can read it for yourself. I won’t give any commentary here. Just check it out.
The fact is, CBA is going bye-bye. The problem has been acknowledged, but solutions are fairly, well, nonexistent.
It’s commonly held among Christian editors and publishers that CBA probably won’t exist in a few years—at least, as we know it now. Why aren’t more people on the inside saying more about it? Or, why aren’t they saying it in public? Maybe they’re playing it safe. It’s the golden rule, after all. Let’s be safe. Comfortable. Reasonable. Unoffensive. Unobtrustive. Calm, cool, collected. Let’s not rock the boat.
I think a few people have misunderstood the intent here to assure the frustrated masses that the unpublished won’t be ignored forever and be forced into self-publishing and other questionable alternatives forever. There is great hope, Maria. Restrictions are loosening, the old guard’s stranglehold on the “gritty,” real-world issues we can’t discuss is weakening, and some publishers are pushing to discuss them.
Some are preparing, others are trying to make it go away by ignoring it. Those who are trying to figure it out are guessing what will replace it. All indicators say it’s time to buy stock in Wal-Mart, amazon.com, and POD sites. The future is coming, my eager little friends. The question is, who in the Christian publishing industry is actually doing something about it?
But this too, as the nay-saying commenters have pointed out, is vanity (just so you know, I’m not blocking anyone from commenting so if you disagree, by all means let’s discuss!). The argument against change I’ve been hearing the most is, “So CBA is dying. So what?” And I’d like to say, “Here’s what,” but I don’t currently work in a place who’s publishing a lot of edgy, front-running stuff.
I’m a dreamy, idealistic Gen Xer, struggling to pull a rabbit out of a non-existent hat. I don’t have all the promising examples of people pointing to something new and inspired on the horizon. And I so desperately want to show you the revolution that’s confronting me at all these writer’s conferences I get to attend for free as faculty. I want to give more people a chance to climb aboard and consider the beauty, art, truth, faith, life, mystery, and wonder that’s finally being allowed to stretch the barriers.
So here’s your assignment: Help me find them. Who are the writers, editors, publishers, booksellers, industry insiders and outsiders who are changing the face of Christian publishing either head-on or subversively? Find them, and I’ll feature them here for your reading enjoyment—hundreds of eager writers and book producers just like me and you. Bring about our dreams. Make your contribution. Help me save my job (Just kidding. I don’t like it all that much anyway).
If we collect enough of these change-agents’ stories, the inside scoop—outside CBA—and point out the ones who are spreading the word of our fervent hope through their efforts, we’ll have a much more convincing and effective statement about what the front of the wave looks like in Christian publishing. If anyone has a candidate or a story, comment, stop by, or email me and let me know.