Books Influence Culture

Culture is a way of life.  What events shaped your life and have those events had a significant influence in your life?  Reflect for a moment and ponder some of the significant historical high points that shaped the way you think.

The year I was born World War II had just ended.  I was seven years old when the Korean War ended.  When I was nine, the polio vaccine was pronounced a success.  When I was eleven, the Russians launched Sputnik I.  When I was eighteen, the United States bombed North Vietnam.  When I was twenty-five, George Wallace was a serious contender as a presidential candidate.

I’ve lived long enough to see the descendants of those events lead our nation, our culture and our society down a different road than their ancestors had traveled. Reading is the only discipline that will give this generation and coming generations the criteria to re-build a dignified culture.  The primary book that brings unity from diversity is the Bible.  God has commissioned a few book companies like Theocentric publishing to publish God-centered books to enable believers with sound doctrine.

Instead of understanding the purpose, mission and ministry, what did the church do?  It sent missionaries to other countries in an attempt to introduce them to the failures of the western culture.   Whatever good effect Christianity had in the past has eroded by the pounding waves of secularism, statism, humanism and self-centered individualism.

For those twenty-five and under the postmodern world is the only world they’ve ever known.  The postmodern theory is a world of deception and false promises.  Those of us who were nurtured by a culture of modern hope will find the sunset of life in a state of chaos and disorder unless we have a Savior who will not deceive us with false promises. For those in this generation and generations to come, read good books that will influence your culture toward godly living.

Selling Your Book

You’ve written and published a book. Everyone (all six of them) said it is a great book. It has been six months and you have sold ten books. Your book should have been a best seller, from your perspective. What happened?

I have seen estimates that there are 500 to 800 books published each day in the US and 90% of them never sell 100 copies. Amazon has over three millions books for sell and one book is added every five minutes. Your book is buried by a mountain of other worthless books. Granted, most of those books are what I call “junk books.” The majority of them are bizarre, erotica, sleazy romance, how to, and others that although they are “junk books” they bury good books that might otherwise capture the attention of book buyers.

I try to explain to inquiring authors how complicated it is for a non-celebrity to sell books when they ask me about publishing a book. It may sound like I’m discouraging them from writing. No, I’m just honest. On top of the typical statistics, Christians have a narrow market and depending on the subject, the market narrows even more. I’ve heard the sad stories of authors paying publishers $1,000 or more to publish a book only to find out that marketing the book is in the hands of the author, unless the book goes to brick and mortar bookstores by means of traditional publishing. However that would require an investment of $25,000 or more per book. If the book does not sell, returns eat up any profit and could drive the publisher into bankruptcy. Selling and marketing books all boils down to name recognition or what I call celebrity status or doing the hard work of promoting your book. I’ve often been asked, “why do you write books?” I write because I believe God will use these books to nurture Christians in their walk with the Lord, even if my ministry on earth is over.

If you write a book that is God-centered, your work is not in vain. The quality and value of your book, will become known because the author wants to honor God. The challenge is to get potential buyers to go to a site like Amazon to learn more about your book.

Book Reviews

Last year Theocentric Books gave away over 2000 books in Kindle format.  The purpose was to make the Christian public aware of the quality of Theocentric Books.  Complimentary books are also given away with the hope the reader will post a brief review on Amazon. Only a few reviews were posted on Amazon for the complimentary copies given away  in 2014. Book reviews help the author and publisher by providing potential readers with an opinion from someone who has no interest in marketing the book.

Lengthy book reviews are not necessary.  Academic book reviews are not useful to most laymen who simply want to know what impacted the reader.  In a brief paragraph the reviewer should say what he or she liked or disliked about the book.  It is not being honest to give the book a bad rating because it did not interest you. If the book has good qualities, tell the potential reader who would like the book.  For example, you may say in your review, “although it did not appeal to me, it would make a great book for my pastor.”

The responsible author usually devotes a considerable amount of time and effort writing a book.  An honest book review is a source of encouragement to the author.  If you would like to review a book published by Theocentric Publishing, visit the Amazon Book Store for Theocentric Books and choose a book to review:

Email me the title, author and a valid USPS mailing address to get your complimentary copy to review.

Basic Christian Doctrine

Cattle roaming on the open range needed some kind of identification, so it was customary for cattlemen to brand their young calves with a special marking.  Companies used the “brand” concept to market their products.  For instance, an appliance customer is likely to search for a particular brand of washing machine.  This principle applies to individuals who try to market their particular idea.

Although Theocentric Publishing Group publishes Christian doctrine and educational books, each author has his or her own brand.  An example of author branding is Martin Murphy Books.  His brand is “basic Christian doctrine.”  Denominational adherents tend to follow the tradition of the denomination.  It may be good tradition based on the sound doctrine of the Word of God.  It may be bad tradition and thus mislead the church.  All too often, the tradition, good or bad, does not teach basic Christian doctrine.  One denomination may focus on the millennial doctrine and another denomination may devote most of its effort with the doctrine of speaking in tongues.  All doctrine is important, but everyone must start with basic Christian doctrine.

How many professing Christians understand the doctrine of God? How many could give a substantial definition of God in one sentence?  How many professing Christians understand the purpose, nature, mission and ministry of the church?  These questions are relative to basic Christian doctrine.  Martin Murphy Books has written books like, The Essence of Christian Doctrine to help Christians understand basic Christian doctrine.  The challenge for the church and Christian publishers is to provide study material to teach basic Christian doctrine.

Realizing Significance

In a recent book, Realizing Significance by James Perry and published by the Theocentric Publishing Group, the passage in Mark 4:36 is studied. It is dealing with the “other little boats” that were caught in a storm. One can become so preoccupied with self interest that the little boats, little people and other sheep can be overlooked or viewed as insignificant, inconsequential, unimportant or unnecessary.

Chapter One of the book contains the following illustration: There was  a note on Facebook as a Mother wrote about her adopted son and his fifth Birthday in July. In a very moving and touching way, she wrote: “Five years ago a little gypsy boy was born in a rural Hungarian hospital. He was three weeks early, blind in one eye, had a scary-sounding infection, and his mother left him. I didn’t know anything about it, but that little boy was my son. We missed the first 3 years, 4 months, and 2 days of his life and I will always be sad for that loss. But today we get to celebrate our sweet, crazy, funny, Hungarian Gypsy Alabama Batman boy. And it’s gonna be exciting!” He is a friendly and active little boy who has responded well to the care and affection from those who have become part of his life – just another of the little boats and little people”and other sheep/lambs who are so easily overlooked. He is special to be because he is my Great Grandson.

When one thinks about the multitude of orphans throughout the world, representing many different language groups, a consideration surfaces in terms of how one can communicate with an orphan who (a) does not know the language of a host country, and (b) in all likelihood has not come from a familial setting where “love” was part of a daily experience and interaction. Even though some might say that the universal language of “love” should be able to communicate adequately, what if this person has never been in a place or context where “love” was displayed and experienced? What if you never experienced a personal interpersonal relationship where there was familial and personal love, would you have a working definition and understanding of true love?

The only way one can understand and sense the true meaning of love is by means of a relationship. From a Biblical reference, we learn from I John 4:10 (NLT), “This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” This is the only source for true love and the place one must begin if there is to be a complete understanding of what love is and how in can impact a human life.

Theocentric Books

Theocentric is a very good word to use in the public arena.  It will help people get acquainted with a word that is unfamiliar to many people.  Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary defines theocentric: “Have God as the focal point of thoughts, interests, and feelings.”  Based on polls and various other studies, there are 250 million professing Christians in the United States.  However, in the public square only a small percentage of those professing Christians understand the meaning of words essential to the Christian religion. Theocentric is one of those words.

When I determined to undertake the role of publishing Christian books, the name of the company did not come easy.  I searched the internet and found names of Christian publishing companies with a wide range of Christian tags.  However, theocentric was not one of them.  Theocentric Publishing Group was born.

Several people asked me why I used such a hard name to pronounce.   It is really an easy word to pronounce and remember.  God is the center of the action.  Theocentric Publishing Group has God at the center of the enterprise of producing God-centered books.  Visit today.