October 16, 2010



Timing in life is everything or so the axiom goes. Having embarked on "every writer's dream" of getting their first book published I am in the midst of a rude awakening. If you thought it was difficult to be "traditionally" published in years past, you should try it in the midst of a digital world.

The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 25, 2010) contains an article titled, "The ABCs Of E-Reading." Startling statistics were revealed underscoring the changing habits of readers as we move to electronic books from the traditional paper page. Just a couple weeks back my grandchildren were confronted by their Sunday school teacher believing they were playing video games during class. In fact, the three of them were diligently following along on their digital E-readers.

According to the Association of American Publishers there was a 51% drop in book sales from 2008 to 2009. That's not encouraging for someone trying to get published in the traditional ways of old. Several people who have reviewed my manuscript have stated that it is well written, and the subject matter--a biblical review of what is known as the "prosperity gospel"--is much needed today. The fact remains though, I am a virtual unknown. I was hopeful that writing as a columnist for two decades with four writing awards on my resume might open some doors. But the fact is a "national platform," as one agent informed me, is more important today than content.

So the industry is being recreated battling for its survival. In this industry's fight for life, the economies of digital, on-demand, and self-publishing are being integrated by more and more traditional publishers. Hybrids are being spawned which combine some of the traits of traditional publishing with elements of the other three.

What does it all mean for the written word and especially THE written Word--the Bible? Although a change of medium is occurring this is nothing new if one reviews the sweep of history. Through the ages, cave walls, rock hewn tablets, and clay ostracon, gave way to papyrus, vellum, and parchment. With each developing epoch technology improved making the written word even more available than ever. With digital technology and wireless transmission the written Word of God is now penetrating politically and religiously fortified walls of prohibition making the Good News of God's love in Christ even more accessible than ever before in history.

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." (Luke 21:33) Jesus makes the statement three times in the Gospels indicating that through one form or another, God's unique message to mankind explaining the remedy for our problems is timeless. It will outlast any and all literary convention and forms. So in the days ahead we most likely will not be flipping pages at all, but scrolling an arrow or more likely, sliding our finger across a small hand-held screen. Whatever the form, the timeless message of the love of God for those He created will go forward changing lives of desperation filling them with real hope and promise. The Bible--even on an "E-reader" will remain the inspired, infallible, inerrant, authoritative Word of God, having been superintended by His Holy Spirit. On this we can stake our very lives--here and hereafter.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com


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