Blogger: Rachel Kent
This post is an updated post based on one I wrote four years ago. New situations have come and gone, and I think this blog can serve as a good reminder for all of us in the Christian publishing world. We are to be a light to the world, so we should be modeling Jesus’s teachings in our words and actions. Let’s all work to keep that C in CBA (Christian Booksellers Association).
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Numbers 23:19 (NLT).
Let’s all remember to try to be like God when it comes to contracts. His word is good. You never have to doubt his promises. That’s how we as Christians should strive to act as well. Yes, we are human and will make mistakes and will fail due to life circumstances, but let’s stop using our humanity to excuse our actions.
I have heard recently of a few Christian authors who have paid very little attention to what they’ve agreed to in their contracts. Failing to turn in books by deadline. Failing to do the promised publicity that helped get them contracted in the first place. Failing to write a quality project. And so many other scenarios. In doing this they have created a lot of strife for the publishing houses they’re contracted with and for their agents as well. Their actions have damaged reputations and relationships and have wasted time, money, and resources.
I’ve also heard stories about some Christian publishing houses that purposefully ignored contracts and went ahead with publishing ebooks they didn’t have rights to. And some Christian publishing houses have refused to honor the return of rights paragraphs in the contracts, creating huge ordeals over something that should be very simple.
I’ve heard of Christian agents who pretend that multiple publishers are interested in a project to ratchet up the price. Or who advise clients to break previous commitments when they receive contract offers that conflict with previous agreements that won’t pay as much money.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:12-14 (NIV).
There’s also a lot of badmouthing going on in Christian publishing. Writers with conflicting views on Christianity are battling it out on social media. Authors, agents, and publishing houses are trying to talk down the competition to make themselves look good. If we were all to work our hardest, with God as our focus, I am sure He would take care of our every need, and we wouldn’t ever have to fall into the “bully” trap.
Situations like these should not exist in Christian publishing. We can’t change the way other people work, and we can’t change that we are faulty humans, but I hope all of you will join me in working hard to honor God through the work we do.
Are you with me?