The new humor book by CFW Walther, his Pastoral Theology, provided by Concordia Publishing House for $40, got me thinking out loud with a faithful Lutheran.
That Walther book - hardback, in black and white - costs about $3 to print. There are development costs, like those five-martini lunches, but they melt away with a big printing. A large printing is little more than the cost of paper and ink. Why the new Bible translation every month? Because Bible publishing is like a printing money.
I know the cost of Amazon books, because I publish them often. Creation Gardening, full color cover and interior, is only $5 at my cost. The retail cost goes mostly to Amazon.
Making Disciples, with a color cover and black and white interior - that is only $2 at my cost. That is an old tradition. The author of any published work gets a discount so he can give away books to reviewers, relatives, and friends.
How Does This Work in a Parish?
When I worked with The Lutheran magazine, long ago, the marketing guy told us that hand-outs have a very short life with any individual. Like newspapers, they get tossed quickly.
Magazines last much longer, a month or so.
Books last for years. People do not easily throw away a bound book. My garage is an example, and most homes have orphaned books that no one can quite throw away.
A congregation can put together a worthwhile booklet that teaches traditional worship, Lutheran doctrine, and other spiritual matters, add abundant illustrations, and print it any number for $2 each. That would have a full color cover, front and back, and black and white interior.
Vanity presses make it feasible to print more books for almost the same price. Thus 500 books cost only a little less than a thousand, or two thousand. Why not 5,000?
Print on Demand
But Amazon prints for the same price each, the only bargain being shipping to the same address. One at a time is a big chunk of money compared to the book itself. If a large box is sent, the shipping is minimal per copy.
I publish everything first as printed books and also as Kindle E-books. Those who pay their Kindle $10 fee get them free. The rest get them at whatever price is established. No author's discount there.
Putting Them Together
I pay Janie Sullivan to get the final version ready for Amazon/Create Space. She takes care of format issues, typos here and there, and porting the work to Kindle. Amazon (Create Space) also has people who do this for a fee.
If a congregation believes in what the Sower and the Seed teaches, then it will have no doubts about sowing the Word carelessly, not measuring the soil (as the Fulleroids do) but trusting in the Word.
Matthew The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
|Count the seeds that grew from one seed.|