Transforming Publishing: New Outlet for Book Publishing

For all you frustrated authors out there, Milton Stanley, who blogs at Transforming Sermons, has begun a publishing venture for Christian books called Transforming Publishing. He says,

Electronic copies of all publications will be available free online, and hardcopy publications will be available on-demand for what we hope to be very modest prices–less expensive in many cases than users will be able to print on their own printers

It’s an intriguing concept and I wish him and his authors great success.

PS — Just my advice, but before you ask Milton to read your manuscript, get someone besides your mother to read it. Of course, the fact is that most people are unwilling to tell even a perfect stranger that his manuscript is terrible. We’re nice people. I’m nice. (Most of the time.) And I dread it when people send me manuscripts, because most aren’t very good. Some are marvelous — and there aren’t many in between. And I haven’t figured out a nice way to say, “You owe the English language an apology.”

So here’s the test. If people beg you to publish it, then it’s probably decent. If people are politely nice — “I can tell you really worked hard on this.” — don’t bother to send it in.

It’s also a good sign if the manuscript comes back from a friend with typos corrected — because people won’t usually waste their time correcting works they don’t appreciate.

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4 Responses

  1. This could be a good thing. Free downloads are nice, but sometimes having a bound copy in the right size is much better. He is using the publish-on-demand group lulu.com. They have a good reputation in the industry. This may work as church publish-on-demand efforts usually fare better than most others. If a congregation uses a book in a class, they will order 20 to 50 copies at one time which is a big order.

    One more note,
    “Of course, the fact is that most people are unwilling to tell even a perfect stranger that his manuscript is terrible. We’re nice people.”

    This is one of our great problems. We are raised in the church to be nice (we use the word “love” instead of “nice”). Years of such training leads most of us to placate.

    Now when someone says, “I disagree with you about 1 Corinthians umpteen” we turn colors and stomp our feet because they are not being nice and loving and we need to run off such un-nice people from the church.

  2. So are we going to be able to buy hard copies of “Buried Talents” and “Do We Teach Another Gospel” now???

  3. I’ve been using lulu.com for some of my material – it works really well. One of the great advantages is that they print in a few different countries; I can get my copies printed here in Australia which reduces shipping and associated costs.

  4. Summer,

    Maybe. But then I’d have to get them into publishable form, updating them, and all. And the updating would be the hardest part. And then I’d probably sell something like 5 — which would destroy my tender ego. So I’m having trouble getting motivated.

    On the other hand, I really like the purity of the idea of posting them as free ebooks — because I think that’s the way to go. It keeps the books on the market and being read forever — and makes them available to the poorest of the poor. So maybe.

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