IVP - Behind the Books - Report from the International Christian Retail Show

July 18, 2008

Report from the International Christian Retail Show

I just got back from the International Christian Retail Show (formerly known as the Christian Bookselling Association convention), which was held in Orlando this year. A few IVP-related highlights:

IVP hosted a breakfast with Leighton Ford, author of The Attentive Life. He talked about how as life has changed, his writing has changed. When he was a public evangelist with his brother-in-law Billy Graham, he wrote on evangelism. When he started developing new leaders, he wrote Transforming Leadership. In recent years he's been moving into spiritual formation and spiritual mentoring. Hence this new book on the attentive life and paying attention to what God is doing.

IVP received a Logos book award from the Logos Bookstore Association in the Spirituality category for Gerald Sittser's Water from a Deep Well.

Andy Crouch's much-anticipated book Culture Making is now in print, and it's being received well. There seemed to be a good bit of buzz about the book, as people kept coming to our booth and saying that someone told them that they had to pick up this book.

Andy also had a good word for us at our author dinner. He talked about how at a trade show like this, it's very easy to feel inadequate, to see the big signs featuring the hot new books and faces of the bestselling authors, to always be comparing ourselves to the next bigger author or publisher. And it was a nice reminder that all of us are already in a very privileged location to be in this work and industry, and that we can rejoice and delight in the work we have and the books we get to write and publish. (He said much more, and much more eloquently, but this is just my inadequate summary and distillation.)

As Andy's editor, I presented him with a framed book cover, and I commented that when I first met Andy ten years ago, he was handing out copies of re:generation quarterly, which I had written for. And I contributed a few articles to RQ during his tenure as editor. So he was my editor, and now I'm his editor.

By the way, the first hundred pages of his book are available online for free! Go here for links to download the intro through chapter two, chapters three through five and some quotable quotes from the book.

Our author Ruth Haley Barton of The Transforming Center also was in, signing copies of her new book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, which uses the life of Moses as a springboard for exploring the spiritual challenges of being in Christian leadership. (She spoke on this at the National Pastors Convention in 2007, and you can hear the podcast here.)

My wife Ellen, IVP's rights manager, was booked solid meeting with international publishers interested in translating our books for their languages and markets. Even though challenges in the world of bricks-and-mortar Christian bookstores meant that fewer retailers were in attendance this year, worldwide interest in our books continues to grow.

So it was a good week. Lots of interesting things going on, and for an ENFP like myself, the best parts are usually reconnecting with friends and colleagues in the industry, whether authors, editors, publicists, marketers or other folks involved in the publication and distribution of good Christian books.

Posted by Al Hsu at July 18, 2008 8:06 AM Bookmark and Share


Thanks for the great links to the preview content of Andy's book. I'm shocked (and extremely grateful!) that you are sharing so much of it online!

Comment by: Mark Goodyear at July 18, 2008 9:55 AM

Mark - I should have mentioned that the free PDFs won't be online forever! Limited time only. So check them out now and blog about them and spread the word while you can.

Comment by: Al Hsu at July 18, 2008 10:17 AM

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