Should Guttenberg Be Afraid?

One of the first things I hear from almost anyone who finds out I am a publisher is a grave expression of empathy that conventional books are on their way out. The media’s focus on skyrocketing e-book growth – whether Kindle, iPad, Nook or others – amplified by music’s breathtaking drop in physical CD sales, drives many (even fellow publishers) to jump to the conclusion that the end is near for the paper-and-ink book. Not so fast!

Witness the May 19, 2011 report by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Based on data gathered from 84 publishers, both print and digital formats of books saw revenue gains in March 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. In fact, religion books in March grew for the third month in a row, increasing 27.4%. Growth in book sales came despite a staggering 145.7% increase in e-book sales. That’s not to say general economic woes won’t periodically depress books sales, or all retail for that matter, as was the case in 2009. Yet, even with Borders liquidating, I’m generally encouraged.

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A Revolutionary Old-School Culture

Worthy is an old-school publishing culture with a contemporary passion for partnering with remarkable people and their compelling ideas. Ideas that help people experience the heart of God in ways that change everything. Because that is our calling, before anything else, we’re an editorial and marketing shop that believes consumers will beat a path to your door if your ideas strike home. A return to those old-school values is a fresh new idea!

The core of Worthy’s innovative team built Integrity Publishers in the wake of 9/11, publishing now-classic New York Times and CBA bestsellers such as Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, Emerson Eggerichs’ Love and Respect, Max Lucado’s It’s Not about Me, and Beth Moore’s remarkable Get Out of That Pit, all now available from our good friends at Thomas Nelson.

Worthy picks up where Integrity left off – well-crafted books, excellent packaging, and aggressive marketing. Our first list hit retail stores and online markets last August and included Charles Colson’s The Sky Is Not Falling; Steve Arterburn’s Walking into Walls: 5 Blind Spots That Block God’s Work in You; and former Chicago Sun-Times writer Cathleen Falsani’s Belieber: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber. Our diverse list going forward will include, among other categories: fiction, Bible study, current events, spiritual growth, biographies, marriage and family, and specialty Bibles.

That said, “old school” doesn’t mean old thinking . . . we can’t afford that in 2012. Worthy fully embraces the digital age with every book simultaneously releasing on all major eBook platforms, including Kindle, Nook, and iPad. Our edgy, upgraded website, links each book to its own customized landing page, with elements that include Oasis Audio MP3 downloads, video book trailers, sample chapters, and social media share features.

In addition to talking about what’s going on at Worthy, our blog will address contemporary issues in publishing, spiritual growth, current events, and culture that are vital to us all.

Thanks for reading . . . and stay tuned.