Cover Story: Indie Days 2019—Bullish on Books, Forecasting Growth in Direct Marketing to Readers

BOOK SALES CONTINUE TO RISE NATIONALLY

A ‘SUMMER CAMP’ FOR PUBLISHERS—That was the up-beat theme of a major conference for independent publishers, held this week at the headquarters of the global giant Ingram’s Lightning Source publishing division. Given the “camp” theme of this year’s gathering of publishing professionals, our Marketing Director Susan Stitt sent a letter home about the highlights. Those include a continuing rise in book sales—and in direct sales of books via Amazon and other online retailers. Please, enjoy Susan’s main story about what is called Indie Days 2019. Then, if you care to learn more, Susan sent a second letter that takes readers on a gee-whiz tour of the flagship printing-and-binding factory.

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Allure of the Shore, Part 3

DAZZLING IMAGERY—That’s what photographer and author Rodney Curtis adds to our August theme of spiritual solace along the shore. Two weeks ago, Martin Davis took us to the shore; then, Missy Buchanan encouraged us to reflect on our lives along the beach. Rodney Curtis uses his considerable talents, now, to provide this literally moving image that he produced along the shore of Lake Michigan, a Great Lake that seems about as big as an ocean.

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Bob Alper & A Shot Heard ‘Round the World

IT’S A JOKE. SERIOUSLY. In this turbulent era of hair-trigger anger, comedian and author Rabbi Bob Alper reflects on how one of the jokes that remains a favorite with his audiences—didn’t seem so funny when transported into another context. Please, enjoy this column by Bob, which includes a complete version of the lengthy story involving a rabbi, a cow and … well, you’ve got to read it for yourself.

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Covers of MSU Bias Busters books

Click on the image to read more.

Dealing with Prejudice?
Become Part of the Solution

WE ALL NEED HELP! In 2019, daily news stories are making it clear that we all are facing growing problems with bigotry. Among the latest is the August 2019 report by The American Academy of Pediatrics, reminding health care professionals nationwide that racism is a “social determinant of health,” meaning that “failure to address racism will continue to undermine health equity for all children, adolescents, emerging adults and their families.”

The root of this crisis is ignorance. One major institution that has risen to this challenge is The Michigan State University School of Journalism through its Bias Busters team that has produced a whole series of helpful books. Their motto: “We answer the questions everyone is asking—but nobody is answering.”

Now—through October—equip your group, congregation or organization with the most up-to-date cultural competence materials available today. The Michigan State University Bias Busters book series features info-packed guides covering individual cultural, ethnic and religious groups. Please, read about how you can order one of these new 11-volume collections—and share this news with friends.

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Is Secularization Inevitable?

THE REST OF THE STORY—Among people who care about religion, there isn’t a more timely issue than the rising tide of secularism. In the U.S., this often is cast as the “rise of the Nones,” because an ever-growing number of adults respond with “None” when pollsters ask them to identify their religious affiliation. Secularism is a major trend in Europe as well as many other regions of the world.

However, that’s not the entire story! New research suggests that secularization may be counterbalanced by another well-known trend: As they age, people tend to become more religious.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

 

Paryushan Parva

FASTING AND FORGIVENESS—For India’s Jains, this is a season of fasting and forgiveness. Stephanie has that story, as well, including an overview of the 10 values at the core of Jain reflections.

Care to see all the holidays? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances—just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click the movie still to read Ed’s review of The Farewell.

Faith & Film

Click on the image to learn more about Ed’s August 2019 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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