Book of Prayer Bummer

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 20, 2007

IVP passed upon my proposal for a neo monastic book of prayer.  They said:

I’m able to get back to you on your proposal.  It is nicely done and has many appealing elements. And we obviously have publishing interest in the new monastic movement as evidenced by some of our recent books.

As we discussed it here, we were aware that we’ve done very little, however, of the sort of thing you propose. The closest thing to it is something we’ve got coming out this spring called the Ancient Christian Devotional.  It spins off of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.  In any case, we felt that this area was a bit too new for us and that we should proceed cautiously.  So we have decided to pass on the opportunity to publish this book with you.

Thanks so much for coming to us with the idea. We do appreciate it.

I’m going to pitch the book of prayer to other publishers now.  Any recommendations?

for further reading . . .

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8 Responses to “Book of Prayer Bummer”

  1. ron on March 21st, 2007 3:32 am

    Hi Mark, sorry to hear that news…would hate to see them try something ” new “. Anyways, I sure I’m not telling you something you don’t already know…but have you thought of LuLu publishing.

    I will continue to pray…Peace, Ron+

  2. JVD on March 21st, 2007 9:14 am

    Too new but about something old? They are funny - sorry that they did not pick you up. JVD

  3. Norm on March 21st, 2007 9:24 am

    Hi Mark,

    One other suggestion might be Herald Press (Mennonite Publishing Network) .



  4. Anna on March 21st, 2007 10:26 am

    Hmmmm….how about Wipf & Stock? They published the 12 Marks of New Monasticism.

  5. jim on March 21st, 2007 2:42 pm

    You might try:

  6. markvans on March 21st, 2007 3:28 pm

    Wipf & Stock has some strong disadvantages:
    1) They have the reputation of having low publishing standards.
    2) They don’t spend much on promotion of books.
    3) They never give book advances.

    What that means is that it is hard for books to make any money or for authors to make any money. Since book writing is a big way for me to bring funds into our ministry, I’d rather look at other publishers first.

    Paraclete and Herald are definitely worth looking into, though they too have limits in how much promotion they’ll do. Herald is pretty much in-house for Anabaptists and Paraclete is a niche publisher.

    My plan is to approach Brazos first. Then Peraclete, then Herald. If none of those work, I’ll talk to Wipf and Stock. I really like the idea of Wipf and Stock–and there are some great people working with them, but they are focused mostly on reprints and only rarely publish books that can reach a larger audience. 12 marks (which isn’t a huge hit, but has had a surprising impact) did well because the new monastic movement was just breaking into the scene at the time and the book was a sort of banner.

    Ron, I actually used Lulu to do a small run of the book of prayer for folks in Missio Dei. They don’t seem to be a real option for getting the word out about the book, since they’re basically a glorified Kinkos.

  7. Andy on March 22nd, 2007 4:20 am

    I’m following this story with interest as I’m about to try a similar thing. Perhaps one of the British publishers like kingsway, Lion or IVP, Scripture Union or Monarch may have an interest?

    Just a thought…

  8. graham on March 28th, 2007 5:34 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I can’t believe that I missed this post!

    I am so gutted for you, mate. I had just kinda assumed that this would go ahead as I’m convinced that there’s a market for it. Hey, maybe if you’d have used the word ‘emerging’ in the title they would have taken it?! ;-)
    I would also try Herald. They don’t only do anabaptist books. Or, maybe try Paternoster. The Anabaptist Network in the UK has a good relationship with them. Let me know if you’d like to talk to a representative from the AN who has had dealings with Paternoster.

    I’d like to be able to say something spiritual like, “just not the Lord’s timing”, but I guess we both know that’s bollocks.

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