For three days this month at the International Christian Retail Show, thousands of retailers, vendors, publishers and authors from all 50 states and 63 countries were surrounded by a wealth of opportunities for learning about the newest trends in Christian retailing.
For the third year in a row, Defender Publishing Group (Anomalos Publishing LLC) - a full-service publisher that seeks to partner with unknown writers - was the "busiest booth on the trade floor." Their distributor, STL Distribution also provided a report showing that the unusual publishing house had 8 of the Top 50 Best Sellers for the last quarter, more than any of their other publishers.
"I love it when a plan comes together," says Donna Howell, acquisitions editor for the company. "We are the hardest working publisher in the business for new authors, and it was fantastic seeing the line of retailers requesting autographed copies of books from our authors."
Defender Publishing Group is the brainchild of Thomas Horn, the company's CEO. Horn became aware more than a decade ago of a gap in the publishing trade that allows great but unknown authors to fall through the cracks and never be discovered.
As Horn accounts from personal experience, "In the mid-1990's I decided to do something I had put off for many years. I wanted to write a book, but because I was unknown, I couldn't get a publisher to take the financial risk. Eventually I decided to partner with a publisher, which, looking back, was the best decision I ever made. Four best-selling books and a news career later, I make my living writing. There are a vast number of undiscovered authors out there who could do the same thing. We would like to partner with them to see through their publishing goals."
Such an idea - to partner with new authors - is practically unheard of these days, unless one includes print on demand and vanity publishers, a form of "self-publishing" viewed by mainstream distributors as a dead-end road.
According to Horn, "The problems for new authors have only gotten worse since mega-retailers like Costco and Walmart began carrying the A-list authors' books at big discounts. Many local store owners, where lesser known authors are typically discovered, simply cannot compete with these Titans. As a result of the downturn for mom-and-pop shops, more and more publishers are focusing on A-list authors exclusively, while viewing investment in promising but unknown writers as too risky."
Not only has this affected the number of new authors being published, but this has also impacted the budget for publicity and marketing of those who do get published. As Horn points out, "most unpublished writers assume that publishers will take care of all their PR needs. The truth is, currently very few authors, even well-known and best-selling ones, receive high priority when it comes to promotion."
The strong publicity and marketing programs at Defender Publishing Group has caught the eye of industry professionals and up and coming authors. "What Defender does in promoting every author to media, regardless of fame, is unprecedented, really," says Jerry McGlothlin, a media expert and CEO of Special Guests, Inc. McGlothlin, a well known industry veteran has chosen Defender to publish his upcoming book How To Get Booked On Talk Shows, due out in 2010.
In the last few years, Defender authors have been featured in syndicated print, television and radio markets representing over two billion households worldwide. Major news outlets that have interviewed the authors include ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, Time, and The New York Times. The History Channel is currently filming Defender authors for a special 9-part series on prophecy, which is scheduled to broadcast around the world later this year. Also in the works for Defender authors is the "Authors Network," a weekly two-hour affiliate radio program that will include live chat, featured news, and regular wire releases for Defender authors, scheduled to begin before Fall this year.
Defender Publishing Group is currently seeking submissions from authors of a wide variety of books, especially political science, prophecy, and current trends. For any author who has written a well-crafted manuscript, Defender would be delighted to discuss bringing his or her publishing desires and media needs to fruition.
To learn more about Defender Publishing Group's partnering program, visit their website at: www.DefenderPublishing.com.