CT's April 22 cover story, "No Longer Left Behind," provoked strong responses. One publisher responded succinctly: "The impression … permeates Rabey's article that publishers cannot be trusted, they will use their power to financially abuse authors, and the only way an author will be treated justly is if they have an agent." That impression, says our correspondent, is "grossly untrue and deeply offensive."
In the following letter, publishing industry spokesman Doug Ross begins by responding to the article's report that agents at Alive Communications believe that at some publishing houses "bean counters" prevail over "book lovers." Of one editor an agent reportedly said, "I don't even know that he can read."
An Industry of Book Lovers
Characterizing an editor as not being able to read overlooks the serious effort on the part of editors as they direct the process to create books that change lives. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association has nearly 100 member publishing houses, and I can assure you that they not only can read but that they view their author relationships as one of the most important relationships they enjoy. And the same is true of agents. Rick Christian—and other agents—take this seriously too. It has been my privilege to be involved in Christian publishing since the late '60s. Never have I seen the quality so high and the market reach so substantial. An excellent book that makes a difference in people's lives takes a unique partnership of authors, editors, marketers, salespeople, bookstores, and often agents. Yes, Christian publishing is big—but the positive impact on people's lives is even bigger! Ours is most certainly an industry of "book ...1
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