November 21, 2008
What I Like to Read vs. What I Like to Publish
When I read on my own time, I tend to gravitate toward history, science fiction, fantasy and New Testament studies. Sometimes I'll throw in some literary fiction or theology or management/leadership books. Sometimes I'll read a bestseller just to see what the buzz is all about. And I always listen closely to the recommendations of friends and colleagues which can lead me into any number of genres. And if you want to see where my reading interests have taken me at any time, just check out the list on the right hand column of this page.
What do I like to publish? Thoughtful Christian books for serious readers, small group and Bible study materials, and academic books in Christian theology, biblical studies, philosophy, psychology, history and a few other disciplines.
There is some overlap between these two groups. But there are large areas that do not intersect. When selecting books for publication, it is imperative for me to keep these two lists clearly distinct. As I've written here before, publishing decisions should not be influenced by personal reading tastes or interests.
The question for me is not "What do I like?" but "What are we as a publisher good at?" Not "What am I interested in?" but "What can we succeed at?" If we happen to publish what I like, wonderful. But my personal taste in reading should have almost no bearing on what books we publish.