Saturday, November 28, 2009
Check back each week to download the new meditation!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wishing you a blessed Advent as you prepare for the coming of the King.
Friday, October 23, 2009
One of the articles I read this week traced the history of book publishing and it's track to "fast" capitalism. It explains why publishing houses no longer keep rich backlists, why some of the best books for children are out of print and most likely to stay that way: they have no cross product potential. The 5 largest children's book publishers are now owned by huge media conglomerates who no longer have the "Idea" as the main criteria for whether a book gets published, but the dollar value instead. No longer is literature held aloft from the market and so able to pursue and debate ideas. The market now rules literature and naturally this has limited what gets published. (Of course there are still some great books being published, but look at any bookstore and you'll see what's really being promoted.) I heard that publishers must attend expensive conferences put on by one of the big bookstores chains just to get books on their shelves. A small, very small, publisher like me doesn't stand a chance in a system like that.
This has made me reflect seriously on what we are doing at Hillside. We began just publishing study guides for different time periods in history. But when I couldn't find books for particular historical periods in print, I decided to jump into publishing out-of-print novels. It has been an incredibly creative and exciting process. I love every single one of the books we have published. They are all great stories . . . and they are not part of some multinational corporation's scheme to make money by any and every means conceivable. They have great ideas for kids to think about and leave open the possibility for hope. And yet, I can hardly stay in business; 2009 was a particularly difficult year.
Nevertheless, stupid though it may be, or certainly outside of conventional business sense, I have 3 novels scanned and almost ready to print, and I'm reading 3 others that I hope to prepare as well. What is the matter with me? Am I crazy? How can I possible stay in business much less compete with Sponge Bob Squarepants or everything Harry Potter? How can I get a business loan when my business plan shows that huge sales are not likely? And yet, how can I walk away from these truly great books that have been discarded by the market?
My only hope is that other people out there are looking for something other than the diet the mega-publishers put out. And if I can't compete in a crazy market, at least in my little corner of the publishing world, we'll still have great things to talk about.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We're pleased to announce the publication of our latest title:
Nurturing creativity in our children and in ourselves is a critical need today. We all know that research has shown that art and music are good for fostering healthy brain development, but they are good for our souls, too. Through creativity, we imitate the Divine Creator and practice the skills needed to battle the despair produced by a pre-made, manufactured, cookie-cutter world.
Made in the image of God, there is a creative desire placed in all of us. Nurturing this desire in our children is not only thoroughly satisfying, but an essential part of our parenting duty. By instilling in our children a love for the good, the true, and the beautiful, we can help to reshape our world for the good of all.
From the foreword by Elizabeth Foss
Education in the arts is no less important than academic education. Creativity will launch our children beyond the boundaries of their intelligence. A creative child knows how to think outside the box—to seek fresh approaches and novel ways of understanding things. More importantly, a creative child will have a greater, deeper, truer understanding of God. There can be no understanding of philosophy or theology without imagination and creativity.
You can preorder this book now. Ship date is approximately June 15.