Lots of companies use the word “Christian” in their name and/or their advertising materials. And, some people automatically assume those companies must be on the up-and-up because they’re “good Christian people.”
I’ve received comments like this from authors:
“I want to use a Christian publisher because I know they’ll take good care of me.”
“They’re Christians so they MUST be honest!”
“I got ripped off by my last publisher so I’m going with a Christian company next time around.”
Just this week, I received complaints about two publishers who use the word “Christian” in their name. Perhaps I’m wrong but, as a Christian myself, I really don’t think God wants companies using his son’s name to make a buck. And, I have no doubt that some publishers, with FAR from Christian values, are trying to capitalize on the saintly assumption many people make about those firms.
The most notorious (in my opinion) BAD “Christian” publisher was Tate Publishing, which ripped off countless authors. Its owners were later convicted for several felonies. But, things didn’t get better in the industry after that. There are still “Christian” companies that are scamming folks.
And, it’s not just the publishing industry that has those types of monsters. Almost ever large commercial industry has wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as Christians, in order to hoodwink people into handing over their money for the slaughter.
I, myself, think there’s a special place in hell for people who do that.
The point of my short missive today is this: Never assume that a company using the word Christian in their name or marketing materials is good. In fact, I often given those companies extra scrutiny. I recommend you do the same.
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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This was a great article. It only goes to show something my father said years ago while in church one morning.
The pastor said to the congregation, “What do you do when someone tells you that they are a Christian?”
My father leaned over to a friend and said, “I put my hand firmly over my wallet and get away from them as quickly as I can.”
That advice has served me well over the years.
Thank you very much for your timely article. While I don’t ‘think’ I have been scammed I am becoming more and more concerned. As of this morning I am still receiving the excuse that sales are not happening because all the book sellers are shut down. But ‘if’ I’m not selling books then my publisher (BookBaby) isn’t making any money either. My book ‘Revelation, the precise translation’ was released just as the Covid-19 virus was coming to everyone’s attention. While I certainly am not pleased about the pandemic in connection with my book’s subject I would truly give up the book if it would help, but I am still amazed with the timing just to realize no sales or no sales reported to me (as a new, very green author I’m not sure if this is normal). Again, thank you for all your very informative information. You have my permission to release my e-mail address as i would love to hear from non-green authors. A. R. TOLLE
Thank you. CQ
I am one of Tate’s victims. They were pretty smooth in seducing inexperienced writers. I should have known better because every other “Christian” business I’ve had dealings with eventually screwed me.
The truly unfortunate part is the name “Christian” has been so tarnished by this and other scams (read televangelists) young people are walking away from it. Without the guidance a faith community can provide, young people can be left to look to popular culture for their moral grounding. And that’s pretty scary.
I am a Christian who holds his faith loosely, but I have the deepest appreciation for my Catholic grade school education. It’s not that I’ve never “sinned.” It’s that I can’t fool myself when I do.
As always, VERY wise words, Robert!! Just ONE of the many reasons we LOVE working with you on:
On Coaching with The Birkman Method
Unexplained Consciousness Events: Exploring the Possibilities
Lots of sock puppet types will claim to be what they are not and that applies to so called ‘publishing’ help/houses.
I trust gramma but when I play cards with her I still cut the deck.
Angela, Thanks for the warning. Would you please put a list of questions to ask a publisher, “Christian” or non-Christian? Would you also give authors a range of fair prices for certain publishing services? For example, cover designs can range from $400 to $2000. Having concrete information would equip authors to better evaluate publishing companies.
That’s a great idea! I’ll work up an article on that.
By the way, $400 to $2000 is WAAAAAAY too much for cover design!! At BookLocker, it’s included in all of our packages except the D.I.Y. one. If an author needs cover design as an add-on, it’s only $250. Samples are here:
About thirty years ago, living in L.A., I had much the same problem, trying to get screenplays to so-called Christian producers, or those in the business. There was even a large group who met through Hollywood Presbyterian Church… but you were not supposed to discuss business, nor ever approach anyone there with your project or ideas!! It was supposed to be all about serving the Lord. Not to get a foot in the door.
Then, I also had the wonderment of having my screenplay read, and poo-pooed as “impossible,”
(end-times scenario, dealing with the newly established EU and the rise of the anti-Christ, based on Biblical prophecy), by the very same director, who later turned around and then did the Christian comic book, “The Omega Code.” (Far more implausible than mine!) And was also through the auspices of TBN, whom I had also approached, and they weren’t interested.
Not to mention meeting Dean Jones face to face in a prayer circle at church and telling him about my script, and he said bring it to his office… and never heard three peeps afterwards. So, I therefore concluded, dealing with Christians in the film industry was much the same as dealing with all the other lions elsewhere.
Such practice is not limited to the Publishing community. From experience, mine and others, I see their name and/or logo and run the other way. As a Mental Health Professional, I know their tricks and their games all too well.
EXCELLENT ADVICE, Lea!!!!!
Thanks for this, Angela. Affinity fraud is successful because people feel they’re part of a family, and that family (of Mormons or Baptists or Seventh-day Adventists or whoever) would never hurt someone in their own family. Of course, people hurt their spouses and their children and their grandparents all the time. Domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, etc. The same is true in any religion. Most members of the denomination may be great, but we shouldn’t assume anything. We need to take precautions and understand that we’re dealing with human beings.