September 1 marked a giant step forward in the Christian publishing industry as a team of highly experienced industry professionals have launched a major new Web site—ChristianPublishingUniversity.com. Organized as an online university campus, the site is intended to become a one-stop clearinghouse of trainings, resources, and networking for both newcomers and veterans of the industry. It pulls together a wealth of valuable information that has never been assembled in one place before. Its purpose is to serve Christian publishers, editors, proofreaders, authors, composers, artists, photographers, retailers, pastors, church leaders, and many others.
Watch the introductory video.
A two-year project, the 150-page Christian Publishing University (CPU) site includes dozens of impressive features, such as numerous recorded classes and courses on publishing topics, links to several hundred publishers of Christian materials, 60+ Christian literary agents, a Christian store locator service, 780,000+ quotations, various bestseller lists, all the public and national libraries in America, and hundreds of affiliate organizations, websites, and blogs.CPU also offers an extensive publishing dictionary, a huge library of downloadable documents and helps, a campus store of publishing-related books and products, an interactive social media student center, an industry master calendar of events, a blog that discusses current publishing issues, and much more.
Top Christian author, Max Lucado, who is often called “America’s Pastor,” praised CPU by saying, “The Christian Publishing University is a timely response to an increasing need. Christian writing needs to set the standard in published literature. CPU takes us in that direction. Aspiring writers now have a resource for guidance and instruction. I can envision this ministry as a blessing to so many people.”
CPU is supported by an advisory board of well-known Christian publishing industry leaders, such Dr. Paul Brownlow (CEO of Brownlow Gifts), Dr. Thelma Wells (CEO of A Women of God Ministry and former speaker for Women of Faith), Mark Sweeney (president of Mark Sweeney & Associates literary agency), Dr. Jim Underwood (professor at Dallas Baptist University and New York Times bestselling author), Dr. Terry Johnson (former president of Oklahoma Christian University),Dr. Helen Young (former professor, Pepperdine University),June Hunt (Hope for the Heart), Dr. Sheila Bailey (Sheila B. Ministry), and others.
CPU director of communications, Mary Hollingsworth, bestselling author of more than one hundred Christian books and a 27-year veteran of the industry, said, “Christian Publishing University is a dream come true for our industry’s seasoned professionals, as well as for gifted Christians who want to participate in God’s mission of spreading His Word through the avenue of publishing. For the first time ever, an enormous storehouse of resources, trainings, networking connections, social interactions, and other valuable features can be found in one place.”
“So far, we’ve only scratched the surface. We’ll be constantly adding new resources, classes, and opportunities as we go forward. We have some really exciting expansion plans for the future,” Hollingsworth said.
“Christian publishing is as old as the Bible itself,” she continued, “and God’s wise man, Solomon, said, ‘Of making books there is no end,’ so we’re here to stay. Until now, though, it’s been a difficult industry to navigate for newcomers, because the information they needed to get started was scattered all over the Web, in a multitude of books, in hundreds of magazine articles, and in a myriad of professionals’ minds. It was incredibly hard to assimilate.
“At long last, by compiling so many resources in one place, CPU gives them a chance to learn much of what they need to know to join this great ministry of the Word. It gives them hope. And it gives publishing professionals a place to refer newcomers who want to join us. We’re excited about the service it can provide both to those in house at our publishing companies, retailers, and to up-and-coming industry participants.”
Unlike printed books which, by the very nature of printed materials, are somewhat out of date by the time they hit the bookstore shelves, the CPU website can be constantly updated and, as the Bible says, “new every morning.”
CPU is a membership site and is open to anyone who wishes to participate in its ministry. The annual membership fee is $39.99. As Hollingsworth noted, “It’s less than the price of one Starbucks latte a month and far more valuable in the long run.”
The above copy was provided by The B&B Media Group. I was given a month of free access to the site for the purpose of this review. While I roamed around the site several times, I did not sign up for any of the classes. The classes I saw offered were a little over a hundred dollars. There is also the opportunity to participate in social media as you pursue your studies.
For someone wanting to learn more about writing and publishing, this seemed to be a good place to start.