Church Publishing adjusts to market conditions

Church Publishing has announced some changes to its operations. As reported by Publishers Weekly,

the publishing arm of the U.S. Episcopal Church, says it is “suspending” acquisitions of new trade books because of the current market decline in general trade publishing. CPI will scale back activity at its trade imprint Seabury Books and implement a 30% staff reduction [9 persons]. Spokesperson Nancy Fisher ... said that books currently under contract would be produced, and that backlist titles would continue to be supported and promoted; more books had been made available for Amazon’s Kindle reader.

The Morehouse and Church Publishing imprints will concentrate on producing material and supplies for worship and church life, including e-products.

ENS has a longer article.

Jan Nunley compares the layoffs with the report that UMC bishops voted themselves a pay cut. But do note that bishops' salaries in The Episcopal Church are set by dioceses. And the bishops of many dioceses have taken a pay freeze in response to the recession's effect on church income.

Comments (3)

I thought I'd made it clear: I'm not comparing the bishops of the UMC and the bishops of TEC (who are not mentioned).

I'm comparing the leadership of the Christian organization known as the UMC, which collectively voted a pay cut in response to the current crisis, with the leadership of CPI and, by extension, CPG, which opted for layoffs instead. (And CPG is, after all, a creature of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.)

Really: It's not always about the bishops.

Even if pay is set by dioceses, think what an example it would set if the TEC House of Bishops voluntarily returned a percentage of their pay to their dioceses!

Just because their pay is not set by the HOB does not mean the HOB couldn't show some real servant leadership, does it?

Paige Baker

Couldn't agree with you more, Jan, that's it's not all about bishops. My primary purpose in linking your post is because you say things that need to be heard throughout the church.

I suppose the leadership of Church Publishing could have taken voluntary pay cuts -- which is what the UMC bishops are doing. I'm pretty sure that if General Convention cut their pay it would not retain the same quality of leadership at Church Publishing. I'm more sure that the delegation to Church Publishing to make business decisions is appropriate. General Convention can say this summer -- if it has not done so in the past -- that it wants to adopt CPG to follow Christian human resource management principles and hold it accountable if it doesn't.

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