Thursday, December 7, 2006

Nelson Tightens Editorial Standards for Authors

From Publisher's Weekly Religion Bookline:

While the company will honor all existing contracts with previously
acquired authors, future contracts will require authors—even those writing in
non-religion categories like business—to signal their agreement with both the
Nicene Creed (recognized by most Protestant and Catholic, and some Orthodox,
Christians) and Philippians 4:8 from the New Testament.


Nelson's decision is not just about belief, but about the bottom line. Hyatt noted that as part of the company's preparation for this decision, it evaluated the marketplace success of recent Nelson titles that would have either passed or failed the new editorial standards. "In that study, we discovered that projects that didn't meet up to our new standards accounted for only 2% of our total 12-month revenue," he said. "Worse, titles that would not have met our standards sold, on average, 47% fewer copies than titles that met our standards."

Hyatt asserts that even with the heightened theological filter, no topic will be unpublishable for Nelson's authors. "We want to encourage them to write across a broad spectrum of categories," he said. "Some books will be explicitly Christian; some implicitly Christian. But all will be written from a broad Christian perspective. That's the unique contribution we feel called to make."