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The New Frontier of Digital Publishing

Friends, I will soon be leaving the terrific people at Westminster John Knox Press, where I have worked part-time for the last four years. I have learned so much there in my role as acquisitions editor, and I've been privileged to work with some amazing authors, including Ellen Painter Dollar, John Fea, Elise Erikson Barrett, Ben Daniel, Lynne Baab, and most recently, Cornel West (!). Just yesterday he sent a brilliant foreword for our new edition of Reinhold Niebuhr's Moral Man and Immoral Society. I've also worked for the best boss anyone could ask for, David Dobson.

It's been a wonderful experience, and I will miss my colleagues something fierce, but for a while now I have been itching for a challenge. I am fascinated by the new frontier of digital publishing, and this spring at the Calvin Festival I led a panel on what digital publishing can mean for authors. Some of those advantages include:

  • A much higher royalty than traditional publishing can pay
  • A nimble publishing system that can bring books out in a few months or even weeks
  • Quarterly or monthly royalty payments, rather than annual or semiannual ones
  • A quick and easy way to revise or correct content even after it's published
  • The ability to see your book's "highlights" and which parts readers are marking as important

In that panel, one of the examples I used of a spanking new digital imprint that was on the cutting edge of what was possible in religion publishing was Patheos Press, started by the innovative Patton Dodd (who has recently taken a position with Alive Communications). I was very impressed by what Patton had been able to accomplish in less than six months of doing business.

So imagine my surprise and delight when, last month, Patheos offered me a job. I will be the Director of Publishing for Patheos Press, beginning in early September.

My new job will take me to the cutting edge of this brave new world of ebooks. It's thrilling, but I have a lot to learn (thank you,!). Right now, digital publishing is like the nineteenth-century Wild West without a sheriff. I'm sure I will make quite a few mistakes, but I'm eager to learn this side of the business.

I'll still be working part-time and from home, so I will continue to blog and do my freelance writing. I'll also be starting a new blog and Twitter account for my work, specifically to address news and trends in the world of ebooks. I'll be sure to post a link to that blog when it goes live.

Excited for this new challenge!


The image of a new job happy face is used with permission of


Topics: Culture, Arts & Media
Beliefs: Interfaith


  1. BOOYAH!!

  2. what Russ said

  3. Very cool! Best of luck to you in this new venture.

  4. Sounds fascinating - congratulations! I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with…

  5. Congratulations! Working with you at Westminster John Knox on Halos & Avatars was a privilege. Having experience with digital publishing at Sacred Tribes Press I know the challenges you face, but you will excel. I hope to work with you at Patheos!

  6. Thanks, everyone! I appreciate your kind wishes.

  7. Fascinating enterprise. Congratulations.!

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