Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Publishing with an attitude

Last night’s keynote speaker at the MAI-Asia Publishing Forum began with a story. Daniel, a veteran publisher in a closed country of Southeast Asia, described a beggar wearing a sign, “I am blind; help me.” Few people gave him money. But then the beggar changed the wording on his sign to read: “Today is a beautiful day; I wish I could see.” Suddenly, coins and bills began filling his outstretched hand.

The story cast light on Daniel’s approach to Christian publishing in a country where:
--the average person in rural areas earns $10 US per month and people in the cities don’t earn much more
--power outages happen nearly every day, grinding office work to a halt and making life miserable without fans and air conditioners in temperatures over 40 degrees C.
--government censors must okay everything before publication
--political and religious forces restrict the church and Christian witness

And that’s just a few of the challenges in a country where only the brave would consider Christian publishing as a career.

But instead of the taking the “I am blind,” or “woe is me approach,” Daniel has pursued opportunities with an optimistic “beautiful day” outlook that is rooted in deep faith and rock-hard reality.

“Attitude and perspective is very important to me in my ministry of publishing,” Daniel said.

In his 19-year publishing ministry, Daniel has edited more than 160 titles and published a Bible commentary that has sold nearly 5,000 copies despite the impoverished economy.

Daniel is not the only one at this publishing conference with stories to tell about obstacles in publishing. Likewise, he is not the only one with remarkable success stories of readers’ lives transformed through locally published and authored Christian books. I wish you could meet them.

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