Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
Asia Forum an unqualified success
“This training helped us expand our borders,” said Jodi, one of the Chinese delegates at the MAI-Asia Publishing Forum. She and other publishing staff gave their impressions of the Forum during an “open-mike” sharing session as the meeting wrapped up this morning (Friday).
Based on the comments, one can safely call the Forum an “unqualified success.” One remembered trainer Tony Wales’ pastoral admonition: “Never give up. Never give up. Neeever give up!” Another participant found fresh encouragement from Soo-Inn Tan’s daily meditations from the book of Jeremiah. Yet another spoke to the value of realizing that every member of the publishing team must help with marketing in some way.
One participant came expecting to get plenty of head knowledge on marketing and editing, and came away surprised and gratified by the high level of spiritual input. Others echoed their appreciation of the undercurrent of grace and acceptance running through the presentations. That is a tribute to the humble and Godly character of the MAI trainers, who performed at an extremely high level.
“These sessions were LittWorld quality,” Ramon Rocha III of the Philippines said.
Today’s wrap-up session included laughter, prompted by Dugermaa of Mongolia’s quips and special music on a horse-hair native harp. Eh Wah of Thailand sang a Karin-language worship number. MAI-Asia Chair Bernice Lee thanked the MANY people who helped or contributed in some way to the realization of the Forum: from marketing director Stanley Ng of the host Breakthrough youth ministry (who helped write visa invitation letters and led a workshop) to the various MAI-Asia Trustees who taught or helped with organization.
My concluding talk spoke to the crucial need for developing and publishing local authors who will connect with readers in their heart language and culture. In effect, the Asian publishers are “treasure hunters” who must look for gifted writers in their own countries and cultures and help them publish life-transforming books and articles that would otherwise never see the light of day.
We concluded with prayer, more photo-taking, exchanges of books and business cards, hugs and farewells. Will we meet again this side of heaven? I hope so. Will this training conference ultimately leave its mark on Asian Christian publishing in the form of new books, newly discovered writers, and readers who meet Christ or grow in their faith? That is my prayer.
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