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Gold for Readers

- 08/05/10  

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Words for the World | MAI

July/August 2010
C O N T E N T S : 
< Publisher Creates Gold for Readers in the Middle East
< Don't Swallow the Bait: How to escape pornography  
< Celebrate with MAI: Save the date
< It's Not Too Late to Register
< Words of Wisdom 

Hi, Friend!

I just returned from Seattle and unpacked my vacation suitcase, weighed down with books from around the globe--the Philippines, Ghana and beyond (no, I don't own a Kindle...yet). In this issue, we help you virtually unpack how a Middle Eastern publisher and an Argentinian author are creatively reaching youth on issues such as sexual relationships, addictions and child abuse. 
Here at MAI we are always looking for inventive ways publishers and authors are influencing society. Send us news of your examples at
-Dawn Herzog Jewell, Editor

 Publisher Creates Gold for Readers
in the Middle East 
Sinan Sweis is managing director of Ophir Publishing in Jordan. Taking its name from a place known for gold in Bible times, Ophir pursues excellence in content and design. "We want to bring gold to the hands of our readers," Sinan says. MAI President John Maust recently interviewed Sinan at his office in Amman, Jordan.
What are Ophir’s top-selling titles?
Anything by C.S. Lewis—Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia—is doing well. We could send 200 copies of Mere Christianity to Egypt today and they would be gone in a week. Philip Yancey’s Disappointment with God, Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love and the Handbook on Counseling Youth are all doing well.
Dr. Awsam Wasfi of Egypt is one of our best-selling Middle Eastern authors. He has written six books in the 180 Degrees series, which looks at contemporary issues facing youth such as love and sexual relationships, addictions, child abuse. (Photo of book covers above)
Talk more about the 180 Degrees series.
The first page of each book is purposely printed upside-down. The text reads, “If you really want to learn from someone or some situation, you may need to change your life 180 degrees. If you’re ready for that possibility, turn the book 180 degrees and begin reading.”  When the book is turned for reading, then the cover appears upside down and makes people curious why someone is reading a book upside down.
Why are you developing a three-year training for Christian writers in the Middle East, in partnership with MAI?
Ophir Publishing sees the need to support the growth and development of new writers in our region to write not only about their faith but also on today’s issues in the general marketplace. We want to take a leading role in elevating Christian publishing to new standards of quality and professionalism. We consider our investment in equipping writers a worthwhile one.
Read Sinan’s responses to these questions on MAI’s website:
-How has the oral story-telling culture of the Middle East affected your publishing line?
-Tell about your efforts to place books in the general market.
-Do publishers in the Middle East face restrictions?
MAI’s first writer workshop hosted by Ophir takes place in Beirut, Lebanon, November 12-14, 2010. Read more.
It's Not Too Late to Register! 

Register by August 15 for the MAI-Europe Publishing Forum. If you are a publisher, editor, writer or designer open to change and determined to expand your market and increase sales, you cannot afford to miss this event!

  Register online or download the brochure.
Don't Swallow the Bait

Don’t Swallow the Bait:
How to escape pornography
Like so many Latin Americans, Adrián Intrieri juggles more than one job. During the day he works as international sales director with the Certeza Argentina publishing house. In his 'spare time' he is a practicing psychologist, specializing in work with adolescents. As such, he is increasingly in demand as a speaker at youth conferences in his native Argentina and around Latin America. 
As a result of listening to the concerns of young people, Adrián recently wrote a new book designed to meet their needs. Don’t swallow the bait: How to escape pornography ("No muerdas el anzuelo: Cómo escapar de la pornografía") was co-authored with Howard Andruejol of Guatemala.
"The greatest problem with pornography is that it creates a false picture of reality. It seems to present a desirable product, but beneath the surface it exposes you to series of dangerous lies," they write.
Adrián said that it isn’t easy for an author to tackle what for many is an embarrassing subject. "Most people write about a subject they know well… that was NOT the case for Howard and me," he quipped.
Although Adrián is capable of writing a technical book on the subject, both authors decided to speak directly to young people. Consequently the published book is just 144 pages long, with amusing illustrations, and in the format of a CD case.

The book is available on
by Ian Darke, MAI regional trainer for Latin America


Celebrate with MAI:
Save the date!

Join us on October 21 in the Chicago suburbs for a dessert celebration of 25 years of equipping global publishers and writers, featuring author Jerry Jenkins.
Thursday, October 21, 2010 
7 to 9 p.m.
College Church
Wheaton, Illinois, USA

Words of Wisdom
"No matter how good the writing may be, a book is never complete until it is read."

-- Katherine Paterson, award winning novelist



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