December 2011What a joy it is to share with you the good news of FTE's progress this year and of the major advance that lies immediately ahead. Our hearts overflow with gratitude for the amazing team of supporters who stand with us to make all this possible!
The Best Year We've Ever HadSeveral new markets have opened to our books. FTE's always-hot Never Before in History and its companion Teacher's Guide continue to sell at an exuberant pace. They are now listed in Breakpoint's select book shelf on key topics for young readers at The Colson Center. The Design of Life has begun to sell as a textbook or supplemental textbook to universities and seminaries. Bill Dembski was a featured speaker at two huge apologetics conferences in late October and early November where DoL was a big hit. Conferees at these two gatherings bought almost 100 copies, and over 100 individuals asked to be added to our mailing list. So, if you are receiving this newsletter for the first time, welcome!!
We are on pace to see our book sales rise into the hundreds of thousands in the first half of 2012. The hosts of three separate radio talk shows have issued standing invitations to appear on their shows; together they represent a large footprint.
In the stewardship of its resources during its FY 2011, FTE managed to make a large impact within its means, cutting operating expenses, paying down past debt, and finishing with $17,000 net income.
Even Better Lies Just Ahead!Which is it: technological advances or a bad economy driving the coming boom of eBooks? Actually, both. We hear almost daily about new advances in technology. Perhaps the most important areas of current progress are in digital coding and information science, where the internet and related major technological advances are lowering the costs of books, magazines, and a multiplicity of other information sources.
In the book business, (unless the author is John Grisham!) publishers, editors, and marketing people meet to determine whether their new manuscripts merit financial backing, and, if so, how much. The trick, of course, is to determine the absolute minimum that will reach the "low hanging fruit" — the readership most readily accessible by the publisher's marketing efforts — and thus produce a profit. When a point of diminishing returns is approaching, another press run is seen as financially imprudent.
But with books that appear to have potential strength for continued sales, publishers may switch to a paperback edition, investing in new typesetting, cover design, bindings, and so forth, all with the least cost possible. The presses roll again, and eventually jobbers and suppliers stock the paperback edition on small shelves and rotating racks in grocery, drug, book, and variety stores.
EBooks are the New Paperbacks . . . only far better. With no more typesetting, no additional print runs, no more paper, no payments to pressmen or binders or jobbers, and therefore at a fraction of the cost of the original hardback, eBooks can ride the web to literally circle the globe!
Think about this opportunity. In a relatively inexpensive and effortless procedure, the original book is the source which can be greatly expanded to any number of copies, thus dramatically extending the reach of its message. The circle of "low hanging fruit" no longer constitutes an automatic limit to a book's market. It is very much like "pinching in" and "pinching out," the movements made with the thumb and forefinger to change the size of a message, map, or picture for easier viewing on a smart phone.
Bustling Traffic on the Road Now Traveled!So, even though our hardbound books are strong for continued sales, we are adjusting to a new and quickly changing world. Vacant Borders stores give evidence that the brick and mortar book business is being quickly outpaced by eBooks. Even the giant Barnes & Noble chain is on the bubble. So, as we begin to digitize our books and make them available for download, we recognize the need to use multiple platforms. Although some of our books are already available on tablets, an exceptional platform worthy of special note is NOVO Ink. Novo Ink is a partner of Zinio, and through Zinio's vast selection of digital magazines (the world's largest), FTE has, with a stroke of the pen, joined the bustling traffic of the digital world on a road highly traveled by the strategic demographic we want and expect to reach.
The contract with NOVO Ink is already signed. And we have working relationships with the specialists who will turn paper books into eBooks (specialists such as IT technicians, an intellectual property attorney, and a graphic designer). We hope to quickly build reserves with which to pay for these services and get started. We will also consult the marketing experts who can market the books on other platforms.
Books Can Change Worldviews and Bedrock AssumptionsDon't think books such as these matter? Consider that, while evangelistic efforts around the world are seeing dramatic, unprecedented levels of response, the same is not true in the U.S. How do we account for this? A brief verse near the end of the New Testament underscores the significance of the contemporary debate between theists and atheists. Hebrews 11:6 provides powerful insight into why atheists go on the offense with such intensity: "Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists, and rewards those who seek Him." So the very first step in true faith in God is the trust that He exists at all. This is the reason we will not slow down or give up.
FTE's own tested and proven books, soon forthcoming as eBooks, as well as its additional selections, will address the academic and cultural conflicts facing the young American mind. We anticipate that our next eBook will be Dembski's Understanding Intelligent Design, with Sean McDowell.
With Your Help, We Will Continue — Even Accelerate — This ProgressIf you give to FTE at this time, you can be assured that your money will be wisely spent and procure solid value and results. Will you continue to be a part of this unfolding story of successful worldview building? Or, if you're not a regular supporter, will you join with us at this year's end and become a member of the FTE support team? We can go so much farther, but we need your help to do it.
Thank you for prayerfully considering what you could do. We want to return some tangible thanks to you for your help. Please see the enclosed page and let us know how we can thank you.
Thank you so much, and may you be deeply blessed in 2012!
Because He lives,
P.S. Thank You! Your participation is critical in helping us realize these goals.
Tell us How to Thank YouFor your gift of $25 or more, we will send you the Tool Pen. For a gift of $50 or more, we will send you both the Tool Pen and the Metamorphosis DVD. For a gift of $150 or more, we will send you both, plus a copy of The Nature of Nature book.*
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To receive a thank you gift or gifts for your donation, please send us an email (to email@example.com) telling us (1) the amount of your donation, (2) which gift or gifts you would like to receive, and (3) your name and complete mailing address, including zip code.*
(You may also give a gift by credit card at 1-800-669-3410. While on the phone, please be sure to specify the gift or gifts of your choice and send us your name and complete mailing address, including your zip code.)
*Contribution receipts are required by law to be for the amount of the contribution less the amount of FTE's cost for the thank you gift or gifts you select. Gift offer expires on January 15, 2012.
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