FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Christian book publisher, Ark House, has announced it is celebrating 20 years of producing Christian books.
The publisher, which commenced its operations back in 2003 with one single advertisement calling for new authors, has now published over 1,300 titles since its inception.
“Ark House stared with very humble beginnings,” says Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, the Christian media company that oversees Ark House.
“We started book publishing because at that time, we were the owners of Australia’s two major Christian magazines, Alive and Christian Woman, and we saw the need for a Christian publisher that was not just interested in theological-type books. We wanted to create fiction, biographies, and titles that appealed to a really wide array of Christians.
“From that one ad, the manuscripts began to roll in, and one after another, we began to produce Christian books.”
Matt said that the company had an advantage in that it already had graphic designers on staff and so they were able to pivot into book layout without too much trouble.
“Being in the Christian magazine market certainly helped us have a lot of the technical knowhow in place to manage the intricate design process,” Matt said. “However, the legal and distribution side of the business was a minefield that took a lot of work to navigate.
“Stock holdings were another massive challenge as a young company. As our catalog grew, so did the amount of money we had tied up in books that were printed and warehoused. There was no print on demand for the first 10 to 15 years of our existence, so keeping stock of our growing catalog was a massive challenge. We simply had to have stock on hand to be able to support our distributors, as well as retailers and authors.”
Ark House has gone on to win the Christian book of the Year awards on two occasions, as well as being finalist a number of times. Its real strength, though, it says is in helping new and little-known authors get a start in the book world. In addition, given they are not self publishers, these authors then have a powerful imprint on their book, which gives them immense credibility.
We really see ourselves positioned as that Christian publisher that feels its calling is to give authors an opportunity”, Matt says.” While we have to first assess every manuscript that comes in, given we won’t just place our brand on any manuscript, we do try and work with a wide range of authors.
“Traditionally, publishers’ doors are closed to new authors, forcing most to have to go down the self publishing route. However, we don’t believe that is the best route for authors, and so we have developed programs that allow us to work with such authors so they have a powerful, reputable publishing imprint on their books and are not forced down a self publishing pathway.
For more information, visit www.arkhousepress.com.