Christian Publisher of Christian Books

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How Twoedged Sword Publications Started

In 1995, I finished writing a book, Things which must shortly come to pass: a study of Revelation. Despite approaching many publishers of Christian books, I found that none would take the risk of publishing the work of a new author. I was told by one publisher that they were only interested in already established authors and that unless I became famous, I wouldn't find a publisher willing to publish my book. Having failed to find a publisher, I put the manuscript on the shelf and tried to forget all about it.

In 2003, I became aware of print-on-demand, and having looked into it, decided to publish my book under my own imprint of Twoedged Sword Publications. Since I had to purchase a block of ten ISBNs to publish my book, it occurred to me that there might be other Christian authors in a similar position, who had written a book but been unable to find a publisher. I was also becoming increasingly irritated by the lack of discernment shown by many publishers of Christian books. It seemed to me (and still does) that they were prepared to publish any 'Christian' book that would make them a good profit, regardless of whether the book was biblically sound or not. After much prayer, I advertised for authors and received several replies. Twoedged Sword Publications has now published over twenty books written by both new and existing authors, and there are other books in the pipeline. My hope and prayer is that God will use these books for His Own purposes and that He will guide the right book to the right person at the right time.

The Current Situation

Publishing books is the easy part. Selling them is much harder. Sales of our books vary from single figures in the case of the worst-selling book to several hundred for our best seller. Sales generally are slowly increasing. A few book shops have placed orders and sales are also being achieved through direct mail order. For Twoedged Sword Publications to be self-funding however, individual books need to sell in thousands and total book sales need to be in tens-of-thousands each year. We have a long way to go to reach these figures!

Since its start in 2003, Twoedged Sword Publications has been funded from the publisher's savings and occasional income. These funds have now dwindled to the point where a search for paid employment will be necessary early in 2006.1 This will inevitably slow the publishing work.

Two years of four-figure losses have caused us to take stock and, after much prayer, discussion and advice we have made two decisions:

  1. Change of Emphasis. Up until now Twoedged Sword Publications has published a broad range of Christian books, After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to limit the kind of books we will review and publish in the future, to those that are of an academic nature, or that have an element of controversy. I believe the Lord has led my thoughts in this direction, and it is no coincidence, I think, that these are both (a) the type of books I have most interest in myself, and (b) the kind of books that have sold the most copies.

  2. Publishing Fees. For all new manuscripts we have taken the decision to charge the author a fee to cover our costs and some of the time involved in setting up the author's book for publication. I intend to provide a tariff of costs on the website for information, although each manuscript accepted for publication will be individually assessed and the author provided with a fixed price quotation.

The Future

Since its conception, Twoedged Sword Publications has been a ministry of faith. I am thankful for the way God has led this enterprise. The future is in His hands and I continue to look to Him for guidance.

Paul Rose MA
September 2007

1 In March 2006, I found paid employment with a local engineering company. I thank God for answered prayer! Thank you to all those who have joined with me in prayer for this situation to be resolved, and also those who have helped in other practical ways. <Return to text>

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