I was in Atlanta this past week at the International Christian Retail Show with thousands of others interested in Christian books and Christian music and Christian gifts. As we stood in the aisles, one colleague reminded me of APA President Pat Schroeder’s comment that publishing is the only industry that doesn’t seek to create consumers. The tobacco companies do it. McDonald’s does it. (Those Happy Meals are hard to resist.) Publishers do some–but not much–to grow readers.
“But what about Harry Potter?” you protest. “Look, we’ve got a 12 million copy first printing! Biggest in history! Kids lined up at stores at midnight! Surely that is helping!” Apparently, not so.