As Lighthouse Trails Publishing (the publishing arm of Lighthouse Trails Research Project) soon nears the end of our 10th year (10 years this coming March), we’d like to take a moment to ponder 2011, which was a busy year for us. It’s not easy being a small publisher in today’s western society where book reading is being slowly squeezed out of many people’s lives by the Internet, television, radio, and a host of other technological inventions. Not only that, small publishing houses must compete with the large houses that seem to have marketing budgets that keep them selling thousands, if not millions, of books. And many of the more established Christian publishers have been bought out by huge secular corporations giving their marketing budgets even more clout. An article in Christianity Today this past fall titled “HarperCollins Buys Thomas Nelson, Will Control 50% of Christian Publishing Market” is a case in point. HarperCollins bought Zondervan in 1988. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are Christian publishing’s two largest publishing house.
But in spite of the huge challenge it is for small publishers to stay in business, Lighthouse Trails is still here after nearly a decade. We believe that God has continued to provide for us; and we thank Him for giving us the wisdom to keep our overhead small, live and work as simply and frugally as we can, and never lower our standards from what we believe they should be just so we can sell more books. We’ll never be a Thomas Nelson or Zondervan (we think that might be a good thing considering their move toward contemplative and emerging), but we hope and pray we can be around another ten years and represent even more authors than we already have who have biblical and personal integrity .
Here is a recap of this past year:
In 2011, we published our second public domain book, Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires by Egerton Ryerson Young. It’s a wonderful collection of true stories by a Canadian missionary to the Cree Native Americans in the late 1800s. The stories are fascinating and inspiring, and we think our readers will gain much from reading this book.
We also published two biographies by women – Stolen From My Arms by Katherine Sapienza (with Zach Taylor) and In My Father’s House by Corrie ten Boom. Sapienza’s book is her story of how her young son was abducted, taken to a far away country, and how with the help of a Delta Force team she decides to attempt to get her son back. This is an edge-of-your-seat book. In My Father’s House is about the years prior to World War II in Corrie’s life. The book paints a beautiful picture of “family” from which today’s Christian families can glean valuable and eternally-lasting lessons. While this book was published a number of years ago by a couple top name publishers, we’ve been told this Lighthouse Trails edition is the nicest one that’s ever been done. We think it has more photos than any of Corrie’s other books – over 50 of them!
This fall, we published Roger Oakland’s biography Let There Be Light. The book had been published several years ago, but this new edition is about double that size with several new chapters and lots of photos. We’ve been getting some great reviews back on the book – it’s a hard one to put down, we’ve been told time and again. This book will challenge believers to stand strong in their faith and will capture the attention of non-believers, showing them what the true Gospel is and why it is worth believing.
In addition to the new books wepublished ourselves in 2011, we also added several products from other companies or ministries to our Lighthouse Trails online and catalog store. We want to say, we don’t just add products for the sake of adding products. Every single item has been chosen with much care, thought, and prayer, and always with the best interest of our readers in mind. One of the most exciting names we picked up this year was Canadian song writer and singer, Trevor Baker. Roger Oakland told us about him, and we came to love this brother in the Lord and his music immediately. He sings about many of the things that Lighthouse Trails Research writes about, and it doesn’t take too long listening or watching Trevor to know this is man after God’s own heart. You can listen to 30 second clips of all his songs that we carry on the store, and there is also a full Trevor Baker in Concert video on the store site – definitely worth watching. You won’t be sorry you did.
Harvey Yoder, a biographer, is a new name in 2011 to Lighthouse Trails. We now carry three of Yoder’s books, and every one of them is a book you will never forget. Heavy stories of people who are going through some kind of persecution: A Small Price to Pay (Behind Iron Curtain), God Knows My Size (Behind Iron Curtain), and A Good Difference (Kenya). Harvey Yoder (search here) is an excellent writer and captures the essence of life and faith in these difficult places.
Just recently we added two young people’s books by Patricia St. John: Treasures of the Snow (we also carry the movie) and The Tanglewood’s Secret. We decided to add these books when we learned that both books have a wonderful Gospel message. It has been our desire to build our children and youth section – a bit of a challenge for sure.
A new project we have just launched is our handcrafted wood-framed pictures with Scriptures. These are absolutely stunning and made right here in Montana by some of the Lighthouse Trails team. The photographer, Dan Morgan, is giving 10% of the proceeds to Understand the Times Bryce Lodge Orphan Home project. One of the new product lines that we are just getting started with is baskets made by the widows in Kenya. We should be receiving our first batch in the next few weeks. We are paying the widows a fair market wage to make these beautiful hand-woven multi-colored baskets, which we believe will improve their lives and give them the chance to support themselves.
In 2012, we’ve got some very interesting projects lined up so far. We will be publishing Nanci Des Gerlaise’s book, Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality. This apologetics biography is important and ties in with much of the evangelical church today. Not only is the evangelical church embracing a mystical spirituality through Native Spirituality, but many First Nations Christians are being led into a very spiritually dangerous situation by Christian evangelical leaders. This book addresses these issues.
We are also planning to release Berit Kjos’ book, How to Protect Your Child From the New Age and Spiritual Deception. When it is released, it will be worth the wait. Berit Kjos has a succinct understanding of spiritual deception in today’s world and how it is affecting children. We consider her work to the body of Christ vital and trustworthy.
Roger Oakland is working on a new book, one he is co-authoring with the editors at Lighthouse Trails. We’ll announce more about this apologetics book later in the new year. We’ve got some other projects on the burner and hopefully those will come to fruition in 2012. We’ll keep you posted.
Thank you to all of those who have supported Lighthouse Trails Publishing these past nearly ten years. We hope we can continue to be a publisher that you and your families feel good about and can trust. May God bless you, your loved ones, and your churches in this New Year with the truth of His Word and the power of His Gospel.
Lighthouse Trails Editors
P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Shepherd’s Bible Verse Tea, remember, you can send us your name and address with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and we will send you a free sample.