IVP - Strangely Dim - Welcome to IVP! (May I Take Your Order?)

November 28, 2011

Welcome to IVP! (May I Take Your Order?)

It happens so infrequently that I have occasion to toot my own horn, that I really must take the opportunity when it arises. Such was the case with some recent kind words from John Pattison, editor at Burnside Writers Collective and coauthor (with Chris Smith of the Englewood Review of Books) of the blog and forthcoming book Slow Church. I had inadvertently and unceremoniously outed John and Chris as having signed a contract to publish with IVP/Likewise Books, and John very graciously embraced the outing and announced the partnership on Facebook:

Well, it's official and officially public. Chris Smith and I signed a contract with InterVarsity Press/Likewise Books to write a "Slow Church" book. This is what I'll be working on the next seven months. (I'm excited that Besides the Bible is at IVP now too!)

Chris Smith followed it with a similar post:

Well, the proverbial cat's now out of the bag...
(Where DID that phrase come from?!?!)
John Pattison and I have signed on to write our SLOW CHURCH book for InterVarsity Press / Likewise Books!!! Excited to work with IVP, and especially to have David A. Zimmerman for an editor!

The first comment posted to John's status included a request and a question: "define 'slow church'" and  "why InterVarsity?" I'm happy to sketch an answer to the request: "Slow church" is a gestating movement--inspired by the "slow food movement" to recover the art of mealmaking and dining from the fast food industry--to resist the "McDonaldization" of the church and explore practices and perspectives that keep the church living and life-giving. That's my take; check out Chris and John's blog for the full story. As for "Why InterVarsity?" I'll leave that to John.



"Why InterVarsity?" Here are six reasons off the top of my head:

1. Philosophically, it's a perfect fit for "Slow Church."

2. The extra effort IVP goes through to get a book ready for publication.

3. IVP's reputation for keeping books on its backlist longer. (I'm guessing this can be attributed to #2).

4. We get to work with David A. Zimmerman.

5. They were great at shepherding us through the proposal/contract process.

6. Likewise Books is a great imprint, and they have published some of my favorite books of the last few years, including books by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, Andrew Marin, Sean Gladding, Tom Sine, Scott Bessenecker, and Mark A. Scandrette.

Chris and I were so happy about the prospect of publishing with IVP we never really considered shopping the book around.

In all honesty, I was happy and relieved that Chris and John didn't shop the book around, because I loved the idea of the book and thought it was a perfect fit for Likewise, and I didn't want any other publisher sniffing around it while we were processing the proposal. The plot thickened when, while John and Chris were reviewing the contracts, IVP happened to purchase the book-publishing program of Biblica Worldwide (read my post on that bit of news here), the publisher of Besides the Bible, which John coedited. So I was equally relieved to read John's comments on that development.

IVP is conscious of the sometimes complicated dual nature of our publishing program--we are a ministry that does business and a business that does ministry; our mission takes place in the arena of the publishing industry, and our publishing program speaks into the arena of the church's mission in the world. Navigating those tensions requires frequent introspection, and we welcome all the help we can get. So as much as I look forward to introducing Slow Church to the marketplace, I also look forward to letting it inform our publishing mission.

In the meantime, to John and Chris and Biblica Books I offer once again a hearty welcome to IVP, and to them and to you I promise never to ask, "Would you like fries with that?"


Chris Smith has begun a series of daily Advent reflections at the Slow Church blog. Get started here and check back daily for posts throughout Advent.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at November 28, 2011 11:48 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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