Wynn Wynn
Rebekah Guzman

Rebekah Guzman is a senior editor at NavPress. She’s been editing for over eight years and specializes in student resources, including YA fiction, Bible studies, and curriculum. An Air Force “brat,” Rebekah has traveled the world and lived in Germany, England, Guam, and Hawaii. She has since made her home in Colorado Springs with her husband, Ben, and daughter, Bella.

NavPress and the Economy


When it comes to dealing with the current economic crisis, NavPress is being proactive rather than just hanging on and hoping. We have solid projects in our pipeline and are sharpening our focus on our core mission as the publishing arm of the Navigators ministry. Consequently, we’re more selective in the types and quantity of products we publish as well as in the advances we offer authors.

These times are challenging for all publishers, including NavPress. Retail publishing in general is declining. People aren’t buying or reading books as fervently as they once did. While the economy plays a part in this shift, the larger reason is a move toward electronic delivery of information. However, this is nothing new. Publishing has changed the way it has delivered products before, just as the music industry has moved from records and CDs to downloadable music. Will books become obsolete? Of course not. Will this change the mix of how things are published? We think so.

NavPress recognizes these trends and has made some changes. Over the last two years, NavPress has been shifting from a bookstore and trade-only focus to adding Internet and church development channels alongside the trade. Marsha Pursley, Director of Church and Denomination Relations at NavPress, explains, “This will help us move from a primarily trade-oriented publisher to a trade and direct publisher, strengthening our direct side of the business. This is extremely important, especially given the trends in publishing.”

It’s also extremely important that authors develop their own promotional opportunities. They need to be proactive online, in blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. Successful writers will establish a platform, build a list of fans, find speaking engagements, and take advantage of media opportunities.

Now more than ever, publishers are looking for authors with built-in self-promotion. Renee Johnson, also known as the devotional diva, is an excellent example. Renee is a spirited speaker and writer to twenty-somethings whose Web presence and self-promotion attracted NavPress in the first place. Her first

book, Faithbook of Jesus: Connecting with Jesus Daily releases in March 2010.

Pressing Onward

Despite the economic downturn, NavPress is moving forward with some exciting new products. We were proud to announce Holiness Day by Day by Jerry Bridges won the 2009 Christian Book Award in the Inspiration & Gift category. Havah by Tosca Lee also has been named a finalist in the Religious Fiction category of the ForeWord 2008 Book of the Year Awards.

TH1NK, which publishes relevant, life-changing resources for sixteen- to twenty-one-year-olds, has also had some exciting new ventures recently. TH1NK launched in 2003 and has been among the most successful in the young adult genre, including fiction. TH1NK fiction authors include Christy Award–winner Lisa Samson and Christy Award–finalists Michelle Buckman and Jenny B. Jones, to name a few.

TH1NK is pleased to announce a brand-new series by Melody Carlson (coming summer 2010) that tackles tough topics for teens, such as date rape, homelessness, and more. Melody Carlson’s True Colors series was among the first YA fiction books in TH1NK and has sold over 285,000 copies to date. We’re delighted to continue working with Melody.

TH1NK is also pleased to announce a new series by Erynn Mangum (author of the Lauren Holbrook series—Miss Match, Rematch, and Match Point). Cool Beans, a modern-day retelling of Jane Austin’s Persuasion, releases in April 2010, with a second book in the series set to release in July 2010. Erynn’s ability to awaken the imagination through personal discovery, dynamic characters, and unexpected plot twists attracts readers of all ages.

TH1NK also recently debuted some new YA fiction authors. Laura L. Smith’s first novel, Skinny, released in September 2008. Her second and third novels will release in May and September 2010, respectively. Laura’s writing depicts true-to-life characters and relevant, hard-hitting topics, including eating disorders, sexuality, anger, and more.

We’re thrilled with the success of all our authors and are blessed to work with each of them. We look forward to more life-changing resources in the future.