Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The New Catholic Answer Bible (I'm Co-Author of the Apologetic "Inserts")

I have a new book out (well, kinda sorta; let me "splain" . . . )

Our Sunday Visitor has just published The New Catholic Answer Bible (on March 30th, according to the amazon.com page). This is an expansion of The Catholic Answer Bible (see amazon and OSV pages).

The older work was published in 2002. It is the NAB Bible along with 22 two-sided "inserts" on apologetic topics, or 44 total articles, written by yours truly. They contained "more than 800 references to Scripture and the Catechism." It was a bit of a bummer that this work did not include my name anywhere in the Bible, nor even in the OSV or amazon pages for the publication. No one knew that I wrote the notes (!); that is, unless they happened to frequent my website, and saw that this was my work. This was particularly disappointing because, though I received a very generous one-time payment for this writing, I no longer receive royalties, and at least some further name-advertising would have been most helpful.

But better late than never. Now that "oversight" has been corrected. The new Bible contains double the number of one-page apologetic commentaries: 88 instead of 44, with the additional ones written by Paul Thigpen, editor of The Catholic Answer magazine, and fellow contributor to the testimony book, Surprised by Truth (edited by Patrick Madrid). My name is now on the back cover and on the title page. The back even mentions my two books published with Sophia Institute Press, which is pretty neat for another publisher to do. The main page for Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) still lists the older work as a "Catholic bestseller": one of only seven, at least as of today. The new Bible isn't even yet listed in the OSV catalogue.

If the new version sells as well as the old, then the "advertising" of my name will come in real handy, as I continue to struggle to meet my bills (I have four children and own a house). Half of my income comes from royalties and donations; the other from my seven-day-a-week newspaper route (which is increasingly physically-exhausting me because I now work 70-80 hours every week). I would ask those of you reading this to please prayerfully consider becoming a monthly supporter or a generous one-time contributor if you think my apologetic and evangelistic work is important. If you don't, then by all means, don't support it. I'm only asking those of you who do think it is worthwhile for teaching purposes, to consider this. You share in this work if you financially support it, because you literally make it possible. Thanks for bearing with my "pitch."

Meanwhile, my two books with Sophia Institute Press, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism and The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants, have recently also been added to the Catholic Answers book catalogue, (see its pages for Biblical Defense and Catholic Verses), which has been a great blessing indeed, for further "free advertising."

This development seems to be having a fairly dramatic effect on my book sales. When I checked my sales ranks on amazon today, I discovered the highest-ever rank that I have seen for my first book, and also for my self-published second book. The third is doing very well, too. All are under the 50,000 rank, which is considered very good -- so one of my editors told me (the lower the number the better; number one means it is outselling all other books on amazon):

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (Sophia, 2003; originally self-published in 2001): 5,734
More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism (AuthorHouse, 2002): 49,740
The Catholic Verses (Sophia, 2004): 29,714

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