I grew up in a home with four boys. We were independent thinkers because our parents urged us to question everything from religion to politics. Back then I can remember my older brother and I each reading books that ignited our individual passions. He read books such as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. For myself, books such as The Stranger by Albert Camus, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird captured my interest. I was the seeker, my brother was the doer. Now, reflecting back, my brother pretty much followed his early reading and became a wealthy entrepreneur. I did much the same and though I, too, was entrepreneurial, money never was important.
Looking back over the past couple centuries, it is ideas from books that ultimately lead to what changes the world. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was the spark that fanned the embers of American democracy. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe brought the horrors of slavery to our nation and was said to have directly led to influencing a young Abraham Lincoln and ultimately the Civil War. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair told the story of the lack of safely in the meatpacking industry and was said to have led to the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, precursors to today’s Food and Drug Administration. And who can forget Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed which single-handedly led to a raft of auto safety standards.
The point is that books have been and will always be critical to how we live our lives and what we make of ourselves, both individually and as a people.
Lately there has been a lot of talk about new technologies that may someday replace the printed book. While that may trouble some, it will actually be good for disseminating book content. Books are going to do nothing but grow in their influence, whether that information is absorbed through the pages of a bound book, through an electronic book read on a tablet or listened to via an audio download.
Think about your own life. What books influenced you? Did they make a difference in your life? How might your life been different without them?
When we started Principia Media our founder, Vern Jones, said that he would rather publish one good book rather than several bad ones. Then he decided to put his beliefs out there for the world to see through his book, The Non-Religious Christian, which urges readers to think for themselves so they can find a faith that they can call their own.
We have other books currently in the pipeline and more to follow. Each will have a well thought through message, and many will be controversial.
Do you or does somebody you know have a book idea that will help others while exploring new thoughts? If so, click on the Let’s Talk About Your Book button on our home page. Our publishing program is devoid of so-called publishing packages that treat every book the same. As advertising legend David Ogilvy said in his landmark book, Ogilvy on Advertising, “we are looking for trumpeter swans who combine personal genius with inspiring leadership.”
By Dirk Wierenga, Director of Publishing Services