Guest Blog: Ryan Bott, Millennial Press

(I don't usually do two posts in one day but I'd already promised Annette I'd post her photos today. Then when I checked my mail, Ryan Bott of Millennial Press had sent a reply to a comment on another post. Since I think it's always great to hear the publisher's side of things, I decided to give you a two for one. I will address the questions about marketing that have been e-mailed and posted in the comments later this week.)

Anonymous comment on this post:
Thanks for the pictures, I wish I could have gone. I don't know how I honestly feel about Millenial Press, however. Their new series, a continuation of the same ideas that were presented in Mormons and Masons seems a little unecessary and could become offensive to some. Any thoughts?

Hello everyone, Ryan here with Millennial Press. I have some insights that may help "Anonymous" and others to better understand our new Setting The Record Straight Series.

1. "...a continuation of the same ideas that were presented in Mormons and Masons..."
Just one question: Have you read the any of the new books? Every book in the series covers a different topic. The only similarity between books in this series is their layout/format.

2. "...could become offensive to some."
Could you please expound on this a little more for me? We solicited the experts of each topic to expound on their area of expertise.
  • Susan Easton Black - Joseph Smith
  • Jack R. Christianson - Book of Mormon
  • Marcus H. Martins - Blacks & The Priesthood
  • Jessie Embry - Polygamy
If you care to research these individuals, you will find that each is VERY qualified to write on their area of expertise. I guess that if you find the documented truth to be “offensive,” then we are guilty as charged. Extreme measures were taken to make sure that this series wasn't offensive. That is why I have a hard time understanding your comment.

3. "...seems a little unnecessary..."
I find this comment quite interesting. Here is a link that I think you will find insightful.

Quote from the link: According to the bookstore's C.E.O., Sheri Dew, "The big-box retailers are saying, 'What else do you have? Give us more.' And 'Yes, if you've got values-based fiction, we love that. And by the way, your other fiction is selling. And what other books do you have that will really explain your faith, because people are coming and asking.'"

You may also be interested to know that Mormons & Masons recently appeared on Deseret Book's Bestsellers List.

I think if you understood the purpose behind this series, you would look at it differently. Before I share that purpose with you, allow me to quote another quote from the ksl.com link.

Kirk Jowers of the Hinckley Institute of Politics says, "I talked to people in Boston and D.C., in Florida, who are members of the church and that [the LDS religion] is now water cooler talk. People want them to talk about the church, and Mormons are famous, or infamous, for wanting to do that. So it's a great moment for the church."

This series presents historical timelines, and addresses questions that are typically (and not so typically) asked to Latter-day Saints about their religion. Our first goal is to better educate Latter-day Saints about their religion, so that they are better prepared for their "water cooler talks." I have been a member of the church all my life, and there are questions in these books I have never even thought of. It is only by the authors being the "authorities" on their topics that these unique questions are presented to them.

Our second goal that we hope to accomplish, with the national push of this series, is to educate Non-Members about what LDS people believe. People have heard enough about "what Mormons believe" from their pastors, preachers and ministers. Now it is time for them to hear the truth. And who better to share the truth than someone who has put many years into becoming an "expert" on certain topics?

"Unnecessary," "a continuation of the same ideas," "could become offensive to some." I hope I have convinced you otherwise. I am honestly VERY interested to find out which books you have read, and in what ways you feel they can "become offensive to some." Feel free to email me directly.

Kindest Regards,
Ryan L. Bott
Director of Operations
Millennial Press, Inc.


Anonymous said...

Sorry about the slight misunderstanding. When I said ideas, I honestly meant themes and I officially withdraw that and apologize for any miscommunication. I also will be sure to personally email Mr. Bott as this is something of a very sensitive nature and I have no interest in any arguments whatsoever.

Josi said...

I saw these books for the first time in the DB catalogue a couple weeks ago and was surprised that such books were being presented--but in a good way. I've been a member my whole life, and I can't answer a whole lot of questions, so for me, it's a releif to have the information compiled, rather than my having to hunt for it (which I won't do anyway, and when I do I often find things enough out of context that they are more disturbing than helpful)

I wish you guys luck, and I'm glad Anonymous asked this, because I had also wondered about the 'qualifications' of who had written them and now I feel even more intrigued by the idea.