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The Shared Mission of PubU in Nashville ​by Dave Schroeder

Wednesday, July 12, 2017  
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Adapt or Die: An Unchanging Message for a Changing Market

by Dave Schroeder, Vice President of Marketing, B&H Publishing Group; Lead of 2017 PubU brain trust, and Marketing/Publicity track leader


Between visits to multiple conferences this year at Bethlehem Pastors Conference, The Gospel Coalition, Exponential Church Planters Conference, Book Expo America, Unite (formerly ICRS), and even SBC, it is evident to me that God is at work! God is always doing amazing things but I am grateful for how he works through us as evangelical publishers. I have enjoyed getting to see many of you at these events and being reminded of the good work you are doing. Some of you I have known over ten years. Some of you I have just met. Yet, I’ve learned from all of you.


A German I met years ago when we were both traveling in Scotland told me “a stranger is merely a friend I’ve never met.” His words have never been truer as we remain great friends as almost two decades later. Many of you I count in the same tradition.


PubU is a time for us to come together as new and old friends to tackle some of our greatest challenges in evangelical publishing. The goal of PubU is to train, inform, connect, and inspire.


God’s Word calls us to unify as brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul’s encouragement is clear:


Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

(Ephesians 4:1-3)


I am grateful for each of you and also reminded that we are never alone in what we do.


We are in an ever-changing business and ministry environment where we cannot rely on how things worked in the past.



“Adapt or die” stated Brad Pitt’s character in the movie Moneyball to his baseball scouts who were looking around the room at each other in bewilderment. They were most comfortable with the old ways of scouting baseball players. He knew that going forward, they needed to be savvier than the competition. They needed new models for the future.


What we face is not unlike what Major League Baseball has gone through in the past 25 years. I remind people often that our competition is not other publishers. It is every other thing that distracts someone from seeing the value in reading a book or reading God’s Word. If we aren’t adapting wisely to our changing landscape, we will be left behind and other entertainment industries will fill the vacuum.



Despite the challenges, we have readers we can get to know better than ever today. We also have the ability to sell our print and online books/Bibles directly or through online retailer partners, and even from our own websites. Brick and mortar retail is obviously declining. This is the new reality we must acknowledge when we consider all of our disciplines. I have hope for brick and mortar retailers but we must be prepared for every scenario. The great news is that people are reading more than ever even though their buying behaviors have changed.


At PubU, we will address these changes head on and consider how we can adapt and apply them to our professional disciplines.   


I sincerely hope you will consider coming to PubU here in Nashville at Lipscomb University. For those who haven't spent much time in Nashville, you will love our city of cranes as we are barely keeping up with the growth.


What I’m most excited about for PubU is that we’ll be learning from each other and having a lot of fun while doing it. I also know we’ll benefit from Gabe Lyons as our featured speaker as he shares his insights on the Christian culture that we serve with our content. Gabe, with his writing and research partner David Kinnaman have had a tremendous influence on my perspective on Christian culture. In addition to Gabe, we are have a committed and talented Brain Trust who will be bringing in tremendous speakers. We plan on announcing these speakers in the next couple weeks.


Whether you are new to the industry or have been in it for decades, you’re going to benefit from this year’s PubU.


At PubU, the top evangelical publishing professionals come together to share the knowledge of their discipline and experience in how God uses evangelical publishers to impact our culture for Christ.


Together, we will address:

  • Issues with changing Christian Culture
  • How to lead in mobile working atmospheres
  • Digital trends in content usage as well as how to leverage readers online
  • Understanding the complexity of rights and data issues to maximize your content reach
  • How to market and sell to customers utilizing digital outlets
  • How the Bible influences all what we do whether we are an editor, designer, marketer, or lawyer
  • Celebrating the beauty and effectiveness of good design through packaging and marketing
  • Understanding how to tackle complex processes to make them simple for your own workflow
  • And more


See you in Nashville!


Dave Schroeder

2017 Brain Trust Leader of PubU



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