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As I read the latest issue of Christian Retailing, I came across an article about the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit. The article described the traffic at the show as “light”. I think that is a polite way of saying it was almost empty.

I’ve been to shows like that before. Vendors practically begging people to come to their booths and customers wandering the venue that seems even larger when there are hardly any other people walking around.

Several years ago our store attended the RBTE as both an exhibitor and customer and the venue was bustling. We didn’t do much business but it seemed pretty healthy. The one thing that I wasn’t happy about was the Catholic Book Publishers Association honoring of dissident Catholic Mike Leach with a lifetime achievement award. I heard that this wasn’t the first time dissidents had been honored at the show and it was the reason we never went back. Several other Catholic store owners that we talked with after the show also said that it was the first and last time they would attend.

What many publishers and groups still don’t seem to get is that YOU DON’T POISON YOUR OWN WELL. Why is this such a difficult concept?

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