Margaret wants to know: What shape would you like to see Loyola Press publishing in, say, ten years from now? Are there any new directions you want to encourage?
With unrelenting technological innovation, it is difficult to imagine what the publishing industry will look like next year, let alone what we will be doing a decade from now. That having been said, in this year of our centenary, there are some unchanging certainties for us.
Our mission is primarily catechetical – the Jesuits have charged us with helping parishes and schools in the faith formation of young people. It was, is, and always will be our focus and our passion. In ten years, I imagine that traditional textbooks will have gone away and that we will be delivering our programs in some digital form or other – quite possibly through a technology or device that is not yet imagined.
As far as our offerings to adults, (what we call our Trade Books), it is a hard fact that books – and not just in the religious area – are largely purchased by middle-aged women. While continuing to serve that very important audience, I’d love to find ways to reach out to a younger and more diverse demographic. More fiction? Graphic novels? Religious games?
We cannot put our collective heads in the sand and hope, like King Canute, that the tide will cease to arrive. This week, for instance, we have invited several guests to come to the Press to help us plan how to present the Spiritual Exercises in the digital environment.
Whatever happens, I want us to be brave and bold. With God’s grace, we will find new and exciting ways to serve our sisters and brothers.