Today we have another book that almost made it into our collection of Self-Published Geniuses, where we bring you news of authors with a vanity press book in which the author claims to have made paradigm-shattering discoveries, and announces his work by hiring a press release service.
We recently struggled with the same issue in Discoveroids: Self-Published Geniuses?, where we considered three creationist books by Discoveroid authors that wern’t (as far as we could tell) promoted by press releases. They were published by the Discovery Institute Press, the Discoveroids’ own, in-house “publisher,” for books their own people write which probably can’t get published elsewhere. Because we are scrupulous about our criteria, we decided to keep those Discoveroid books separate, in their own category.
The book that makes us re-consider the issue today was written by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Hambo doesn’t need a press release. He tells us about it himself in his own blog at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Ken Ham’s New Book Gospel Reset Now Available. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
After the death of renowned evangelist Billy Graham earlier this year, headlines appeared asking questions such as, “Will there ever be another Billy Graham?” Well, I don’t believe there will be another evangelist like Reverend Graham in our culture as it is today (more on why below). And that’s why I’ve written my brand-new book, Gospel Reset.
It’s strange that Hambo is writing about Billy Graham. As we pointed out in Ken Ham and Billy Graham, the two of them never met, and Graham never supported Hambo’s creationism. Anyway, here’s Hambo’s book at Amazon: Gospel Reset: Salvation Made Relevant. They say it was published by Master Books. Oh, it has one review, and that gives it five stars.
We’ll ignore the contents of the book. You already know what ol’ Hambo has to say on everything. Instead, we’ll consider the publisher. We’ve only encountered that name a few times before, always in connection with ol’ Hambo’s books. In one of our earlier posts, WorldNetDaily on the Nye-Ham Debate, we said:
The publisher is Master Books, described at their website as “the world’s largest publisher of creation-based material.” They also say: “Dr. Henry Morris and Tim LaHaye pioneered the formation of Master Books® in 1975.”
So we searched for their website — here it is: Master Books. They’re part of New Leaf Publishing. Their website says: “In 1996, New Leaf Press bought Master Books, also established in 1975 by the late Dr. Henry Morris and Tim LaHaye as what has come to be known as the largest publishing house in the world that publishes creation-based material exclusively. … With a strong vision and a powerful mission statement as its guide, Master Books stands uncompromisingly on God’s inerrant Word.” A link to their Submit a Manuscript page tells us:
Please note: We are not a vanity press, so we do not serve clients wanting print-on-demand (self-publishing) options or reprints. If you have already self-published your book and you are looking for a distributor, that is not a service we provide. If it is a self-published project you would like us to consider publishing, please submit an author proposal regarding it, making note it has been self-published.
So New Leaf isn’t a vanity press — although they will consider publishing books that have already been self-published. Their information about Master Books says essentially the same thing. Among their distinguished authors, besides Hambo, is Ray Comfort.
Hambo’s book isn’t self-published — strictly speaking — it’s in that twilight zone where books like those from the Discovery Institute Press can be found — which imitate the process of book publishing for creationist authors. Vanity press authors don’t pretend to be other than what they are, so they deserve more respect.
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