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Thursday, September 04, 2008

You'll be Proud of the Lynne Spears Book

I'm an HR guy so this isn't a book review; that's not what I do. This is about our culture as a Christian company and why you shouldn't be concerned about this book at all. I'll be the first to admit it, I was one of those in our workforce who originally raised concerns about the book when word first leaked out internally that we were publishing it. Before there was an internal announcement of the book and its intended subject matter, many of us in the workforce jumped to the same conclusions as the general public that this was either a tabloid tell-all or apologetics for Britney's antics. Some of the internal subtitles were: "It's not my fault", or "See, I have two other normal kids", or "Scratch that, I have at least one normal kid". As with any instance where gossip occurs, it wasn't (behaviorally) our finest hour.

I wanted to be able to assure our workforce that this book was consistent with our values and culture, so I asked for an advance copy and got it. I'm glad I did. I've passed this same copy to two people close to me, both women, and asked them to read it. Both came away with the same impression; that Lynne comes across as sincere, engaging, and genuine. While there are some new details about the family's life and struggle, this isn't a tabloid tell-all. It's more about what happens to a normal small-town Southern family when thrust into the center of the tabloid universe.

Internally, everyone to whom I've spoken on our staff who's met Lynne is taken with her. She's reported to me to be genuine and authentic.

Since we're still a couple of weeks away from the street date that's all I'm going to say. Besides, we want people the buy the book! Just please be assured that nobody is more concerned with keeping us true to our culture and core values than am I, and I think we'll be proud to have The House logo on the spine of this book.

4 comments:

Vicki said...

But my question is, as a Christian, why do I want to read this book? I've no interest in the Spears family. Just because Lynn Spears is "sincere, genuine, and engaging" doesn't seem a reason to publish her story, other than, of course, to make money from the celebrity of this family. Is Lynn Spears a believer in Jesus Christ?

Brendan Cosgrove said...

I wonder how many people who eventually buy the book will be disappointed that it isn't more tabloid-tell-allish. I love the way you guys (Thomas Nelson) talk openly about things. For the first time ever, this week I checked to see who the publisher was before buying a book. Your open conversations have built a trust, with me at least.

Thanks.

Jim Thomason said...

Vicki,

Yes, she is a Christian and her faith is referenced throughout the book. Past that I can't say more pre-release about the content. I don't believe you have to be a fan of the tabloid culture and the Spears kids to find value in the book. Thanks for your comment! :-)

Jim Thomason said...

Brendan,

That's very kind and thoughtful; thank you so much. Its very affirming of what we're doing with both the brand and our corporate culture.