Tim Challies conducted a survey of his readers to find out a little about their book buying habits. There’s some interesting information in the survey results, but what I found most intriguing were the results regarding which publishing houses his readers thought had high/low credibility. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that Tim’s readers rated Crossway and Banner of Truth as the publishing houses with the highest credibility, but I was a little intrigued to see how low Baker scored on that chart. And, when Tim asked which publishing house had the lowest credibility, I was a little startled to see Zondervan at the top by a wide margin, with IVP in third. I certainly wouldn’t have expected either of those to score that high (or low depending on your perspective). Tim suggested that this might have been from Zondervan’s connection to emerging/emergent authors, and one of the commenters thought it might have to do with the TNIV debacle. Still interesting results.
Two questions come to my mind from this survey. First, what does it mean for a publishing house to have “credibility”? I got the distinct impression from the comments on Tim’s site that “credibility” meant a publishing house that consistently produced books you thought were theologically sound. Is that how you would assess the credibility of a publishing house?
Second, do you have preferred publishers? Do you even notice who publishes the books that you like? If there are particular publishers that you like, which ones are they? Or, if you’ve never noticed before, just look at the books that you’ve read and enjoyed recently. Do you see any patterns?