March 24th, 2008 07:23 EST
Catholic Publishers Face Financial Hardship
Media Advisory -- Despite news of financial hardship threatening the existence of some Catholic publishers, R.A.G.E. Media's president, Paul Nowak, is reassuring Catholics that the great literary treasures of their faith will not be lost, even if other publishing companies are forced to shut their doors. On March 20 John L. Barger, President of Sophia Institute Press, announced that the company was "threatened" by financial hardship and that the publisher was left "with an empty checkbook and overdue bills approaching $50,000."
"If I don't pay this soon, we'll have to cease publishing," warned Barger. "Catholics will no longer have access to the scores of books we've published by St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas," and other Catholic writers.
A similar announcement was made a year earlier, citing a crippling financial situation that prompted the publisher to ask email recipients to each donate a dollar to the company.
Barger's dire forecast of his publishing company's health is indeed troubling, especially considering that after having made similar announcements, another Catholic publisher, TAN Books & Publishers, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in 2005.
Paul Nowak, president of Catholic publishing company R.A.G.E. Media, sees the hard times experienced by other publishers as a warning, but not an apocalyptic sign.
"I cannot comment on the financials of another company, but Mr. Barger is incorrect on at least one point," said Nowak. "Catholics will always have access to the great Catholic literary treasures such as Aquinas' Summa Theologica and St. Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life - R.A.G.E. Media has ensured that with the Digital Catholic Library."
Nowak likens the Digital Catholic Library, a single CD-ROM loaded with 35 Catholic texts that users can print at home or read on electronic devices, to Gutenberg's printing press, calling it "the latest revolution in Catholic publishing."
"Just as the printing press made books more accessible to the masses, so will the Digital Catholic Library improve the public's access to great Catholic books - even if established publishing companies don't survive," said Nowak.
"For our other books, we use state-of-the-art printing methods that ensure our financial solvency, so even our new authors will know their book will stay in print," concluded Nowak. "And if need be, we'll purchase the publishing rights from other struggling companies to keep their books in print for future generations."
R.A.G.E. Media's products are available at www.DyingLight.com/store.