End of days a popular topic with would-be authors

Self-publisher seeing influx of conspiracy, 2012 manuscripts

Michael Peck

A local book publishing company has tapped its way into a niche market that is booming: 2012 prophesies and end-of-days conspiracies.

“We’re looking at about 15 out of the 150 (books) we have in production currently,” said Marie Witt, manager of book production services at FriesenPress, speaking of conspiracy-themed manuscripts. “(And) we are seeing an increase as we’re going along now. People are gearing up for Christmas.”

Normally, FriesenPress will deal with two or three conspiracy manuscripts in a given year, Witt said.

“We’ll have about 20 by the end of summer, which is quite a bit for us.”

FriesenPress, a self-publishing company, doesn’t market itself to a specific demographic, which makes it rather odd that it’s the only local publisher seeing an influx of that type of manuscript.

Another self-publishing company in Victoria, First Choice Book Publishers, hasn’t seen any such submissions this year.

As for book stores, few operators find themselves stocking shelves with more conspiracy titles than usual.

Jim Munro, owner of Munro’s Books, confirms that point, but said such books come through in waves, often in the wake of a major global event such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Bolen Books owner Samantha Bolen has seen about a 20-per-cent increase in conspiracy books come available, but notes, “I wouldn’t necessarily carry all of those.”

Witt said the nature of self-publishing could be the reason behind the increase.

“In self-publishing, the author maintains full creative control over the content. We are currently seeing a surge in manuscripts dealing with the popular belief that the world will end in 2012.”

And there’s a push to get these books out to readers as soon as possible.

“There is an urgency to having these manuscripts published … so that people can use the information to prepare for the possibility of the end,” Witt said.

To peruse some titles, visit www.friesenpress.com.

ecardone@vicnews.com

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