Meet Scott Richert

Scott RichertDuring my four years at Michigan State University, I spent many hours roaming the aisles of the numerous (at that time) bookstores in East Lansing, building up a significant portion of the library that I’ve since moved to Washington, D.C.; Northern Virginia; Mecosta, Michigan; Rockford, Illinois; and finally (yes, finally, in every sense of the word) to Huntington, Indiana, the home of Our Sunday Visitor.

In my senior year at Michigan State, in a little Christian bookstore called Logos Books, I picked up a slim volume entitled In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Published by Our Sunday Visitor in 1990, that volume represents everything I think of as the best work of Our Sunday Visitor’s trade books division—profound yet accessible to the average Catholic (or educated non-Catholic).

In our move to Huntington in 2017, that book came home, in a sense, and brought us with it. Originally from Spring Lake, Michigan, I’ve lived all of my life here in the Midwest, with the exception of five years in exile at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. My degrees are in political theory, but I went to CUA for graduate school to study the political and social thought of the Church Fathers, East and West. My wife, Amy, our eight children, and I spent 22 years in Rockford, Illinois, where I was the executive editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture (motto: There are no political solutions to cultural problems) and head of Chronicles Books. During my last ten years there, I was also the Catholicism Expert for About.com.

My library has grown dramatically since I left East Lansing, and there are quite a few volumes from Our Sunday Visitor on my shelves. That’s a legacy that I’m proud to be a part of today, as I oversee the editorial direction of OSV’s books. As an OSV author, you should be proud of it, too.

About Imprimaturs

stamp

Pixabay

By Mary Beth Baker

As a Catholic author, you know that the books you write have the potential to be more instrumental in people’s lives than any other books they might read. You’re not just grappling with ideas or telling great stories, you’re sharing Truth—and that means you also have the responsibility to ensure that what you write is in line with the Church’s teachings. This is so important that the Code of Canon Law requires that many books written on topics of faith and morals be submitted to a bishop (either the author’s bishop or the publisher’s) for judgment before publication. At Our Sunday Visitor, we take this responsibility seriously, both for our authors and for our readers, and we submit many of our titles to our bishop for review and approval before publication. When the bishop gives a book his approval, this is known as the imprimatur, which means “it may be printed.”

According to Canon Law, books that should be submitted for imprimatur are prayer books, catechisms and catechetical works, and books on Sacred Scripture, theology, canon law, ecclesiastical history, and religious or moral disciplines. While some of the books we publish do not fall specifically into any of these categories and therefore do not require an imprimatur, OSV still seeks theological review of many of our titles before publication. We are deeply committed, with our authors, to publishing works that can truly do good and help people know, live, and love their faith better. If you have questions about the imprimatur or think that your book may need one, ask your editor. We will work with you to ensure that your book has everything it needs to be an authoritative, inspiring, and maybe even life-changing resource.

Did you know? Book sales benefit Catholics through the OSV Institute

logo_blackBy Jason Shanks, OSV Institute President

In 1915, the OSV Institute began as a way to reinvest money generated from publishing and printing activities back into the Church. As a good steward, OSV founder Father John Francis Noll felt that the money was not “his” and that all he had belonged to the service of the Church. Since then, countless parishes, dioceses and apostolates have benefited from his generosity.

Building on the legacy of Father Noll, in 1975, the OSV Institute officially received its name, as well as a more formalized program for the use of OSV’s funds. Since then, the organization’s main form of philanthropy has been distributing funds in the form of grants surrounding a broad set of criteria.

In May 2017, the board of OSV created and outlined a new vision for the future of the OSV Institute. This vision included going beyond grants to seed capital for new innovation, a greater alignment to OSV priorities, and a proactive approach to identifying needs and driving the priorities and projects of the Institute. Now, OSV Institute is able to maximize impact with the use of data and measurable outcomes, as well as the formation of think tanks and research-related initiatives. Unlike any other initiative in the Church today, OSV Institute has created a truly unique, innovative, strategic and forward-thinking approach that will drive the organization into the next hundred years. The three areas of special interest for funding are Unaffiliated Millennials, Hispanic Experience and Parent Project. Find out more at www.osvinstitute.com.

Meet production manager Chris Rice

selfie4

Chris Rice and granddaughter

I started working for this organization in January of 1980, when I hired on at Noll Printing, a commercial printing subsidiary of OSV.  The plan was to work for a semester, save some money, and return to college to finish my engineering degree.

Thirty-nine years later, I’m still not sure exactly where that plan went by the wayside. Even though I did, eventually, finish college on nights and weekends, I never left OSV.  There was no single reason, but a mix of interesting and challenging work, opportunity for advancement, and the care and respect, of and for the people I worked with, all contributed. Probably most important, though, has been the feeling that I, and everyone I work with, aren’t just making “widgets”. We aren’t just creating stuff to sell to make some money. We are doing something we believe in, and we want to help develop in others that same Strength that Comes in Knowing.

Besides, Noll Printing was an excellent university!  I worked at just about every job there was to be had in printing, from the warehouse to sales and marketing.  Then, in the early 90’s, when the position of Production Manager opened up, I “graduated” to OSV’s Publishing Division.

Here, my primary responsibility is purchasing the printing of our books, periodicals and other items, but that hardly paints the full picture. Between OSV’s constantly changing variety of products and the rapid technological advancements in the industry, it still feels just as much a learning experience as the day I walked in the doors, 39 years ago.

So, how does all this apply to you, the author?  I work with Acquisitions, Editors and Designers to put your words into the most appropriate physical format for your audience. Depending on the content, style and genre of your work, we can utilize a variety of trim sizes, cover treatments, papers and binding styles that enhance your prose and lay it before the reader in the most easily comprehensible way.  And, lest we forget that “non-profit” is a tax status, not a business plan, we must do it in the most economical and efficient way we can, while still preserving our reputation for quality.

To do this, we utilize a number of third party vendors along with our increasing capabilities to produce books digitally on our in-plant printing equipment. This gives OSV some fairly unique capabilities, and contributes to our ability to produce quality content quickly.

So, please, keep sending that quality content . . . I need the work!

Meet Mary Beth Baker

marybethbaker_250

Mary Beth Baker

Acquisitions Editor Mary Beth Baker started at OSV in October 2016. Mary Beth has worked as a book editor for a Washington, D.C.-based publishing house, an associate editor for a national daily newspaper, and as a writer and editor for a public relations firm. Prior to joining OSV, she spent some time in formation with a Dominican religious order. Her favorite topic areas include personal growth, individual formation, and youth and young adult issues.

Mary Beth holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Christendom College. A Navy brat with roots in Virginia, she now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When she’s not elbow-deep in a new manuscript, she enjoys playing the piano, writing, running, and traveling.

Mary Beth’s fav things

Saint: Thérèse of Lisieux

Hymn: “Adoro Te Devote” (Lyrics by St. Thomas Aquinas)

Bible verse: “Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn 2:5)

Meet Rebecca Willen

rebeccawillencrop

Rebecca Willen

Rebecca is a nerdy Catholic, book addict, Shakespeare fangirl, cat lover, amateur baker and musician.

She graduated from Christendom College, worked for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and freelanced as a copy editor and proofreader, before jumping at the chance to embrace her dream job and return to her Indiana roots.

In addition to unleashing her fountain pen as OSV’s new Associate Editor, she also works with the Catholic Writers’ Guild and manages the Catholic Writers Conference Live.

Her current hobbies are studying German (just because) and destroying other people’s diets through homemade baked goods [Ed. note: Her colleagues appreciate this].

Rebecca’s fav things

Animal: Cat

Food: Dark chocolate

Color: Purple

Shakespeare play: “The Merchant of Venice”

Alcohol: Bailey’s Irish Cream

Meet Tracy Stewart

Tracy Stewart photo.png

Tracy Stewart

Tracy is the webcast coordinator for Our Sunday Visitor, and works with authors and other speakers to spread the word about their work. She loves listening to authors talk about their books, so she considers webcasts a job perk, but please don’t tell her boss.

When she isn’t being a webinerd, Tracy likes to read, with one work of fiction, one non-fiction, and one Shakespeare piece always on her nightstand simultaneously. She suffers from chronic wanderlust and fortunately, so do her husband and son. She likes history, antiques, cooking and has a passion for all things Abraham Lincoln, especially anything related to his assassination. Her family has come to accept inevitable side trips to Lincoln-related sites whenever they travel.

Tracy’s fav things

Animal: Prairie dogs

Food: Potato chips (#dontjudgeme)

Color: Cranberry

Shakespeare play: Hamlet. No. It’s Titus Andronicus. Wait … definitely Romeo and Juliet. Unless it’s Richard III. Or maybe Othello.

Alcohol: Miller Lite or really, really expensive wine. (Usually Miller Lite.)