sermon collection

Sermon Collection: Creating a Successful Collection

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

July 13, 2023

Should you publish a sermon collection? Preachers, ministers, and teachers have recorded their sermons since ancient times when the meaningful words of early Christians were recorded in the Bible. Today, many speakers and faith traditions choose to collect and publish their sermon collection as well, and self-publishing provides a convenient and cost-effective way to do this.

If you are considering creating and printing a sermon collection, read on for a few simple steps to help you transform a handful of sermons into a beautiful sermon collection.

Pick a Purpose for Your Sermon Collection

The first thing authors must consider is how they intend for the book to be used. The purpose of the book drives many aspects of creating sermon collection content, including which sermons to use, how they are organized, and what the theme of the book will be. To determine your book’s purpose, begin by asking, who will be reading this book?

  • Those who have heard the sermons may want to read this book to revisit treasured messages or confirm their faith through the sermon collection.
  • Non-members or those with little or no church background may seek a book with sermons that provide foundational information or content that answers key questions about faith.
  • Youth or children might be reading a sermon collection to learn about ways to grow and build their personal faith, ways to find meaning in Biblical stories, or to learn about important events in the Bible.
  • A targeted segment like parents, young marrieds, or seniors may be looking for ways to apply principles of faith to their specific stage of life.

Select the Sermons for the Sermon Collection

Once you know who the intended audience of your book will be, it’s time to pick the sermons that you want to include. Sifting through treasured and meaningful sermons with a specific purpose makes including and excluding content easier to do. And while not every sermon may be included, it is a good idea to choose a larger number than you expect to actually be able to publish so that you will have plenty of content for your book in case one or more ultimately proves to be not the right choice to include as you prepare for printing sermon collection content.

Who Should Author the Sermons?

Not every sermon has to be created by or even presented by the same person. You might decide to compile a book with teachings and wisdom from a single faith leader, choosing to focus on their thoughts and Godly perspective singularly. But your sermon collection can also include sermons from other teachers as well. You source your sermons in a few different ways.

1 Use the sermons from one person to allow their voice to be the consistent thread throughout the book.

2 Utilize primarily a single speaker’s words while integrating a few guest contributors. This will allow your book to lean into the teachings of the main speaker while benefiting from the thoughts and ideas of a few select others.

3 Collect sermons from various faith leaders so that the purpose of your book can be fulfilled with different perspectives that all speak to the target message of your sermon collection book.

4 Selecting a handful of clergy members and collecting sermon collection content from each in relatively even quantities can provide the readers with a balanced viewpoint while still offering continuity in the speaking voices.

Focus on Presentation of Your Sermon Collection

Depending on how you have sourced the material for your book, the way you prepare the content for printing will vary. But the final presentation of each sermon should be the same, whether you were presented with an edited, complete copy of the sermon or the content must be transcribed from a video or audio recording.

  • Decide on the standardized format you will use for each sermon. Since each sermon could be presented like a chapter in a book, consider utilizing a free book template to formalize the structure of the pages containing the content.
  • Think about if an introduction will be presented about the writer of each sermon. Consider creating one brief bio for each contributor to be presented on the first page of a collection that utilizes the work of multiple ministers. Or, for books that focus on a single contributor, you may want to write a more in-depth biographical sketch of the author of the sermons to provide the readers with context about the person, the faith tradition, or even the congregation(s) where the sermons were originally presented.
  • Look at the sermon’s themes and consider if any extra content will be required to help the intended reader understand how the sermons support the book’s purpose. Create this content to partner with each sermon, a few selected sermons, or larger groupings within the book.

Organize Your Book’s Contents

The next stage in printing sermon collection content is to decide how your book will flow. Look at all of the themes covered, topics discussed, and religious content that the sermons present to the reader. Put your sermons into the order that makes the most sense for your book’s purpose.

For example, books intended to present new information to the unchurched or unbeliever may begin with the basics of Christianity and culminate with tenants of the faith. A book created for youth or children may group sermons topically, making it easy for those reading or presenting the content to find the subjects needed within the book. Sermon collections that are crafted to honor a faith leader’s long service may order the content chronologically.

Choose the Style of Your Book

Depending on how your collection will be used, you will need to choose the format and style of your book.

  • Size: Choose the size of your book to match its intended purpose and audience. For portability, you may want to choose a smaller, pocket-sized book. Or, if the book will be used to teach others, a larger book can be created. Standard book dimensions are 5 ½ x 8 ½, 6 x 9 and 8 ½ x 11, but many printers will provide custom sizing options.
  • Binding: Select a binding that pairs well with how the readers will use it. Perfect bound books have a professional appearance and offer a spine location for including the book’s title, author or other printing information. Plastic Coil and Wire-O bound books are ideal for books that need to lay flat, while Saddle Stitch binding works well with smaller books that can be bound with industrial staples due to fewer pages.

Create an Appealing Cover Design

Don’t forget to craft a beautiful book cover design to give readers a glimpse of the book’s contents. Consider working with an expert cover designer that can help you create a cover that will grab the attention of your target audience.

Your cover should include:

  • A title that summarizes the focus of your book’s contents
  • The name(s) of the faith leaders whose sermons are included
  • A hint at the focus or purpose of the book
  • A suggestion or clear presentation of the faith tradition that the sermons support
  • A pleasing color scheme
  • A graphic element or photo that captures the feel or purpose of the collection

The back cover may include:

  • A brief bio of the primary sermon writer or writers
  • If the book will be sold commercially, an ISBN number and bar code to help retailers stock and sell your book.

Collaborate with a Printing Company

Printing sermon collection content is a fulfilling and meaningful job, but without a quality printer, the quality of your book may not match the value of the spiritual guidance included inside. Partnering with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress will ensure that your collection of sermons will honor the faith leaders who created the lessons with a gorgeous book that is sure to become a treasured keepsake.

Publishing Xpress has worked with self-published authors for decades, helping them print sermons and other religious content books that they keep, give as gifts to friends or parishioners, sell commercially, or use within their own faith tradition.

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