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Liturgical Restructures, Focuses on Digital Marketing – Publishers Weekly

Liturgical Press, a Catholic and ecumenical publisher based in Collegeville, Minn., is restructuring its staff and realigning responsibilities with the goal of enhancing its scholarly and pastoral publishing arms and growing its digital marketing reach.
Up first in a series of promotions, Hans Christoffersen, publisher of academic and monastic titles at Liturgical, has been named editorial director for the press. In his new role, Christoffersen is responsible for leading the acquisition of all books and periodicals and developing new audiences. A focus will be on capitalizing on the growing reader interest in trade titles on “spirituality, mysticism, and the wisdom of various monastic traditions,” he told PW.
“We especially look to proposals written for their contemporary relevance that are inspired by, or rooted in, Benedictine wisdom, and the tradition of the Hebrew prophetic imagination,” he added.
For the academic line, the press is prioritizing “first-class scholarship that is accessibly written for an educated, non-expert audience” in areas of ecclesiology, liturgy, the sacraments, and monastic studies, Christoffersen said.
Also in the editorial department, John Kyler, formerly liturgy and music editor, is now general editor for parish resources. He is responsible for acquiring pastoral book and managing parish programs as well as periodicals. Kyler reports to Christoffersen.
Liturgical is also sharpening its focus on digital marketing. In this vein, the press is launching a new website this winter and working with a digital marketing consultant to expand its customer contacts via email, social media, and both paid and organic search strategies. Digital marketing efforts will promote frontlist and backlist titles, with email outreach focusing primarily on new titles, according to the publisher.
Staff changes to the newly reconstituted marketing department include the promotion of Tara Durheim, formerly associate publisher for academic and monastic titles, to marketing director at Liturgical. Reporting to Durheim is Michelle Verkuilen, formerly associate publisher for the parish market who is now associate marketing director. Verkuilen’s new responsibilities include author support, publicity, and print promotions.
Additional changes to the marketing department include the promotion of Monica Bokinskie, formerly marketing graphic designer and manager, to creative manager, marketing. Brian Woods, formerly sales and marketing manager, is now sales director, and is responsible for all reseller channels and direct sales.
Finally, in his 33rd year at the company, director of Liturgical and publisher of the press' monthly publication, Give Us This Day, Peter Dwyer is retiring in June 2022. Aelred Senna, OSB, has been appointed publisher of Give Us This Day, effective in January 2022. Senna is part of the team that developed Give Us This Day, first as associate publisher for marketing and more recently as associate editor. Liturgical’s search for a new director to replace Dwyer launches this week.
“I am honored to have been a part of more than 3,000 books alone,” Dwyer told PW, calling the pinnacle “the success of Give Us This Day, a monthly prayer periodical we launched in 2011.”

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