Zerubbabel Focus: The Zerubbabel Press Web Site
The Zerubbabel Press Web Site
by Joanna Coatney
In the last issue of The Intercessor, I introduced myself and told you how I came to be living and working in Boone and described a little about my role in the ministry. I promised to delve a little deeper into some of the projects God has been working on through Zerubbabel, and so in this installment I am going to describe how the Zerubbabel Press Web site was created, what we have achieved and where we hope to be in the near future.
Zerubbabel Press is the publishing arm of Zerubbabel Inc. Zerubbabel Press owns the rights to several of Norman Grubbs books. We have already republished Who Am I?, The Law of Faith, Yes, I Am, God Unlimited and Once Caught, No Escape. At Zerubbabel Press we continue to sell these books, but we also continue work on republishing books by Norman which are still out of print. (We are currently working on republishing The Spontaneous You.) Another function of Zerubbabel Press is to produce The Intercessor which is printed quarterly. The goal of the Zerubbabel Press Web site is to make The Intercessor available to a larger audience and to offer our books and booklets in an online store. We also hope that anyone searching for material on Norman Grubb will find our site and have access to his books and material and to articles and books written by others who have applied what Norman revealed as the mystery hidden from the ages to practical daily living. In essence, we want to provide answers for desperate Christians searching for a way to live the Christian life. One of the first tasks in getting this project off the ground was to find a web designer. God blessed us with a very talented, faithful and generous designer who has proved invaluable, not only with this project but with many others, too.
After deciding on a template for the site, together with the designer, we began laying out the format for each section of the site. This meant deciding what information we wanted to include and where and how we wanted it organized. This is not as straightforward as you would think but was one aspect I found very interesting. Specifically, I liked the challenge of thinking about how people use Web sites and how to build an effective site that is well organized and easy to use. Not only did it have to look good, it needed to be simple enough so that people would not be put off by having to click too many times to find what they wanted.
One of my responsibilities throughout this stage was to scan in back issues of The Intercessor, which was quite time consuming. With almost 60 issues to date, I had my work cut out. If anyone has done much scanning, they will know that it is never a straightforward task! I also scanned in images and text for the online store. This content was given to the designer who incorporated it into the site. One of the fun parts of this project was to consider the design and look of the site. We played around with a few ideas, colors, backgrounds, images etc. before we settled on the final look. The final product looks attractive, professional and well organized.
As well as The Intercessor section and Online Store, we also incorporated an About Us section where people could read about the ministry and about Zerubbabel Press. Also, as an extension of this page, there is a comprehensive biographical page on Norman. Other functions of the site include a simple subscription form for people to sign up to receive The Intercessor, a Pass It On link to tell friends about the site, a Words To Live By sign-up form to receive weekly devotional emails and a donations facility which provides an easy way to make donations to Zerubbabel using PayPal or a major credit card.
Of course, not everything has gone smoothly, as you might expect. We ran in to some issues with electronic rights to some of our material. This is still in the process of being resolved. Until then, The Intercessor section is not fully functional. You can see a table of contents for each issue of the magazine but you cannot yet read, download or print any of the articles. We are working on having these functions available in the next few months.
The rest of the site is fully functional. You can make purchases in the online store, make donations, subscribe to The Intercessor, sign up for weekly devotionals and tell a friend about the site with an automated email.
In the near future we hope to add our new Norman Grubb CDs to the Online Store (previously available on audio cassette) as well as a newly digitized DVD of Normans teaching. We have also discussed adding a ZNews section to the site (the daughter magazine of The Intercessor written for young children).
So until next time, get online and explore the site for yourself. You will find us at www.zpress.org. Any feedback and suggestions are welcome. Enjoy!