Noteworthy Decisions from the July 2012 Board of Trustees Meeting
By Marilynn Kulieke, Secretary, Urantia Foundation, Lincolnshire, Illinois, USA
IT and Social Media Roundtable
Urantia Foundation will host the 3rd IT Roundtable this October. Because of the growing importance of social media, the topics discussed at this meeting will include social media in addition to information technology. The invited guests will include representatives from Urantia Association International, the Urantia Book Fellowship, and TruthBook. The organizers also wish to invite four or five new participants who actively serve the Urantia Book project via IT and social media. Please send your resume to email@example.com if you would like to attend. We are looking forward to a productive meeting.
Lower Book Prices in Latin America
For the last few years the price of El libro de Urantia in Latin America has ranged from $29.95 to $100 despite a low selling price from the Foundation. Between tariffs and taxes, warehouse and shipping costs, and distributor and retail margins, the book has become too expensive for most spiritual book shoppers. In April, the price was lowered in an effort to bring down the prices in Mexico, Central, and South America. If this initiative is successful, the books could retail as low as $19.95.
New Book Initiatives
The Board approved new initiatives that will keep The Urantia Book foremost in North American bookstores, make translations more accessible worldwide, and expand penetration into the digital book market. Within the next year you will begin to see the fruits of these new initiatives as they are implemented.
Through the first half of 2012, book sales increased 12% over the corresponding period in 2011.
Russian Books Destroyed
Urantia Foundation began distributing the Russian translation of The Urantia Book in 1997. Thanks to the amazing work of Vitaly Kondratjev, over 15,000 books have been distributed from Siberia to St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2011, Vitaly retired after 14 years of service. Before retiring he arranged for distribution to be transferred to the largest spiritual book distributor in Russia.
In mid-January 2012 a fire destroyed the distributor’s warehouse and our entire inventory burned. The distributor was not insured, so we will be reprinting the book in Germany and looking for better ways to store and distribute The Urantia Book in Russia. Distributing books in Russia has been a labor of love financed by donations. If you have a desire to support this outreach, please contact Urantia Foundation.
Translations and Revisions
The French, Russian, Portuguese, and Spanish revision teams are proceeding according to plan and budget. Within a few years the French and Russian revisions will be completed. Ongoing translations such as the Chinese, Czech, Farsi, Hebrew and Japanese are moving forward. It is anticipated that the Chinese translation will be completed by 2017.
A translation into Indonesian is in the planning stage. With over 248,000,000 million people living in Indonesia, it ranks as the fourth most populated nation in the world. Ninety percent of the people over 15 years of age are literate.
Urantia Book Reader Survey
It has been nearly a decade since a reader survey was done. As sales increase in Latin America and Eastern Europe, the readership profile is changing. Within the next few months we will field a broad based survey to better understand the constituency and needs of the current reader community.
Building Usage Policy
As of July 2012 extensive renovations of the first and second floors of Urantia Foundation were completed. Urantia Foundation desires to make this historic landmark available to the Urantia Book reader community to further the purposes and goals for which the Foundation was established.
Reader groups such as Urantia Association International, The Urantia Book Fellowship, local groups and other non-profit Urantia Book groups are encouraged to use the building in their work. There are beautiful meeting rooms on both the first and second floors, including the famous Forum room, completely remodeled kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.
To learn more about the cost and availability of the building please contact Joanne Strobel at firstname.lastname@example.org
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