Being a CTS Rep is about so much more than simply filling up a book rack. It’s mission-based work where you are helping your fellow parishioners to deepen their faith and encouraging visitors to ask questions. Here are some pointers for your mission:
1. Read and Recommend CTS Titles
Have you ever been recommended a book by a family member or friend? The more familiar you are with CTS titles, the more personal recommendations you can give and that in turn will encourage people to buy. This also means you need to connect with your parish, getting to know your familiar parishioners so you know which CTS booklets they might benefit from.
2. Sign Up for the CTS Newsletter
Stay on top of the latest publications and recommendations by signing up to our newsletter. We’ll email you once a week with offers, seasonal recommendations, information about new books and support for your own faith, all of which is essential for CTS Reps. You can also make yourself familiar with various areas of our website – such as the CTS Recommends section, the New Titles page, and the Bestsellers page so that you’re always aware of what’s popular right now.
2. Consider Your Audience
How well do you know your parish? Try to cater the books you order specifically to your parish. Your parish might have lots of young families, or a dedicated student Mass, or perhaps your parish is passionate about evangelisation and passing on the faith. Once you know who your fellow parishioners are, you can choose books to suit them.
3. Smart Ordering
Avoid ending up with booklets that won’t sell by either ordering high quantities of proven hits, or smaller quantities of a wider variety of titles. Note down what sells and order more of those titles next time.
5. Start a CTS Reading Group
Increase the popularity of CTS in your parish by starting a CTS Reading Group. Share food or offer tea and biscuits to make people feel welcome, building one another up in the faith.
6. Keep the Rack Looking Good
If your rack is empty, messy, disorganised, or filled with dog-eared books it’s unlikely to draw interest. Move your booklets around regularly, make your bestselling titles more visible, and slash the prices of titles that aren’t selling to make room for new ones.
7. Stay Up-To-Date With the News
When something big is happening in the news, Catholic or secular, people will be interested in reading more on that subject.
8. Liaise with Key People
You’re the CTS expert in your parish, but Catechists or other parish groups may not be aware that there are CTS resources they could benefit from. Arrange a meeting, suggest some titles and work out a lasting relationship between that group and CTS. It’s also important to liaise regularly with your parish priest. What is his mission for the parish and how can CTS fit into that?
9. Don’t Lose Hope
It can feel disheartening if there is not much interest in your CTS display. Try not to lose hope: it is God’s work that you are doing, so He will ensure that it’s fruitful. Remember there may be fruits you can’t see and don’t lose heart.
10. Finally… Pray for the Mission of CTS
However you came to be CTS Rep, know that God chose you to serve him by serving your parish. He will not abandon you in this role. Pray that God will guide you and pray too for the mission of CTS, that through our work many will be brought to Him.