From a reader:
I’ve tried to get an imprimatur from my Bishop several times but I haven’t received a response. I am publishing a devotional with reflections on the Old Testament. Is it sinful for me to publish it without an imprimatur?
Canon 826, §3 says pretty clearly that books of prayer “for the public or private use of the faithful are not to be published without permission of the local ordinary.” It does not introduce the concept of sin in doing so, but the prohibition is strong.
The lack of a response from the bishop may be disappointing, but there may be good reasons for it. In a larger diocese, the bishop may have delegated the task of reviewing books and other items to a priest or a theologian. The task of granting permission may have been given to the Vicar General or an Episcopal Vicar (who are also local ordinaries).
I suggest submitting the book again, but to the Vicar General. Otherwise, call the chancery office and ask who who reviews religious books for publication.
Another approach would be to entrust the publication of the book to a Catholic publishing company. Ask them to work through their normal channels for ecclesiastical approval.