|2010-2011 Radar Archives|
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This roundup of reports by other media is provided as a service to Christian publishing and retailing professionals and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Christian Retailing.
January 4, 2012
'Spanking' book controversy grows: Controversy grows over pro-spanking book after abuse deaths.
Solo album offers consolation: Sanctus Real lead singer Matt Hammitt's solo album, “Every Falling Tear,” is “meant to touch and console during the hardest of times.”
Parenting book under fire: A Christian parenting book has come under fire after the deaths of three children from abuse.
Hell made big news: Hell "made a huge splash in the book industry" in 2011, "jump-started by a promotional video from one of the nation's most influential evangelicals (Robe Bell)."
Christian fiction writer's success: Melanie Lee Dickerson is seeing success with her second novel, “The Merchant’s Daughter,” published by Zondervan in November and just released for e-readers.
Novelist, 12, makes debut: Twelve-year-old Kaden Hurley’s debut novel, “Elves of Zeoch: The Last Two,” has been released by Destiny Image.
Fred Hammond's new music: “I Feel Good,” a new song from Fred Hammond’s forthcoming album, is “a sunny, rhythmic, harmony-filled tune of affirmation of joy even in trying times.”
Music festival under threat: Changes in the music industry and the downturn in the economy took a toll on one of the longest-running Christian music festivals.
Writer opens own bookstore: Best-selling British children’s author G.P. Taylor (“Shadowmancer”) has opened his own bookstore in his hometown of Whitby.
Pastor pens healthy living guide: Pastor Steve Willis wrote “Winning the Food Fight” as a guide for everyone from parents to school cafeteria workers and civic leaders to ministers about the life-threatening urgency to adopt good nutritional habits.The Charleston Gazette
December 21, 2011
New faith film coming: “Brother’s Keeper,” a Christian faith-based film, is expected to reach theaters nationwide in the fall of 2012.
Climate book’s lukewarm reception: Katharine Hayhoe's book for fellow evangelicals, "A Climate for Change," “sells tepidly because Christian bookstores won't stock it.”
Ex-Newsboy on tour: Former Newsboys bass player Phil Joel is back on the road with his The deliberatePeople Tour.
Inside The Story Christmas: A multimedia concert experience over a year in the making, The Story Christmas spectacular brings award-winning artists across all major labels into collaboration with bestselling authors Randy Frazee and Max Lucado.
Profile of Sandi Patty: Gospel diva Sandi Patty is “the most awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history.”
Tim Tebow’s book ‘score’: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, a sensation thanks to his winning ways on the football field and his controversial gridiron prayers, “is scoring in bookstores, too,” with his Tyndale House Publishers autobiography.
Rainbow store fades out: Rainbow Christian Bookstore, part of the Lewisburg, Pa., community for almost 20 years, is closing.
LifeWay pulls cancer Bible: LifeWay Christian Bookstores has removed a Bible from its shelves because the Bible helped raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which in turn "funds Planned Parenthood" breast cancer programs.
The Story concert tour: Highlights of the entire biblical saga, from first chapter to last, are the basis of “The Story,” a condensed version of the Bible recently developed into a concert tour.
BarlowGirl offers hometown help: Dove award-nominated band BarlowGirl performs a hometown benefit concert.
Novelist Amy Tang interviewed: A Stanford-educated biologist researcher-turned-novelist, Amy Tang writes "romance with a kick of wasabi."
Children’s author’s ‘carol’ gift: Author Sally Lloyd-Jones says her children’s book, “Song of the Stars,” is “sort of like a Christmas carol I’m giving back to God.”
‘Here’s Hope’ Bible withdrawn: LifeWay Christian Resources, which sells the “Here’s Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Bible,” pulled the book from store shelves at Walmart and other retailers, because some of its proceeds went to a charity with ties to Planned Parenthood.
Singer’s birthday surprise: Nicole C. Mullen, a Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning Christian contemporary singer, performed at a special 18th birthday party for Molly Hess, born with cerebral palsy and unable to verbally communicate.
December 15, 2011
Store closing after 30- years: Sonlight Books in Sheybogan, Wisc., marks its 30th anniversary.
Prayer walker visits store: Berean Christian Stores hosts a book signing for Carol
Cruise, whose “Cross Walk: An Amazing Journey of Faith,” tells of her
eight-year, 10,000-mile “prayer walk” around the perimeter of the contiguous 48
'Laughing through the tears': Comedian Chonda Pierce “has learned to laugh through the tears.”
Store for Hispanic Christians: Owner and Manager Josephine Beintema has opened Inspirations, the first Christian bookstore to serve Strathroy, Ontario, for several years.
Casting Crowns leader's 'illusion': For Casting Crowns leader Mark Hall, “fame is such an illusion.”
NewSong's big seasonal hit: The story behind NewSong's big seasonal hit, “The Christmas Shoes.”
Hawk Nelson's 'mellow' sound: The members of Hawk Nelson “win over most audiences with their mellow pop rock sounds.”
Store spotlights 'Courageous' star: A Christian bookstore arranges for one of the stars of “Courageous” to speak at a local church.
Downhere singer's Queen gig: Marc Martel, leader singer of Christian band Downhere, is a contender for the vocalist slot on The Queen Extravaganza Tour, taking the late Freddie Mercury’s spot in the group being put together by Queen drummer Roger Taylor.
U.K. Store faces closure: A 54-year-old Christian bookstore in England is struggling to stay in business.
Romance novelist's personal story: A mother of two grown children, award-winning inspirational romance author Tamera Alexander navigated the corporate world before she began writing full time.
Christian artists' Christmas music: A review of Christian hitmakers offering their takes on Christmas.
Mandisa addresses abuse: Christian singer Mandisa is “addressing her demons of childhood abuse and living life to the fullest.”
Writer explores biblical womanhood: Rachel Held Evans' experiment in following literally some of the Bible’s teachings —which she intends to chronicle in a forthcoming book tentatively titled “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”—“changed her relationship to the Bible and deepened her faith.”
Facing the Internet challenge: The Bible and Book Center in Baton Rouge, La., is featured in a report on brick and mortar stores' struggles against Internet competition.
Newcomer to Christian fiction: Aaron L is a newcomer to Christian fiction, "but he is not new to anything related to art and all things creative."
Christian video games released: A Christian video game publishing company has released at least seven new games in 2011.
November 30, 2011
Chonda Pierce’s movie moves: Comedienne Chonda Pierce has appeared in three movies this year.
Young novelist offers advice: Christian fiction writer and student Noelle Marchand encourages young writers “to not discount yourself.”
Michael Card, Bible teacher: Christian artist Michael Card says that, whether as a songwriter, singer or author, he is following his calling to be a Bible teacher.
Amy Grant’s new album: Amy Grant is due back in the studio soon to record her first full album of all-new songs in more than seven years.
Fantasy-writing family’s trip: Father-and-daughter YA fantasy authors Bryan and Amanda Davis have made the 75th stop in their 10,000-mile Crossing America tour.
Store celebrates 10 years: Dalton’s Christian Bookstore in Waynesville, N.C., is “putting 10 candles on its birthday cake this year.”
Stores closes after 30 years: The final chapter in a local Christian tradition closes when the Gospel Shop bids farewell after three decades of serving the retail needs of clergy and lay people across Delmarva, Del.
‘Machine Gun Preacher’ signing: Sam Childers, a self-proclaimed former "scum bucket" turned preacher, signs copies of his book, "Another Man's War: The True Story of One Man's Battle to Save Children in the Sudan,” recently turned into the film, "Machine Gun Preacher.”
From retail to writing: For former retail executive Christy Bowers, becoming a full-time writer was “one of those God things.”
Book addresses Christian consumers: Laura Hartman's “The Christian Consumer'” offers “four basic considerations to consume in such a way that one honors God and generates delight.”
Christian bestsellers in ‘WSJ’?: Christian titles could start appearing on the bestsellers lists of ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ following changes in the database used.
Michele Bachman’s Family visit: Presidential hopeful Michele Bachman signs her new autobiography at Family Christian Stores in Waterloo, Iowa.
Moviemakers are ‘afterthought’ authors: “Courageous” makers Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick have become best-selling authors, “literally as an afterthought to their filmmaking.”
New store’s broad mix: Newly opened The Source Books & Gifts in Huntsville, Ala., offers a “mixture of the apparently secular with ancient and modern spirituality from both Christian and non-Christian authors.”
Novelist avoids ‘awkward’ style: Melanie Dickerson's novels contain “a natural weaving of faith and teaching into the stories that doesn't stick out as awkwardly obvious as some Christian novels.”
Store hosts Casting Crowns: Cedar Springs Christian Store in Knoxville, Tenn., hosts Casting Crowns for a meet-and-greet.
November 16, 2011
Faith films 'in vogue': A nuanced look at Christian spirituality, as in “The Way,” seems “to be in vogue these days.”
HarperCollins' Nelson move: HarperCollins, which runs publisher Zondervan, will have a 35-40 percent share of the evangelical Christian publishing market after acquiring Nashville-based Thomas Nelson.
Christian actor's health crisis: 'Hercules” and Christian movie actor Kevin Sorbo's new book tells how he ignored a warning from God and nearly died.
New store for Hispanics: Yolanda Villa has opened Shalom Christian Bookstore Dodge City, Kan., to serve the area’s Hispanic Christian community.
Amish writers discuss their work: Three Amish fiction writers discuss their work.
Nelson purchase, digital consolidation: HarperCollins’ anticipated purchase of Thomas Nelson is intended to “get ahead of anticipated consolidation in the industry and pool resources related to the digital age.”
Oil workers outreach tool: “God’s Word for the Oil Patch,” a special edition of the New International Version for oil industry workers, has sold more than six figures.
Billy Graham's 30th book: Franklin Graham calls “Nearing Home,” the 30th book by his father, evangelist Billy Graham, “a how-to book on finishing life well.”
Child discipline book controversy: Michael and Debi Pearls’ book on child discipline, “To Train Up a Child,” is the center of controversy.
Mercy Me's 'overnight success': Mercy Me is enjoying “the longest overnight success in history.”
Store survival needs prayer: Survival for one of Canada’s largest faith-based businesses still involves a lot of prayer says Michael Easton, second-generation owner of Christian Book and Music in Victoria, B.C.
'Left behind' movie remake: “Left Behind,” the faith-based, action-packed book and movie series about the End Times, is getting a film reboot.
Honoring the KJV: The King James Bible is “a work of literary and spiritual genius.”
Pastor-author profiled: A profile of author and pastor Wayne Cordeiro.
Celebrating ten years' sales: Mary Paul hosts an open house to celebarte her tenth anniversary as owner of Covenant Christian Resource Center in Beaver Dam, Wisc.
'Praying the News': Craig von Buseck, ministries director for CBN.com, the website for the Christian Broadcasting Network, is co-author of "Praying the News: Your Prayers are More Powerful than You Know."
Canadian stores pursue personalization: Christian stores in Canada have installed personal engraving machines to help grow their gifts business.
Author discusses media storm: Author Michael Pearl discusses the “”false image” gucven to his book on child discipline by media accounts linking it to the deaths of three children.
The National Post
New homes for old books: The Theological Book Network helps find new homes in the developing world for discarded theological study materials.
Christian music label sold: Universal Music Group is buying EMI Group’s recording division, which includes EMI Christian Group, home to Christian hit makers including Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman.
·Industry Radar for the week of November 2, 2011
Sequim store changes hands: Joe Mangiameli and son John have taken over The Good Book in Sequim, Wash., from Christine Rich, owner for 13 years.
'All kinds of Christian fiction': Author Jenny B. Jones says “there's something for everyone in Christian romance fiction, especially if you prefer a story where the bedroom door stays closed.”
Brandon Heath is “the closest thing there is to a rising superstar in contemporary Christian music these days.”
Switchfoot's 'Street 'n' Greet': Grammy-winning rock band Switchfoot is visiting select LifeWay stores for a “Ticket Servant Street ‘n’ Greet” to promote new album, “Vice Verses.”
Store owner seeks office: Michael Osborne’s Our Father’s House Christian Bookstore in Glade Spring, Va., is doubling as the campaign headquarters for run as an independent candidate for Southwest Virginia’s 5th District seat in the 100-member state house
Digital piracy hits Christian music: Over the past eight years, Christian music publisher Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing has downsized from more than 60 employees to 20 “due in large part to lost sales and royalties for their songwriters as a result of digital theft.”
Music videomakers' feature debut: “October Baby,” the first movie from brothers Jon and Andrew Erwin, award-winning makers of Christian music videos, has released in theaters.
Christian novelist's 'intelligent tension': Christian novelist Debbie Viguie writes “with an intelligent tension that keeps the reader glued to the page.”
Pastor pens food guide: Pastor Steve Willis has authored “Winning the Food Fight. Victory in the Physical and Spiritual Battle for Good Food and a Healthy Lifestyle,” with a foreword by British TV chef Jamie Oliver.
Long-time Alabama store closes: Gadsden Christian Book Store in downtown Gadsden, Ala., is closing after 32 years
'Love Wins,' 'love note': Rob Bell's controversial “Love Wins” is “a love note to and about Jesus the Christ.”
'Heaven' gives people peace: People's need for peace in childlike faith is what is driving sales of best-seller “Heaven is for Real,’” says author Todd Burpo.
·Industry Radar for the week of October 12, 2011
Brothers make 'niche' films: “Courageous” actor Kevin Downes and his brother Bobby have made 11 films—including 2000’s “Mercy Streets” with Eric Roberts and 2002’s “Time Changer”—for the niche Christian-entertainment market.
Store sued over loan: A bank has filed suit against a Christian bookstore in Swansea, Ill., alleging it defaulted on a $130,000 loan.
Faith-based films succeed: Box office results show “the power of faith-based films at the multiplex “
'Courageous' makers thrilled at response: Sherwood Baptist Church leaders are thrilled by the response to their new movie “Courageous.”
Book explores pastor's doubts: “Not Sure: A Pastor's Journey From Faith To Doubt” is the story of “a pastor who used to have all the answers.”
'Courageous' shows 'growing sophistication': It’s interesting to track the growing cinematic sophistication of those preaching/filmmaking brothers of Sherwood Baptist Church,” from “Facing the Giants” to their breakout hit “Fireproof: to their latest film, “Courageous.”
Creflo Dollar plans movies: Megachurch preacher Creflo Dollar is catching the wave of faith-based movies and “has opened up a film division within his Christian empire.”
Movie depicts controversial missionary: The subject of new movie, “Machine Gun Preacher,” talks about his controversial missionary work in Sudan.
LifeWay closes center store: LifeWay Christian Stores’ outlet at the Southern Baptists Glorieta Conference Center, east of Santa Fe, N.M., is closing as part of downsizing of operations at the facility.
Mutemath fights 'Christian' tag: Mutemath has been “fighting against being classified and marketed as a strictly contemporary Christian band.”
CDs stolen from store: Around $5,000 worth of CDs were stolen from Christian Family Book Store in Elyria, Ill.
Hollywood is 'rediscovering religion': Judging by the offerings at the movies this season, and more in the works, “Tinseltown is rediscovering religion.”
Movie explores pilgrimage route: “The Way” offers “an intriguing look” at the contemporary version of an ancient ritual, following one of Europe's most famous Christian pilgrimage routes.
Authors gather for signing: Four nationally known romance novelists take part in a signing at The Well in McPherson, Kan., as part of Christian Store Week.
Store marks 38 years: One Way Christian Book Store in Selma, Ala., is marking its 38th anniversary by giving away an organ.
New store in Delaware: Former auditor Sheila Williams has opened Saving Grace Christian Bookstore in a three-story house in Middletown, Del.
·Industry Radar for the week of September 28, 2011
'Bonhoeffer'e-sales spike: A $1.99 e-book deal sparked sales of Eric Metaxas' award-winning biography, “Bonhoeffer.”
Teen author's debut novel: Noelle Marchand's debut novel for Steeple Hill's Love Inspired imprint, “Unlawfully Wedded Bride,” was written when she was 18.
Religious book sales healthy: The religion book niche “appears to be doing a little better than the rest of the industry so far this year.”
Author's 'huge' influence: Through his books, retiring Summit Ministries leader Dave Noebel has had a “huge” influence in conservative Christian circles.
Biopic of 'Machine Gun Preacher': New movie “Machine Gun Preacher” is “a flawed hero's tale” about missionary Sam Childers.
Borders closures 'an opportunity': Christian retailers “see a window of opportunity” in the death of a mega-competitor—Borders-- that once threatened to put them out of business.
Indie stores pick up business: Some independent bookstores seem to have picked up business in the wake of the Borders closures.
Dave Ramsey's signing giveaway: Financial expert Dave Ramsey gives away $2,000 at a signing for his latest book, “EntreLeadership.”
Falling sales prompts closure: Declining sales and increased online competition have forced the closure of The Promise Shop in Fergus Falls, Minn.
Missionary movie 'acutely earnest': Christian-themed biopic “Machine Gun Preacher” is “an acutely earnest movie about an evangelical Christian convert on a self-appointed quest to save children in Sudan. “
Industry Radar for the week of September 14, 2011
'New monastic' author spotlighted: The most famous “new monastic” is Shane Claiborne, author of “The Irresistible Revolution.”
New Catholic publisher launches: Ken Nowell, a former businessman, has launched his own Catholic publishing company.
'Jesus Camp' book released: In "Jesus Camp: My Story," Becky Fischer tells her side of the story about the controversial documentary “Jesus Camp.”
Dog inspires faith film: Inspirational movie “Footprints — Angels are real. Some even have fur" is based on the true story of Cadie, an abused and seemingly unadoptable German shepherd, and a lost man who crosses paths with her.
Church store test case: A South Nashville megachurch’s fight against a $425,000 property tax bill could have major implications for churches throughout the state whose facilities include stores and athletic facilities.
Christian novel foreshadowed 9/11: Joel Rosenberg’s “The Last Jihad,” written nine months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “showed a remarkable prescience.”
Mike Norris' new movie: John Schneider and Dean Cain star in “I Am… Gabriel,” the latest in a line of faith-based films by Mike Norris currently filming in Texas.
Christian movies, 'big business': A report on the success of church-based Sherwood Pictures finds “Christian entertainment is a big, increasingly mainstream business.”
Historical novelist goes undercover: To better inhabit her characters, historical novelist Deanne Gist commissioned a full Victorian get-up from a seamstress who specializes in period clothing. She now puts on Victorian fashion shows for fans and other romance novelists.
Flooding damages store: Flooding from Tropical Storm Lee caused about $10,000 damage at Life Discovery Christian Bookstore in Hartford, N.Y.
Free Bible app focus: One of the leaders in new technology publishing is YouVersion, a free Bible app developed by the staff of LifeChurch.tv, a cutting-edge megachurch based in Edmond, Okla.
Debut author's Christmas message: In her first published novella, included in “The Christmas Bells of Georgia,” Rose McCauley “channeled her personal sentiments for the Christmas holiday.”
Industry Radar for the week of September 7, 2011
Band Angels are big: Tim West has sold more than 125,000 boxes of his Band Angels, band aids featuring Bible verses, advertising on Facebook and by word-of-mouth.
Books prompts poverty help: Reading “The Hole in Our Gospel” inspired University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt to sell his near-$2 million home and give the money to an anti-poverty ministry.
Band shares 'hopeful nostalgia': The City Harmonic’s new album celebrates “hopeful nostalgia.”
Proud of 'Courageous' role: Miami actor Robert Amoya is “really proud” of his part in the new movie, “Courageous.”
Petra performs at festival: Veteran rock band Petra performs at the Christian Music and Film Festival in Panama City Peach, funded for the second year by BP.
Golf book inspires movie: Originally self-published, then picked up by Zondervan, David Cook’s “Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia”has been turned into a movie starring Robert Duvall.
Campus pastor tackles hypocrisy: Johnnie Moore, campus pastor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., tackles hypocrisy, which he calls “Christianity’s biggest problem,” in his book, “Honestly.”
Christian hockey star profiled: Christian hockey star Mike Fisher is the subject of new Christian children's book, “Defender of Faith.”
Fight film a 'sleeper' hit: Christian-themed ultimate fighting drama, “Warrior,” “may be the sleeper of the fall season.”
'Courageous' pair discuss roles: A father and son talk about their roles in the new Sherwood Pictures movie, “Courageous.”
'Utopia' has 'gentle' message: Christian movie “Seven Days in Utopia" “embraces gentle, Christian messages of encouragement and fortitude, which --while far from groundbreaking --bear repeating.”
Teen author encourages activism: Teenage author and anti-slavery campaigner Zach Hunter discusses why “faith without works is dead.”
Store boasts 9/11 mural: Artist David Webster’s 9/11 mural on the side of Berean Christian Book Store in Peoria, Ill., honors those who died in the terrorist attacks.
Store robbed by gunman: Noah's Cove Christian Outlet in Birch Run, Mich., was robbed by a gunman.
“Utopia' has unusual ending: Inspirational G-rated golf drama, “Seven Days in Utopia,” doesn’t have a traditional ending.