Christian Retailing

'Courting Cate' debuts on Fiction best-sellers list PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 03 December 2012 09:31 AM EST

Leslie Gould's new Amish title, Courting Cate (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group), debuted at No. 7 on the Fiction best-sellers from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), tracking sales for the week ending Nov. 24, according to Pubtrack Christian data. The first book in the "Courtships of Lancaster County" series was released Nov. 12.

The Top 20 General best-sellers were: 1. Jesus Calling, Sarah Young, hardcover (Thomas Nelson); 2. Selections From One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp (Zondervan); 3. Abundant Life Day Book, Nancy Guthrie (Tyndale House Publishers); 4. Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman (Zondervan); 5. Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas (Thomas Nelson); 6. The Purpose of Christmas, Rick Warren (Howard Books); 7. One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp (Zondervan); 8. Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall, Denver Moore (Thomas Nelson); 9. Jesus Calling, Young, deluxe (Thomas Nelson); 10. I Declare, Joel Osteen (FaithWords); 11. Love Does, Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson); 12. Jesus Today, Young, hardcover (Thomas Nelson); 13. Jesus Calling, Young, deluxe (Thomas Nelson); 14. The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson (Zondervan); 15. The Best of Christmas at Home, Kathy Shutt (Barbour Publishing); 16. The Harbinger, Jonathan Cahn (FrontLine/Charisma House Book Group); 17. Grace, Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson); 18. The Bridge, Karen Kingsbury (Howard Books); 19. Heaven Is for Real, Todd Burpo (Thomas Nelson); and 20. Lead Me, Holy Spirit, Stormie Omartian (Harvest House Publishers).

The Top 10 Fiction best-sellers were: 1. The Harbinger; 2. The Bridge; 3. A Patchwork Christmas Collection, Judith Miller, Nancy Moser and Stephanie Grace Whitson (Barbour Publishing); 4. Cross Roads, William P. Young (FaithWords); 5. Courageous, Randy Alcorn (Tyndale House Publishers); 6. A Wreath of Snow, Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Press); 7. Courting Cate; 8. Full Disclosure, Dee Henderson (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group); 9. The Sanctuary, Ted Dekker (Center Street); and 10. The Christmas Pony, Melody Carlson (Revell/Baker Publishing Group).

The top five Bibles were: 1. The Story, NIV, deluxe, hardcover, New International Version (Zondervan); 2. NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible, hardcover, New Living Translation (Tyndale); 3. NIV Study Bible, bonded leather, black (Zondervan); 4. NIV Women's Devotional Bible, Italian Duo-Tone, raspberry (Zondervan); and 5. NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible, leatherlike brown/green/dark teal (Tyndale).

‘Together’ magazine launches to support U.K. Christian trade PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Friday, 30 November 2012 04:32 PM EST

Christian Resources Together has announced the launch of a new trade magazine to replace the former Christian Marketplace magazine.

The first issue of the 48-page bi-monthly—titled Together—will be published in February.

The decision to publish a new magazine followed talks with retailers and suppliers who expressed a desire to see a continuation of an independent print trade magazine.

Francis Chan's 'Multiply' makes 'New York Times' best-sellers list PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 November 2012 12:12 PM EST
Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, by Francis Chan with Mark Beuving, made the the New York Times best-sellers list at No. 11 in the Advice & Miscellaneous category, in the debut week of its release this month.

Chan has partnered with The New York Times best-selling author David Platt, author of Radical, to spread the message of Multiply. On Nov. 9-10, they held two live webcasts to kick off Multiply Gatherings, events designed to come alongside local churches in training people to be disciple-makers. More than 10,000 small groups and 950-plus churches from 100 countries (more than half of the countries in the world) registered to participate in the free webcasts.

Marketsquare Europe builds publishing partnerships PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 November 2012 10:57 AM EST

Approximately 40 Christian publishers and booksellers gathered in Budapest, Hungary, for Marketsquare Europe to do business and benefit from training, networking and fellowship.

Held Oct. 4-5 prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Christian Trade Association International (CTAI) event drew attendees from Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and the United States. The event featured a two-day translation rights show and a banquet.

The sixth annual Marketsquare Europe event also featured the fifth European Christian Book of the Year contest. First place went to Ukraine's Bright Star Publishing's Warm Stories for Coffee Time by Nadiia Gerb?sh. The contest honored original works by European authors, but special recognition was also given to a translation project by Slovakia's CreativPress' multi-language e-book She Said Yes. It is based on the 2002 Thomas Nelson book by Misty Bernall, the mother of Columbine High School Christian martyr Cassie Bernall.

"Christian Trade wants to highlight the original works of Christian publishers in Europe," said Kim Pettit, CTAI's executive director and CEO. "In many evangelical markets abroad, the development of local writers lags behind the publishing of English-language translations from the U.S. and the U.K., or German and French translations. We want to encourage the growth of the Christian trade, and that includes supporting the development of excellent content, wherever it may be found."

During Marketsquare Europe, Paul Abspoel, publisher at Ark Media in Amsterdam, Netherlands, spoke on his journey in publishing and discussed "How to Reinvent Yourself" and "From Christian Publishing to Christian Power House." Along with Abspoel, Els de Jong-van Gurp, director of BCB in the Netherlands, encouraged publishers to "network or die."

"Marketsquare Europe was inspirational," said pastor Károly Géczi of Immanuel Publishing in Budapest. "It provided truly practical ideas and spiritual encouragement for building long-lasting plans and publishing partnerships."

CTAI chose Budapest for the event because of its location in Central Europe and proximity to Romania, a key market for translation in Eastern Europe.

Marek Marcus of Porta Libri in Slovakia added: "This event was great for networking. The location was perfect."

Motivational speaker, author Zig Ziglar dies PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:13 PM EST

Zig Ziglar, best-selling self-help author and motivational speaker, died Nov. 28 at a Plano, Texas, hospital due to complications from pneumonia. He was 86.

"Though his time on earth has ended, he is speaking with Jesus now in his heavenly home," Ziglar's Facebook page said. "The angels in heaven are rejoicing and his family is celebrating a life well lived."

Author John Maxwell wrote on Twitter: "My friend Zig Ziglar passed away. I am grateful for the many wonderful memories we had together. We lost a great one!"

Ziglar's "Success Rallies," "Born to Win" seminars, self-help books and countless audio recordings attracted millions of followers with homespun advice on career advancement and moral uplift, the New York Times reported.

At his busiest, he spoke 150 times a year, and well into his 70s, he was speaking 60 times a year. His fee was $50,000 a speech plus expense, but at other times he waived his fee, The Washington Post reported. Ziglar kept up a rigorous touring schedule until retiring in 2010.

Ziglar's books include the best-sellers See You at The Top! and Confessions of a Happy Christian (both Pelican Publishing Co.). He wrote Confessions of a Grieving Christian (B&H Publishing Group) after the 1995 death of his eldest daughter, Suzan Witmeyer, from pulmonary fibrosis.

Ziglar also wrote Inspiration From the Top: A Collection of My Favorite Quotes; Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World; and Up, Up, Up in a Down, Down World: Daily Hope for the Daily Grind (all Thomas Nelson); The One Year Daily Insights With Zig Ziglar (Tyndale House Publishers); and Conversations With My Dog (B&H Publishing Group).

Ziglar was an active Southern Baptist layman and a member of Prestonwood Baptist Church in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Baptist Press reported.

"Zig has left such an indelible mark on this church that we will forever remember his servant heart, his passion for teaching the Word of God, his love of people and, of course, his high-energy, motivational speaking," Ziglar's pastor, Jack Graham, wrote in a message to the congregation.

Ziglar's friend Fred Smith, a former FedEx chief executive, told Texas Monthly in 1999 that Ziglar practiced what he preached.

"I think he's a little like Billy Graham, who has never really departed from the same sermon he was giving back in his 20s, yet who's never lost any effectiveness," Smith said. "After all these years, Zig still devotes every day to living this life he talks about, to applying some eternal truths about character, commitment, hard work and self-determination."

Ziglar is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean; two daughters, Julie Norman and Cindy Oates; a son, Tom; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

Christian stores, suppliers see strong Cyber Monday sales PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 November 2012 01:59 PM EST

Christian stores and suppliers are reporting strong sales for Cyber Monday, considered the official start of the online Christmas shopping season.

Online merchants raked in a record $1.47 billion in sales Cyber Monday (Nov. 26)—the first Monday after Thanksgiving, up 17% from a year earlier, according to research firm ComScore, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to a survey conducted by BIGinsight for, Cyber Monday shoppers spent an average $194.46 online, more than the average person spent online Thanksgiving weekend ($172.42).

Blessings Christian Marketplace, a chain of four stores based in Chilliwack, British Columbia, saw success with its Cyber Monday sale, which offered free shipping and a 10% discount on all purchases.

"Cyber Monday sales were up by 35% year-on-year," Mark Hutchinson, president and CEO of Blessings, told Christian Retailing. "Sales for Black Friday [the day after Thanksgiving] were up by 25% year-on-year. Black Friday was the single largest sale day of the year for Blessings."

Good sellers for Cyber Monday were personalized engraved candles; Sarah Young's Jesus Calling; Todd Burpo's Heaven Is for Real; Max Lucado's Grace; Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure; Beverly Lewis' The Bridesmaid; October Baby; Stephen Curtis Chapman's Joy; and VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables.

"We were very encouraged by the growth of online sales this year," Hutchinson said. "We kept our offering very simple and straightforward, offering a discount on the entire order and free shipping. We are currently on track to have a similar Christmas season to last year. Our first two weeks of [Christmas] sales were a little slower than last year, but we have now picked up speed and moving forward well. The key is keep the stores looking fresh and well-stocked and ensure we are interacting with our customers providing great customer service."

Berean Christian Stores' 18-outlet chain also saw good sales.

"We were very pleased with our Thanksgiving results," said Bill Nielsen, chief operating officer of Berean. "Black Friday was up over 13% in comparison store results, but the overall weekend sale was even better coming in at just under an 18% comparison store sales increase. Cyber Monday continued the trend, and was up 13% on a comparison store basis."

Nielsen had a positive outlook for the rest of the Christmas shopping season.

"Based on our results, we are continuing to place orders to remain well-stocked and have a very aggressive advertising plans in place," said Nielsen, noting good sellers were Bibles, DVDs and Berean's new e-reader. "All of this gives us a great hope, confidence and high expectations for the rest of the holiday season."

Chalice Press touted its biggest Cyber Monday Sale ever, offering free shipping and 30% discount on purchases up to $5,000.

"This was a great Cyber Monday," Chalice Press Marketing and Client Services Manager Amber Moore said. "Cyber Monday sales were up approximately 752% over last year. ... In past years, free shipping is not something that we offered. Our two top best-sellers were very practical for this time of year. Our Advent devotional and annual planning guide and calendar for the 2013-2014 season topped the list."

Know Him apparel company offered Black Friday Deals, with T-shirts starting at $8.99.

"Sales, compared to last year, were down on Black Friday, but up on Cyber Monday," Know Him President Doug McKenna said. "The biggest reason for the difference is we started promoting Black Friday earlier last year. This year for Cyber Monday, we sent out additional promotions over the weekend. Overall, compared to last year, we were similar in sales."

Parable creates P. Graham Dunn Christmas catalog PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 11:00 PM EST

The Parable Group has formed a partnership with P. Graham Dunn, creating a direct-to-consumer Christmas catalog touting the gift supplier's personalization program found in more than 150 stores nationwide.

"Parable and P. Graham Dunn share the same passion of serving independent Christian retailers," said Parable Marketing Manager Randy Maricle. "Coming together to create this catalog fit this mission and we're proud of the outcome."

Branded for each participating store and mailed directly to Parable store customers, the catalog was designed by Parable. "We couldn't be more pleased with the way this initiative has been kicked off," said Joe Knutson, co-president of P. Graham Dunn. "Randy's team created a consumer-friendly marketing piece that reinforces the specialized offerings of your local Christian bookstore."

Parable encourages stores that have a P. Graham Dunn laser engraver to participate in 2013 gift-focused catalogs with no requirement to join the marketing group. Click here to view the Christmas catalog. 

Harvest House unveils new motto, Kingsway rebranded PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 08:54 AM EST

Harvest House Publishers has unveiled a new company motto, Grow True, to go along with an updated corporate logo. Meanwhile, David C Cook has rebranded its Kingsway label as Integrity Music.

Harvest House President Bob Hawkins Jr. said the new motto and logo underscore the company's "focus on producing resources that encourage spiritual growth rooted in the life-nourishing truths of God's Word.

"Grow True conveys a positive message about the unchanging direction of our company and its products," he said. "It speaks simply of helping readers grow true into who God created them to be, no matter what their circumstances in life."

The motto affirms and builds upon Harvest House's mission statement: "To glorify God by providing high-quality products that affirm biblical values, help people grow spiritually strong and proclaim Jesus Christ as the answer to every human need."

Last month, Cook officially stopped using the Kingsway name, and all music is now released under Integrity Music. Cook acquired Kingsway in 1993, and in June 2011, reached a deal with Mobile, Ala.-based Integrity Media to acquire Integrity Music. Since the acquisition, both labels have operated as one unified team.

"We have spent these months sharing experience and expertise with a common goal to serve the local church through songs of substance," a Kingsway statement said. "We now feel that it is time to unite and work in the future as one global music label. The rebranding is the result of a period of careful global research, which revealed that Integrity Music had stronger recognition within the international worship community. The decision to move away from the much-loved Kingsway name was not taken lightly, but necessary in bringing clarity and focus to those we serve."

Kingsway artists include Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Brenton Brown and The City Harmonic.

The newly refreshed Integrity Music logo includes Kingsway's tag line, "The Sound of Worship," and retains its blue color.

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