Christian Retailing

Micah Carter to represent the Holman Christian Standard Bible PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:54 AM EST

MicahCarterMicah Carter assumed the role of spokesperson for B&H Publishing Group’s Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) translation, effective Nov. 15.

Carter will focus on educating the marketplace about the distinctive values of the HCSB, from end consumers and retail partners to influencers, including pastors and college and seminary students. He also will assist the Bible development team with publishing strategies for the translation.

'Myeebo' tablet launched for Christian market PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 December 2012 12:35 PM EST

ACM Digital has announced the launch of its "Myeebo" brand—touted as the first digital service and device to provide "all categories of downloadable Christian entertainment," including e-books, music, audiobooks and movies. The sister company to Nashville-based Integra Interactive, ACM will launch the ambitous endeavor Dec. 17.

"It's the overall strategy that makes Myeebo distinctly different from others in the Christian e-commerce channel," said David Amster, chief innovation officer of ACM, who serves in the same role with Integra. "Our objective is threefold: provide independent Christian retailers with a solid digital service to give them a competitive edge with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple; significantly improve the online browsing and discovery experience for e-books and music; and create a way for retailers to partner with churches."

Amster told Christian Retailing that so far 125 retailers have signed up to offer Myeebo, including Berean Christian Stores. In the first quarter of 2013, ACM Digital plans to add another 75 stores.

"They [retailers] are selling the tablet and soliciting customers for the website and apps," he said. "The name Myeebo sprang from playing around with the words electronic and books. We added 'my' to personalize it."

Myeebo consists of a website; apps for iPad and iPhone, Android tablets and Kindle Fire; and ACM's Myeebo Color Tablet. Retailing for $179, Myeebo—which took more than 18 months to develop—includes an 8-inch touch screen with features not available on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.

"The mix of front and rear cameras, support for 500,000-plus Android apps and priced at $179 is unparalleled," said Jay Weygandt, ACM's vice president of customer experience, adding that many retailers have been reordering 15-50 tablets after receiving their first shipment. "We are especially pleased that those who know the most about tablets are the most enthusiastic and amazed."

The website is also different from other online sites selling multiple entertainment media categories.

"Far too often, too many products are featured on the homepage, which creates visual clutter," Amster explained. "We created what we call the 'magic shelf' that keeps the site user from having to scroll down the webpage, but still able to view new releases, best sellers, value titles and featured titles such as Gold Medallion and Carol fiction award winners."

The website—still in beta mode—is the first of its kind in the Christian channel to be fully integrated into social media, he added. Registered customers can be automatically logged back into the site through their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

David Lewis, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Baker Publishing Group, was upbeat about Myeebo.

"We think the Myeebo brand offers retailers one of the stronger solutions to compete in the marketplace for the e-book-reading customer," he said.

Mike Meece, owner of Handfuls on Purpose in Marion, Ill., agreed. "This is just the latest in a series of products they [ACM/Integra] have designed to support local, family owned businesses. They are the key to keeping us competitive in the digital age."

Integra's myMEDIA BurnBar in-store burning system is in nearly 500 Christian stores worldwide.

Click here for more information on ACM Digital's Myeebo brand.

Kregel's new imprints cater to specialized markets PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 December 2012 12:21 PM EST

Kregel Publications has announced the formation of two new imprints—Kregel Academic and Kregel Ministry—as well as the expansion of Kregel Digital Editions and the rebranding of Kregel Kidzone to Kregel Children's Books.

Since 2000, the Kregel Academic & Professional imprint has been providing resources for students, academics, pastors and church leaders. While continuing to publish for these audiences, the new imprints—Kregel Academic and Kregel Ministry—will allow the company to focus on the specific needs and trends of the individual markets.

Kregel Academic will continue to publish resources in the fields of biblical languages, biblical studies, theology and reference, while Kregel Ministry will draw upon the work of leading thinkers in the fields of homiletics, missions and evangelism, and will include books and ancillary resources for ministry students as well as resources for pastors, church leaders and biblical counselors.

"These markets are increasingly specialized, with needs and trends of their own," said Dave Hill, executive director of sales and marketing. "The development of these two imprints underscores our new dedication to each market and will enable us to increase our investment of time and resources to each. We are committed to providing quality resources for individuals in active ministry at all levels."

Joining the realigned imprints is Kregel Digital Editions (KDE), an ongoing initiative to provide Kregel texts in multiple digital formats directly to consumers via the company's website. KDE resources include complete books, portions of books, books by chapter and other formats that will appeal to general readers, students, professors and pastors. These resources are available in the standard ePub or PDF formats and are compatible with most non-proprietary book readers as well as tablets and laptops.

The company's children's imprint, formerly known as Kregel Kidzone, will now be branded as Kregel Children's Books. Recently named one of Christian Retailing's "Nifty Fifty" providers of children's product, Kregel Children's Books has a new logo that visually unites children's products with Kregel's other imprints. It brings together original works for children from Kregel with products from the Candle Books and Lion Children's divisions of Lion Hudson, for whom Kregel distributes in North America.

"We are confident that these new and updated imprints will continue to strengthen our already solid publishing program that still includes our anchor imprint, Kregel Publications, which publishes fiction and nonfiction for general adult and young adult readers," said Dennis Hillman, publisher at Kregel Publications. "We also continue to support our Kregel Classics imprint that publishes exemplary works from previous generations. We are a publisher with deep roots in the rich, robust evangelical tradition. We believe that the deeper the roots, the wider the branches."

'Daily Wisdom for Women' becomes best-seller PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 December 2012 11:49 AM EST

Daily Wisdom for Women: 2013 Devotional Collection (Barbour Publishing) debuted at No. 11 on the General best-sellers from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), tracking sales for the week ending Dec. 1, according to Pubtrack Christian data. The book was released Oct. 1.

The Top 20 General best-sellers were: 1. Jesus Calling, Sarah Young, large print deluxe (Thomas Nelson); 2. Jesus Calling, Young, hardcover (Thomas Nelson); 3. Jesus Today, Young, hardcover (Thomas Nelson); 4. The Harbinger, Jonathan Cahn (FrontLine/Charisma House Book Group); 5. The Purpose of Christmas, Rick Warren (Howard Books); 6. I Declare, Joel Osteen (FaithWords); 7. Heaven Is for Real, Todd Burpo (Thomas Nelson); 8. Jesus Calling, Young, deluxe (Thomas Nelson); 9. Praying God's Word, Beth Moore (B&H Books); 10. Named by God Bible Study, Kasey Van Norman (Tyndale House Publishers); 11. Daily Wisdom for Women; 12. Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas (Thomas Nelson); 13. Grace, Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson); 14. One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp (Zondervan); 15. The Bridge, Karen Kingsbury (Howard Books); 16. Crazy Love, Francis Chan (David C Cook); 17. Battlefield of the Mind, Joyce Meyer (FaithWords); 18. Cross Roads, William P. Young (FaithWords); 19. Change Your Words, Change Your Life, Joyce Meyer (FaithWords); and 10. Nearing Home, Billy Graham (Thomas Nelson).

The Top 10 Fiction best-sellers were: 1. The Harbinger; 2. The Bridge; 3. Cross Roads, William P. Young (FaithWords); 4. Full Disclosure, Dee Henderson (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group); 5. The Bridesmaid, "Home to Hickory Hollow" No. 2, Beverly Lewis (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group); 6. Coming Home, Karen Kingsbury (Zondervan); 7. Tidewater Inn, "Hope Beach" No. 1, Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson); 8. The Choice, Robert Whitlow (Thomas Nelson); 9. A Wreath of Snow, Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Press); and 10. The Wedding Dress, Rachel Hauck (Thomas Nelson).

The top five Bibles were: 1. The Story, NIV, deluxe, hardcover, New International Version (Zondervan); 2. NLT One Year Chronological Bible, softcover, New International Version (Tyndale); 3. The Story: Teen Edition, NIV, softcover (Zondervan); 4. La Historia NVI, hardcover, Nueva Version International (Zondervan); and NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible, hardcover, New Living Translation (Tyndale).

Ted Dekker offers free copy of next book PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 December 2012 12:45 PM EST

In an effort to generate a buzz for his new series, Ted Dekker is offering a free copy of his next book.

Readers can receive a copy of Identity (Outlaw Studios), the first title in the "Eyes Wide Open" series, which releases Dec. 28.

"Everyone who puts their name in the hat, gets it. Free," Dekker said on his Facebook page. "I've always wanted to do this and now I am. Crazy you say? No. ... This is a secret project that I've been working on for a long time. ...This is the first in a whole new world of story—you'll see. But you must sign up to get a free copy of Identity. Spread the word. Share this post."

The "Eyes Wide Open" series is touted as his "return to the kind of storytelling that made Black, Showdown and Three unforgettable."

"Dekker drags that question into the light with this modern day parable about how we see ourselves and who we really are," said marketing material about the series. "Humming with intensity and blindsided twists, 'Eyes Wide Open' is raw adrenaline from the first page to the last—pure escapism that delves deep into inescapable spiritual truth."

Dekker's latest novel, The Sanctuary (Center Street), has reached the General best-sellers list of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. The book was released Oct. 30.

Click here for more information on Ted Dekker's ' book giveaway.

Casting Crowns nabs three GRAMMY nominations PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 December 2012 09:16 AM EST

Multi-platinum band Casting Crowns received three GRAMMY Award nominations this week during a televised show from Nashville.

Matt Redman and Israel Houghton both received two GRAMMY Award nods during the Dec. 5 Grammys Nominations Concert Live, hosted by Taylor Swift and LL Cool J.

Casting Crowns was recognized in the Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance category for "Jesus Friend of Sinners" and Best Contemporary Christian Music Album category for Come to the Well (Beach Street Records/Provident Distribution). Along with Matthew West, group leader Mark Hall was also recognized as the songwriter on "Jesus Friend of Sinners" in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Song category.

Redman's "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" from his album 10,000 Reasons (sixstepsrecords/EMI CMG Distribution) was nominated in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Song and Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance categories.

With four consecutive GRAMMY Award-winning albums, Houghton, along with Micah Massey, was nominated in the Best Gospel Song category for "Your Presence Is Heaven" from Jesus At The Center Live (Integrity Music/Sound of the New Breed/Regenerate Music). Israel & New Breed was also recognized in the Best Gospel Album category for Jesus At The Center Live.

Hip-hop artist Lecrae garnered his second GRAMMY nomination for Gravity (Reach Records) in the Best Gospel Album category. Other nominees in the category include Identity by James Fortune & FIYA (Light Records/eOne Music); I Win by Marvin Sapp (Verity Gospel Music Group); and Worship Soul by Anita Wilson(EMI Gospel/EMI CMG).

Besides Come to the Well, the nominees in the Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album category were Where I Find You by Kari Jobe (Sparrow Records/EMI CMG); Gold by Britt Nicole (Sparrow Records/EMI CMG); Eye On It by TobyMac (ForeFront Records/EMI CMG); Into The Light by Matthew West (Sparrow Records/EMI CMG).

The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards are scheduled for live broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 10. Click here for a complete list of GRAMMY Award nominees. 

Lion Hudson launches fiction imprint PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 December 2012 08:41 AM EST

In another sign of Christian fiction's growth, Oxford, England-based Lion Hudson has launched a new fiction imprint. Lion Fiction will offer crime, fantasy and women's novels starting in spring 2013, with plans to publish up to 24 new titles a year.

"Lion Fiction books may be fast-moving thrillers or dark fantasy or cheerful romance," Commissioning Editor Tony Collins said. "They are likely to draw, subtly, upon the great narrative themes of transformation, growth, sacrifice, redemption, the power of guilt and the possibility of forgiveness, the nature of truth and deception, the value of the individual and the option of reconciliation."

The imprint titles for 2013 include books by successful crime writers Donna Fletcher Crow and Mel Starr, acclaimed British crime novelists Fay Sampson and C.F. Dunn, and BBC television presenter Pam Rhodes, who will launch a new women's fiction series.

"We are excited to offer Lion Fiction as a platform for Christian novelists from all traditions," said Nick Jones, CEO of Lion Hudson. "Building on our fiction and storytelling legacy, we aspire to seek out and nurture a new generation of writers whose imagination and craft will similarly delight 21st-century readers."

Lion Fiction will be sold through the general and Christian markets, building upon Lion's 40-year experience of selling into both channels. Lion Hudson products are distributed to the North American Christian market by Kregel Publications.

Click here for more information on Lion Fiction.

Family Christian, Kobo partner on e-readers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:06 AM EST

Family Christian Stores has partnered with Kobo to sell its e-readers, starting this Christmas shopping season.

Dropping its recently introduced Edifi e-reader, Family Christian is offering two Kobo e-readers at its store locations and online: the Kobo Mini ($79.99) and Kobo Touch ($99.99).

Kobo e-readers purchased at Family Christian will come with three versions of the Bible when the device is registered: New International Version, King James Version and The Voice.

The readers also will include recommendations to more than 17,000 Christian titles and access to the entire Kobo library—with more than 3 million titles, of which 1 million are free.

In addition, Kobo will donate a portion of each e-reader sale to The James Fund, Family Christian's nonprofit arm dedicated to meeting the needs of orphans and widows around the world.

"We are responding to the needs of our customers by offering them a digital delivery option that is at the cutting-edge of technology," said Family Christian Senior Vice President of Merchandising Olivia Marx. "By partnering with Kobo, we are able to stay current in the ever-changing technology of e-readers and exceed our customers' expectations."

Cliff Bartow, president and CEO of Family Christian, added: "Bringing the Kobo line of e-readers to our stores fulfills our responsibility to offer resources and delivery systems that help people find, grow, share and celebrate their faith. We believe in investing in products and services that grow out from our mission—to be a world-impacting ministry and to serve and glorify God."

Kobo has more than 10 million registered users for its e-reading devices.

Click here for more information on Family Christian Stores' Kobo e-readers.

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