Christian Retailing

Joyce Meyer’s practical teaching makes for best-sellers Print Email
Written by Ann Byle   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 04:08 PM America/New_York

Spring-JoyceChristian retailers see big boost in sales of Bible teacher’s practical books with publisher’s promotional effort

Not many authors have had more than 100 books published, but Joyce Meyer is one of those few. Her century title—God Is Not Mad at You: You Can Experience Real Love, Acceptance & Guilt-free Living (FaithWords)—came out in 2013, so with her 2014 titles, she inches above that distinctive mark.

Meyer has been a foundational author for the FaithWords program since the house acquired her entire backlist and began contracting new books back in 2002. In total, FaithWords has sold more than 30 million copies of Meyer’s books in all formats. She typically does two trade books each year—in April and September—and a devotional book near the end of the year. Her devotionals alone have sold over 3 million copies, with the 2014 release titled The Power of Being Thankful: 365 Devotions for Discovering the Strength of Gratitude.

“Her top two geographic markets are New York and Los Angeles,” Zettersten said. “You don’t think of New York and L.A. as particularly Christian, but she’s popular everywhere and is on TV daily.”

Meyer’s television and other broadcasts feature teaching that is usually tied to the topic of her books, which helps drive retail sales because “customers want their books now; they don’t want to wait to get her books through the mail,” Zettersten said. “When Joyce says, ‘Wherever books are sold,’ that is literally true.”

Gary Davidson, vice president of CBA sales and marketing for FaithWords, observed that Christian retail stores comprise a significant percentage of overall retail sales for Meyer’s products. This year, he said, FaithWords “offered extra discounts on new releases as well as backlist titles to celebrate ‘The Year of Joyce.’ Her overall sales are up 7% over previous years due to the emphasis at CBA retail.”

Meyer sees Christian retailers as a vital part of her sales team.

“It’s our mission through our ministry to share Christ and love people all over the world, as much as we possibly can,” she said. “I’m so grateful that my books are being distributed by businesses and ministries to help us do that. I certainly couldn’t to it all on my own, and I don’t take this privilege for granted. We can do so much more when we work with others.”

Her newest book, Good Health, Good Life: 12 Keys to Enjoying Physical & Spiritual Wellness, hits stores this month, just in time to help readers step into the New Year with a tool to help them set health goals.

“God has an awesome plan for you, and whatever shape you are in today, you do not have to stay that way,” said Meyer in a recent interview with Christian Retailing. “If you want to improve the way you look and feel, you can do it by learning and applying biblical principles that lead to good health—spirit, soul and body.”

Good Health, Good Life is the second in a series of condensed, $10 books derived from earlier, best-selling titles by Meyer.

“We’ve had great success with this format with John Maxwell, selling over a million copies at that price and in that format,” said Rolf Zettersten, senior vice president and publisher for Hachette Book Group, of which FaithWords is a part. “We thought we should apply that idea to Joyce Meyer as well.”

GetYourHopesUpMeyer’s first release in the smaller format is titled The Approval Fix: How to Break Free From People Pleasing (2014). Good Health, Good Life is derived from Meyer’s 2006 best-seller Look Great, Feel Great: 12 Keys to Enjoying a Healthy Life Now.GoodHealthGoodLife-MainBook

Look Great, Feel Great was the result of a major turnaround in my life that led me to better health spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically,” Meyer said. “Going through my own journey of healing and restoration made me want to help others who are struggling too. This new book is another way to take the 12 practical keys that I discovered through my own experience and share them with people who need to make the same kind of changes.”

The book offers space in each chapter for the reader to make notes to establish his or her needs and goals and how to work toward them.

“I’m excited about this because just learning information doesn’t change your life; it’s what we do with it that makes the difference,” Meyer said. “I really believe the principles in this book—put into action—can help bring breakthroughs in people’s lives that will make them healthier than they’ve ever been.”

To introduce Meyer’s new books, FaithWords offers video footage for Christian retail websites, and the company put a major emphasis on flyer ad placement with key accounts and marketing groups for Meyer’s September release titled Living Courageously: You Can Face Anything, Just Do It Afraid.

That new title, plus her Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind and You Can Begin Again: No Matter What, It’s Never Too Late are top sellers in Christian retail stores, with Battlefield of the Mind consistently on best-seller lists.

“I just don’t know any other inspirational author who has had such a sustained writing presence and been so successful over the last 12 years,” Zettersten said. “Many authors come and go, but I don’t know of any other who, year in and year out, is selling 2 to 3 million copies of her books.”

Meyer believes strongly in the power of the written word.

“I live to write, and books are a wonderful way to teach the Word because they can go anywhere we can send them!" she said.
“God has given me the desire to do this, and He has given me the ability to write,” she added. “So every book I write, it ultimately comes together by His grace and the direction He gives me for it.”

She’s already preparing for the release of her April 2015 title Get Your Hopes Up! Expect Something Good to Happen to You Every Day, with another in September titled The Mind Connection, a follow-up to Battlefield of the Mind. FaithWords also is planning a third in the $10 book line titled Let God Fight Your Battles.

Meyer will do a book tour for the first time in several years in spring 2015.

“Joyce Meyer is simply one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met,” Zettersten said. “She’s always working on writing her books, running a huge ministry and preparing her teachings for broadcast or for events. She has an amazing ability to work hard and stay focused—and she’s never missed a deadline in 12 years.”