Christian Retailing

Don Moen Company acquires three Web sites Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 15 January 2009 03:48 PM America/New_York

The Don Moen Company has announced the purchase of three online properties. Terms were not disclosed for the acquisition of, a leading worship resource Web site;, which offers worship planning materials; and, a discount online Christian retail site.

"We believe that and are key to our strategy of serving those who plan and produce worship services in their churches," said singer-songwriter and producer Don Moen, who started the company last year. "Additionally, gives us a great entree into the direct to consumer space. All three will be a great complement to our existing MediaShout product line."

Kregel seeks to expand international presence Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 15 January 2009 03:38 PM America/New_York

Kregel Publications has entered into an agreement with Frederick J. Rudy & Associates to assist in developing and expanding the company's international and subsidiary publishing rights management program.

"Fred Rudy comes to us with more than 25 years of business and ministry management experience, including 15 years in international and subsidiary rights management," said Kregel Publisher Dennis Hillman. "He will provide us with valuable knowledge and expertise in developing our international publishing program."

Thanksgiving for the new year Print Email
Written by Staff   
Friday, 16 January 2009 02:06 PM America/New_York

Andy ButcherI’m a big sap when it comes to Christmas, but in the 15 years that the U.S. has been my home, I have come to appreciate the Thanksgiving holiday as much, if not more,  than the one it precedes.

As I write, my turkey is defrosting in the fridge, and by the time you read this the bones will have been long discarded, yet I believe there are some Thanksgiving lessons that can guide us as we enter a new and uncertain year.

First, it marks a clear start to the new season: Christmas is coming! The tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, and Chez Butcher becomes a Christmas-music-only zone for the next few weeks. No more guessing about when to unpack the decorations like back in England, or plain forgetting to do so.

Brisk business seen for Christian contingent at book fair Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Friday, 16 January 2009 01:51 PM America/New_York

U.S. publishers say domestic downturn has positive return at international rights gathering

Frankfurt Book Fair

U.S. Christian publishers reported brisk business during the world’s biggest annual book exhibition.

Held Oct. 15-19 in Frankfurt, Germany, the Frankfurt Book Fair celebrated its 60th anniversary, attracting a record 299,112 attendees—a 5.6% increase over 2007—and 7,373 exhibitors from 100 countries, according to organizers.
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has represented Christian publishers at the event for more than 20 years through its cooperative exhibit, also known as the Christian Collective.

Mark Kuyper, president and CEO of ECPA, said 18 companies representing 27 publishers went to the fair, with a particular focus on foreign language rights licensing and international sales.

Michael Covington, ECPA’s technology and information officer, said the contingent reported an extremely full schedule coming into the show with additional walk-up business during the fair.

He added that one publisher—David C. Cook—was so busy that many times the publisher’s representatives at the event met with international clients simultaneously. Cook also needed additional space outside of the company’s booth in order to conduct business.

“Some of our publishers told us that the (downturn) U.S. economy appeared to have a positive effect on rights sales at the fair,” Kuyper told Christian Retailing. “Because the dollar was weaker against most currencies, it provided the opportunity for international publishers to buy rights at great prices.

“Standard Publishing joined us for the first time, and two companies did not return (from 2007),” he added. “We expect a couple of publishers to expand their booth next year.”

Standard Publishing President Larry Carpenter said the Cincinnati-based publisher joined the group because the company “wanted to significantly increase our international presence.”

“Our first priority was to meet with international publishers to discuss the rights to publish our products in their respective languages,” he told Christian Retailing. “Second, we wanted to meet with distributors to discuss them selling our English-language products in their countries. Third, we met with individual retailers to sell them products directly.”

Carpenter said Standard would “definitely” return to the show in 2009.  “In fact, we are currently considering exhibiting at the London Book Fair also,” he said. “ECPA made it very easy for us to attend the show.”
Marilyn Gordon, director of rights and contracts for Baker Publishing Group, attended the fair for the ninth year.

“This fair is an important time to connect with current international publishers and also to meet new publishers,” she told Christian Retailing. “Our fiction titles are well-received in the European community and our nonfiction titles throughout the world.”

Global sales of Christian products continue to rise Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Friday, 16 January 2009 01:47 PM America/New_York

Distribution of ‘life-transforming products’ is increasing despite the widely sliding economy

Despite the global sliding economy, Christian product sales continue to grow in double digits in many parts of the world, according to Christian Trade Association International (CTAI).
One major Nigerian distributor told CTAI that his company’s sales were up 40% over 2007.

“We see the world economic news and are amazed how little it is impacting sales of Christian resources in Nigeria,” the businessman said. “That’s why I and many of my fellow Nigerians will be at Marketsquare International. We are ready to buy the products that we are selling out of.”

The positive overseas outlook comes as buyers and suppliers from more than 20 countries prepare to meet in the U.S. for CTAI’s second annual Marketsquare International, to be held Jan. 15-17 in Atlanta.

A South African publisher told CTAI that his company’s sales were up 30% this year, while a large Brazilian publisher said his company’s sales were up 26% for 2008.

“Certainly the current economic struggles have impacted the world,” said CTAI President Jim Powell, who was told of the businessmen’s reports. “But Christian product sales can be anti-cycle—rising when secular sales fall. For many, domestic sales are slowing, but (international sales) represent a growing segment in the market. … God is increasing the distribution of life-transforming products and resources that honor Him.”

Marketsquare International, which drew 300-plus attendees from 22 countries to Toronto last January, will offer inspirational events, training for publishers, distributors and booksellers, as well as an exhibition area for products and translation-rights sales. The event was launched to provide a North America buying platform after CBA scrapped its Advance winter show after several years’ falling attendance.

Meanwhile, CBA Indonesia’s Indonesian Christian Retail Expo 2008 drew about 10,000 attendees and nearly 225 exhibitors to the first-ever event of its kind in the world’s largest Muslim country.

Held Sept. 12-13 in Jakarta, the expo featured music, book and media presentations for the public as well as times of testimony, and praise and worship. The show also featured children’s events and seminars on media influence and filmmaking.
Themed “Gather to Grow,” the event also included “Be Light in the Marketplace,” a two-day bookseller training session. Established earlier this decade, CBA Indonesia is a founding member of CTAI.

Elsewhere, Marketsquare Asia 2008 and the Korea Christian Rights Fair had a 43% increase in attendance compared to the 2007 event, CTAI officials said.
Held Sept. 7-9 in Hong Kong, Marketsquare Asia drew more than 30 mainland Chinese publishers who attended for the first time thanks to scholarships from the Global Publishers Alliance, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s sister organization.

CRI News Beat: Starfield; Soraya Moraes; Caribbean Challenge; Acoustic Gospel Vol. 2 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 09 February 2009 01:37 PM America/New_York

Starfield took home six trophies during the 30th Annual Covenant Awards in Canada, winning every category that garnered a nomination for the Sparrow Records (EMI CMG Distribution) band. Held Oct. 24 at First  Alliance Church in Calgary, Alberta, the awards were the pinnacle event of the Gospel Music Association Canada Week, which featured a conference, artist showcases, talent search competition and an awards banquet. Starfield—which has 13 Covenant Awards in the band’s career—won Group of the Year, Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for I Will Go, Praise & Worship Song of the Year for “Reign in Us,” Modern Worship Album of the Year for I Will Go and Recorded Song of the Year for “Hosanna.” Starfield won its third consecutive Group of the Year award as well as second consecutive wins in the categories of Recorded Song of the Year and Album of the Year.

Gaza Christian store hit by missile Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 15 January 2009 12:41 PM America/New_York

Gaza Strip's only Christian bookstore was recently hit by a missile caused by the fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant organization Hamas.

The Teacher's Bookshop is a ministry of the Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) and the Gaza Baptist Church. "The missile hit the fourth floor of the building," PBS told the Christian organization Open Doors USA. "The bookshop and community center did not suffer any damage. ... No casualties or injuries were reported."

Marketing, publishing veteran Murray Fisher dies Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 15 January 2009 12:35 PM America/New_York

A memorial service was held Jan. 10 at Vista Community Church in Orlando, Fla., for Murray Fisher, a veteran of the Christian publishing world who died Jan. 6. He was 75.

A former retail manager who turned to Christian publishing more than 40 years ago, Fisher headed circulation, marketing and publishing efforts at three leading Christian companies before founding his own business, Longwood Communications, in 1992.