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Bleak future for Christian products industry predicted Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 22 June 2009 02:49 PM America/New_York

Marketing expert Greg Stielstra foresees a bleak future for the Christian products industry, according to World magazine.

"Brick-and-mortar operations haven't lost all their business, but they've lost the business that will allow them to stay in business, whether they know it or not," the former Thomas Nelson and Zondervan marketing executive told the Christian news biweekly.

Interviewed for the magazine's annual Books Issue, Stielstra said: "There's a lot of lip service to online retailing and to e-books, but there's still too much allegiance to old ways of doing business. Surges in Christian fiction, or in sub-niches, are just disguising the fundamental problems."

Co-author of the recently published Faith-Based Marketing: The Guide to Reaching 140 Million Christian Consumers (Wiley), Stielstra added that the music industry showed the way ahead for the book business. "It's no accident that it took a computer company--Apple--to figure out the new music model. They had nothing invested in the old model, nothing to protect."

World's Book Issue also named Crossway Books & Bibles' ESV Study Bible "Book of the Year." Editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky described the edition as "informative throughout and spectacular in parts."

The magazine also reported on self-publishing as "the bright spot in a gloomy book-selling environment." Click here for more on the World report.