Christian Retailing

Devotional Bibles offer a strong niche Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 31 January 2011 02:37 PM America/New_York
Other Bible categories like one-year and award editions may have larger market shares and more clearly defined selling seasons, but devotional Bibles offer a strong niche for stores able to keep on top of the opportunities.

From Mother's and Father's Days through graduation to Christmas and other points on the calendar, devotional Bibles are a highly popular gift choice—as evidenced by Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) data from 2010 that found 45% of Bible sales were for pricier leather or imitation-leather fine-bound editions.

With releases for everyone from teens and those in recovery to couples and Catholics, devotional Bibles accounted for around 4% of all Bible sales through the first 10 months of last year, according to the ECPA's Pubtrack Christian retail records.

Zondervan, with an extensive range of titles, had the greatest share of the publisher's market, but the best-selling edition for the period was God Sightings: The One Year Bible, New Living Translation—the second most-popular devotional translation, behind the New International Version—from Tyndale House Publishers.

Not surprisingly, devotional Bibles are a category "that can be a bit difficult to define" at store level, said Dylan Hillhouse, senior buyer for Mardel Christian & Education. "Many 'study' Bibles are devotional in nature, and many 'devotional' Bibles are specialty Bibles that aren't real devotional."

Read the complete report in the February edition of Christian Retailing.