Christian Retailing

Publishers swoon over romance Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 31 January 2011 02:40 PM America/New_York
Buoyed by strong sales and growing critical acceptance, publishers are stepping up their efforts to court readers of Christian romance.

While anticipating a slight peak in sales for Valentine's Day, publishers are hoping to see heightened demand for inspirational love stories to become an all-year affair by adding new lines and increasing output.

With An Amish Love by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Long targeting Feb. 14, Thomas Nelson has signed four leading romance writers to collaborate on a collection of novellas that will come out ahead of Valentine's Day 2012 with a major promotional push.

Smitten—by Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter—is part of the company's romance expansion in direct response to readers' desire, said Senior Vice President and Publisher for Fiction Allen Arnold.

Harlequin's inspirational division, Steeple Hill, which debuted in 1997, doubled its monthly output in its "Love Inspired Historical" series from last month, bringing its total annual new title count—including the "Love Inspired" and "Love Inspired Suspense" lines—to 168. The move "reflects the tremendous growth of inspirational fiction in the United States," said Steeple Hill Senior Editor Tina James.

Category newcomer Summerside Press—with a million units sold since its 2009 debut—has earmarked fall for the launch of its "American Tapestries" series, joining the "Love Finds You In" and "When I Fall In Love" lines.

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