|Chain weighs promotion of TV reality star’s new book|
|Written by Staff|
|Monday, 05 April 2010 12:43 PM America/New_York|
Family Christian Stores asks consumers about their attitudes towards ‘Plus 8’ mom Kate Gosselin
The leading Christian retail chain has canvassed shoppers to decide whether to promote TV reality star Kate Gosselin’s book I Just Want You to Know, when it comes out this month. Family Christian Stores (FCS) asked consumers their opinions about the Zondervan title by the co-author of Multiple Blessings—the 2008 release written with her former huisband and Beth Carson that has sold more than 500,000 copies. Last year the Gosselins, stars of the TV reality series Jon & Kate Plus 8 went through a highly publicized divorce.
In the wake of that and the cancellation of the show, FCS surveyed shoppers about the new book, which features excerpts, prayers and memories from Kate Gosselin’s journal. The chain sent out an e-mail inviting consumers to complete an online survey that included the book’s cover—which features the author sitting in a chair and the subtitle, Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith and Family—and asking their impression of the book’s contents and theme.
Among the response choices were whether the book seemed to be a “mother writing inspirational letters to her children” or a “tell-all book revealing her side of the story of the past year.” Recipients of the communication were also asked to indicate whether they agreed or not that “Christian book stores should not promote any books by Kate Gosselin.”
Those who identified themselves as not being interested in the book were asked to say whether that was because the topic did not interest them, they were not familiar with the author or whether they found her “too controversial” or “do not agree with the author’s moral philosophy.”
The chain declined to comment on the survey, though the book was not available at its Web site by late March, when it could be ordered online at the Parable Group site.
When asked whether LifeWay Christian Stores would be carrying the title, the chain said that its “product strategy” was proprietary information. At Mardel Christian & Education, President Jason Green said that that his chain would not be laying in the title because it was not felt that demand would warrant placement, but would special-order it.
Zondervan Director of Public Relations Karen Campbell told Christian Retailing that response from the trade to the new title—which has a 400,000-copy first printing—had been positive, and stores “generally are excited about the book.”
She added: “We realize the recent events in Kate’s life have been very public and many sources—particularly the tabloids—have exploited her popularity with misinformation. Some people may not agree with our decision to publish this book, but we support Kate as she moves forward into a new chapter in her life.
“It is clear that her faith has been an integral part of her life and the lives of her children during the past year, and we are honored to give her the opportunity to share her heart.”
Gosselin’s new book was described by her publisher as “offering an intimate look at the heart of a mother during the three years her family transitioned from obscurity into the national spotlight.”
Most recently seen on TV in ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, Gosselin said in a statement: “Each day the thought crosses my mind that when they get older, my kids are going to look back and think about how they were raised. I know they will have a lot of questions about things that may not make sense because they were raised so unconventionally.”