Feature | Religion Update
future success—Tracie Peterson in historical fiction, Beverly Lewis in Amish fiction—and on the
popularity of the growing romantic suspense genre.
BPG has also found success with Regency and
other British historicals and is considering books
in the emerging new adult category.
“We’re always looking,” he says. “We know where
the money is—in traditional genres such as histori-
cal romance and Amish—but we also want to find
new talent and try new things around the edges.”
HCCP’s Hutton forecasts a “focus on building
on our existing author brands and building our new
voices. There will be more crossover authors coming from us—
those who write for all audiences but from a Christian world-
view.” The house is looking at where their audiences congregate
at live events and online, and testing different messages to find
the best strategies to reach crossover readers. Oates, of Bethany
House, sums up what publishers are doing—and should be
doing—as sales begin to edge up and the market stabilizes: “I
think you’re going to see a lot of experimentation on the part of
publishers, but, from most people’s perspective, they will see
the market as very stable and not changing much,” he says.
“Smart publishers will use this time to refine their programs
and be ready when the market opens back up in a few years.”
“that take the reading experience beyond the pages
of the novel,” Boys says. One example: the board
for A Flying Affair, by Carla Stewart (June), a
romance about a female aviator set in the 1920s,
showcases relevant images from that time period,
including photos of pilots like Bessie Coleman and
Amelia Earhart, vintage magazine covers and
advertising, and 1920s fashion.
Beyond new marketing strategies, publishers are
counting on the strength of their lists to draw new readers and
keep seasoned fans coming back to their books. Howard is one
of the few Christian publishers that release hardcover fiction
(Tyndale is another), including books by Karen Kingsbury and
Tosca Lee; the publisher has four jacketed hardcovers among this
year’s list of 20-odd titles.
Merkh says that, going forward, Howard is likely to acquire
proven authors over newcomers, citing the cost and limited
success of debut releases. “We firmly believe in the power of
fiction and don’t want to slow down,” he says, “but we will
probably slow down in the acquisition of first-time authors.”
BPG, Lewis says, depends on the longevity of key authors for
Experience a world of intrigue where science and religion
intertwine with colliding cultures, romance, and a worldwide
Holy Fool, Holy Father is a stirring story of opposing forces
reconciling, and the ordinary rising to the extraordinary. It
begins in East Kazakhstan during the Soviet Union’s era of
glasnost and perestroika and progresses to its dramatic
conclusion in the Eternal City.
A YOUNG MAN EMBRACES HIS HEART AND
EMBARKS ON AN UNFORGETTABLE MISSION...
See full information and purchase at