Home > Uncategorized > Tony Jones on the Shakeup at Jericho, a Hachette Books Imprint

Tony Jones on the Shakeup at Jericho, a Hachette Books Imprint

Tony Jones is a veteran Christian blogger.  You’re encouraged to read the full text at source at this link.  I’ve added some emphasis in a couple of paragraphs.

What’s Up at Jericho Books?

Late last week, Hachette Book Group announced that Wendy Grisham was being let go, and that her imprint, Jericho Books, was going to be dramatically downsized. In the Christian publishing world, this is very big news. (Full disclosure: my agent, Kathy Helmers, pitched Jericho several book proposals from me; Jericho did not bid on any of them, and I ultimately signed with another publisher. I harbor no animus whatsoever, and Wendy and I remain friends.)

Jericho arrived on the publishing scene with a bang, paying significant advances to acquire big name authors like Brian McLaren, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Philip Yancey, and Shane Hipps. Their first book to the make the New York Times bestseller list was Nadia’s Pastrix this fall.

Big New York publishing houses like Hachette have been snapping up evangelical publishers for some time now, as Christian books have one of the few bullish areas in publishing. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are owned by NewsCorp, Waterbrook and Multnomah are owned by Penguin Random House, etc. You get the picture. The conglomeration in publishing is a reality.

With few evangelical houses left to eat up, mega-publishers looked to progressive Protestants. They buy books, right? For many years, HarperOne had virtually owned this space, with authors like Bart Ehrman, Marcus Borg, and Barbara Brown Taylor — and they’d recently gotten Rob Bell when he was disowned by Zondervan. Hachette launched Jericho out of Nashville, where they already run Faithwords. And Penguin Random House is now launching a progressive imprint called Convergent, numbering authors like Doug Pagitt and Matthew Vines, out of the Colorado Springs offices that also house Waterbrook.

Many of us have wondered about how much space there is in this market, and whether progressive titles will ever sell as well as evangelical books…

…[continue reading here]…

  1. December 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Personal note: I tried on many occasions to get copies of Jericho titles to review at Thinking Out Loud, including the title by Nadia Bolz-Weber and one that Rob Bell recommended on his blog by Rob Strong. The publicity rep at Jericho insisted that the books were being marketed by the Canadian distributor. I believe that to be a reference to a Winnipeg company, Word Alive, that our store chooses not to deal with. Word Alive purports to have 300+ copies of Nadia on hand, but lists the other as “limited availability.” They list Center Street and FaithWords in their publisher list, but not Jericho.

    I was promised a review copy of Nadia’s book — for sure this time — a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t seen it.

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