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Locally Generated Titles Top Sales for January

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We do our sales chart twice a year, but if I were to do a January listing it would look like this:

  1. Playing Second Fiddle – Judi Peers (Word Alive)
  2. The Church in Exile – Lee Beach (IVP Academic)
  3. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Peter Scazzero (Zondervan)
  4. Jesus Storybook Bible (Zonderkidz)
  5. Vanishing Grace (Zondervan)

So who are the first two?

We wrote about Judi’s 10th book back in December. You can read the article here. It’s a book about empowering women for a greater role in ministry in the local church, and yet the bulk of the sales have come from an unlikely constituency. She also gave us a price that allows us to be competitive with A-zon.

And we wrote about Lee Beach just a few days ago. You can read that review here. Lee was a pastor in our area for ten years, so obviously that helped, and while most of our customers might have thought twice about the retail price, but David C. Cook gave us some help so we could knock the price back in Lee’s home turf.

Not every month this year is going to work out this way, but it’s nice to know that we’re not stuck worrying what A-zon and CBD are offering and we can just create our own bestsellers.

We’re hoping to continue that in February with some CDs by a U.S. group called Cageless Birds, as well as some backlist CDs by the primary musicians. We had some demand, so we teamed up with a Toronto retailer to bring in a few and hopefully they’ll arrive soon.

Pre-Christmas, we had a lot of sales with David Wesley’s CD, Basement Praise. With 22,000 YouTube subscribers worldwide, an acapella sound that cuts across many demographics, and a list price of only $14.99; it was a popular Christmas gift.  If you don’t know David’s music, check out his YouTube channel. (For Ontario dealers, if you’re passing by Cobourg, drop in and we’ll sell you a few wholesale.)

And of course, we have the children’s products that we were distributing in the past, such as Jungle Jam and Friends CDs and Down Gilead Lane audio that we can recommend to parents as an alternative to Focus on the Family CD audio.

So we try to create our own bestsellers. My wife Ruth did a Christmas CD this year, too; and even though it wasn’t ready until the 15th, we sold a dozen copies. You can listen to the title track here.

We also set up a “pay what you wish” deal with The Meeting House church to be able to offer Tim Day’s God Enters Stage Left. So far we’ve distributed about 80 of the 100 copies we got, which is amazing considering we’re about 90 minutes from the nearest TMH regional site. You can read a rundown of the book here.  

Author Eric Wright — who also has ten titles to his credit — lives here, too; and we always promote his recent titles (and get him to autograph them!)

Of course, we still try to recognize the prevailing, broader book and music, but there it’s harder to get it right. One of our big fails in January was The Third Target by Joel Rosenburg. Totally hedging our bets, we initially ordered only eight copies, and to date, we’ve sold only two.

But it’s nice to have some local interest titles we can fall back on, and the chart at the top of this article is proof that such titles can produce significant numbers and generate store traffic.

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