Posts Tagged ‘religious book market’

Review: God’s Crime Scene for Kids

If you think apologetics isn’t for kids, J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene would have you think differently. The former book was spun off into a kids edition and earlier in the year, some friends surprised me with the news that they were suspending their usual Sunday School curriculum for one quarter, and instead take the 13 weeks to look at Cold Case Christianity for Kids.

That was enough to make me take a second look when a package arrived containing a copy of God’s Crime Scene for Kids.

While the first book (in either the adult or children’s series) looks at the evidence for the resurrection, the second looks at creation, or the evidence for what some call intelligent design. Can my friends’ 9-12 year-olds absorb that?

With his trademark illustrations, J. Warner Wallace offers entirely new analogies to help kids see the trail of evidence leading to a creator. There are more pictures than the adult edition, but these images help bridge the distance between ostensibly difficult content and a child’s imagination. There is also a website with supporting videos for each chapter hosted by the author.

Let me suggest an analogy of my own. Parents often ask me about the difference between the NIV Bible and the NIrV Bible for children. I explain that for easy readability, the latter uses shorter sentences and a reduced vocabulary, but when it comes to people names, place names and the storyline itself, there are some things that can’t be dumbed down or tampered with.

Similarly, Wallace tosses out terms like causation and reasonable inference like they were after-school snacks, but only because he’s convinced that in the context of the book they’re holding in their hands kids can grasp these concepts. (A cat named Simba bears some of the responsibility for keeping the story accessible to young minds.) He gives kids credit for being able to understand more than we might estimate.

Which brings me to my conclusion: I think God’s Crime Scene for Kids isn’t just for kids. I think there are adults who struggle with the idea of understanding apologetics who would never read Wallace’s longer, adult book. Furthermore, I think there are people reading this who can think of one friend to whom they could say, “I got this book for your kids, but I want you to read it before you pass it on to them.”

I think the presence of a book like this could open a lot of doors to discussion that would cut across all age lines.


The full title is God’s Crime Scene: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective, David C. Cook, 2017; 144 pages, paperback.

A copy of the book was provided by David C. Cook in Colorado Springs, CO


Top Ten Books – Part Seven – Thomas Nelson

Let us know if there’s a publisher you’d really like to see here.

Thomas Nelson Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 5/1/17 *

  1. Jesus Always – Sarah Young
  2. Magnolia Story – Chip Gaines
  3. Is This the End? – David Jeremiah
  4. When God Doesn’t Fix It – Laura Story
  5. Jesus Calling – Sarah Young **
  6. I, Isaac Take Thee, Rebekah – Ravi Zacharias
  7. With – Skye Jethani
  8. How’s Your Soul? – Judah Smith
  9. Uninvited – Lysa TerKeurst
  10. Twelve Extraordinary Women – John MacArthur

When you flip the list over to Ingram demand instead, you get:

  1. Jesus Always – Sarah Young
  2. Magnolia Story – Chip Gaines
  3. Attitude 101 – John Maxwell
  4. Don’t Settle For Safe – Sarah Jakes Roberts
  5. 42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story – Ed Henry

*Regular price trade books. Some titles are hardcover in the U.S. but available in ITPE in Canada. Because of the rolling data system Ingram uses, I’m not sure if accessing the data following a weekend may have skewed results. We can check again on Tuesday.
**We didn’t list the various editions of this book that followed from that point.

Thomas Nelson Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 5/1/17 *

  1. Jesus Calling – Sarah Young (53%)
  2. Uninvited – Lysa TerKeurst
  3. Jesus Always – Sarah Young
  4. Is This The End? – David Jeremiah
  5. You’ll Think of Me – Robin Lee Hatcher
  6. This Life I Live – Rory Feek
  7. Let the Journey Begin – Max Lucado
  8. Magnolia Story – Chip Gaines
  9. Strong’s Concordance Large Print Edition
  10. The Gospel According to Paul – John MacArthur
  11. Jesus Among Other Gods – Ravi Zacharias

*Excluding discount product, study guides, mass markets, audio products and Bibles.  For CBD we had to change the threshold to 50% to make the list make sense. Even then, we were making an exception for #1, which really did belong at the top of the list. So eleven titles are listed.

Top Ten Books – Part Six – NavPress

Though their sales and marketing is now merged with Tyndale, the publishing arm of The Navigators is still very much a distinct imprint.

NavPress Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/23/17 *

  1. Trusting God – Jerry Bridges
  2. A Compact Guide to the Christian Life – Karen Lee-Thorp
  3. Respectable Sins – Jerry Bridges
  4. Real Life Discipleship Training Manual
  5. Crushed: Why Guys Don’t Have to Make or Break You – Jessie Minassian
  6. When Man Began to Call on God – T.W. Hunt
  7. The Story of Me (book 1) – Stan Jones
  8. Before I Was Born (book 2) – Carolyn Nystrom
  9. Backwards Beauty – Jessie Minassian
  10. The Cry of the Soul – Dan Allender

*Doesn’t include a host of NavPress study guides and the many titles in the Becoming a Woman of… series by Cynthia Heald. We didn’t count pocket books, but #1 right now on this list was Surprise the World: The Five Habits of Missional People by Michael Frost.

We don’t usually do this in such detail, but if you flip the list over to Ingram demand instead, you get:

  1. Calm My Anxious Heart – Linda Dillow
  2. Growing Strong in God’s Family – Nav Staff
  3. Wounded Children, Healing Homes – Jayne Schooler
  4. The Discipline of Grace – Jerry Bridges
  5. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Home – Donald A. Whitney
  6. What’s the Big Deal (book 3) – Stan Jones
  7. Abba’s Child – Brennan Manning

…and so on! A very different list.

NavPress Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 4/23/17 *

  1. Trusting God w/ Study Guide – Jerry Bridges
  2. Calm My Anxious Heart – Linda Dillow
  3. Pursuit of Holiness w/ Study Guide – Jerry Bridges
  4. What’s the Big Deal (book 3) – Stan Jones
  5. A Praying Life – Paul Miller
  6. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (updated) – Donald A. Whitney
  7. How to Stay Christian in College – J. Budziszewski
  8. The Fruitful Life – Jerry Bridges
  9. Before I Was Born (book 2) – Carolyn Nystrom
  10. The Practice of Godliness – Jerry Bridges

*Excluding discount product, study guides, mass markets, audio products and Message Bibles.

We’ll do one more of these this week, probably Thomas Nelson. I don’t carry B&H or Crossway in my store as I consider them denominational publishers. Past that we’re getting into more obscure imprints.

Top Ten Books – Part Five – InterVarsity Press (IVP)

We continue our look at what’s happening in real time with various publishers. I wish we had the time to do this every quarter or even every month. It makes for interesting discovery. I’d also like to put together a list from the three major Canadian distributors (Parasource, HarperCollins and Foundation) of ITPE titles. Are my suppliers reading this?

Today a publisher I had the privilege of working for in (technically) two different cities: Toronto and Markham before their absorption into the R. G. Mitchell family.

IVP Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/20/17 *

  1. The Soul of Shame – Curt Thompson
  2. Sensible Shoes – Sharon Garlough Brown (fiction)
  3. Know Why You Believe – Paul Little
  4. Hearing God – Dallas Willard
  5. The Road Back to You – Cron & Stabille  (Enneagram)
  6. The Seven Deadly Virtues – Todd Outcalt
  7. The Gift of Being Yourself – David Benner
  8. Barefoot – Sharon Garlough Brown (fiction)
  9. Keeping Place – Michel Jen Pollock
  10. The Fight – John White

*Items #1 and #2 on the list were actually the little booklet My Heart Christ’s Home. (See note on the list below as well.) We don’t count pocket books but the mass market edition of Basic Christianity was #8.) There were not as many study guides showing on this list as we expected. So eliminating the aforementioned titles, #10 was actually #13; quite a difference from the list to follow.

If you switch the list from Spring Arbor Demand to Ingram Demand, #1 is Strengthening the Soul of Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton, but the titles which follow are similar to what’s above.

IVP Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 4/20/17 *

  1. Knowing God – J. I. Packer *
  2. Too Busy Not to Pray – Bill Hybels
  3. Discipleship Essentials – Greg Ogden *
  4. The God Shaped Brain – Timothy Jennings (preorders)
  5. Impossible People – Os Guiness
  6. Sensible Shoes – Sharon Garlough Brown (fiction)
  7. The Road Back to You – Cron & Stabille  (Enneagram)
  8. Know What You Believe – Paul Little
  9. Barefoot – Sharon Garlough Brown (fiction)
  10. Hearing God – Dallas Willard
  11. Delighting in the Trinity – Michael Reeves (IVP Academic)
  12. The Good and Beautiful Community – James Bryan Smith *
  13. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook – Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

*Lots of explanations needed here. For IVP, we changed the discount threshold to 50% for various reasons. The exceptions are indicated by an asterisk, and we added 3 additional titles for the purists who wanted the usual 44% discount at CBD to apply. Missing also are a host of study guides. (You can ask for a recent rank order list of those from Parasource anytime or check your print IVP catalogue for the ranked list on the inside back cover.) For that reason, #13 here is actually #40 on the overall CBD list. Also, FYI, #1 on their list was the 5-pack of the My Heart Christ’s Home booklet, which should always be in stock at our stores.

For your personal devotions, check out IVP’s Hard Sayings of the Day page. 

For a window into a whole different world of InterVaristy Press check out what’s happening at IVP UK

For the top selling study guides at IVP, check out their Bible Study page  (their amazing LifeGuide Finder has mysteriously vanished off their website.)

Top Ten Books – Part Four – Tyndale House

Are you enjoying this series? I hope so. Lists like this represent a very brief snapshot however. You always need to know the time frame by which the list is compiled. On Ingram’s Bestseller page, you’re seeing the one day before. It’s a great look at the Top 100 in real time. But on their Top Demand page, you’re seeing “a rolling 12-month period.” I suspect CBD’s listings are being constantly updated in real time.

Today’s publisher is the iconic, independent Tyndale House Publishers.

Tyndale House Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/11/17 *

  1. Without Warning – Joel Rosenberg **
  2. A Child’s First Bible – Kenneth Taylor
  3. Kingdom Woman – Tony Evans
  4. The Four Seasons of Marriage – Gary Chapman
  5. Heaven – Randy Alcorn
  6. A Tale of Three Kings – Gene Edwards
  7. Ready to Wed – Gary Smalley
  8. Jesus on Leadership – Gene Wilkes
  9. War Room – Chris Farby
  10. Land of Silence – Tessa Afshar

*Spring Arbor demand list; excluding study guides, mass markets and Bibles. On Ingram list, Tale of Three Kings was #1, followed by Without Warning, Child’s First Bible, The First Hostage (Rosenberg) and Kingdom Woman. Sometimes the lists are closely similar while other times they diverge greatly.

**Title is hardcover in the U.S.

Tyndale House Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 4/11/17 *

  1. Without Warning – Joel Rosenberg**
  2. Deep Extraction – DiAnn Mills
  3. Heaven – Randy Alcorn
  4. The Coming Apostasy – Mark Hitchcock + Jeff Kinley
  5. One Year Book of Devotions for Boys
  6. Life Recovery Workbook
  7. Maybe It’s You – Candace Calvert
  8. Bread of Angels – Tessa Afshar
  9. Sisters of Sugar Creek – Cathy Liggett
  10. Counter Culture – David Platt

*Excluding discount product, study guides, mass markets, audio products and Bibles. On a search for Tyndale Kids, the #1 title is One Year Book of Real Life Encounters With God (2003) followed by a number of OYB children’s titles.

**Title is hardcover in the U.S.

Top Ten Books – Part Three – Zondervan

We’re continuing to explore two different types of Top Ten lists. Our goal is to feature standard trade paperbacks and hardcovers. We probably wouldn’t be doing this series if publisher websites were more forthcoming about bestsellers and had a separate section for new releases. As it stands, they are mostly selling what’s new, which is why the CBD and Spring Arbor lists provide a healthy balance. In both of the first two lists below there are three (different) titles which I’ve never stocked.

Zondervan Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/9/17 *

  1. Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? – Rick Warren
  2. The Broken Way – Ann Voskamp *
  3. The 21 Day Financial Fast – Michelle Singletary
  4. The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel
  5. Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family – Kara Powell
  6. Christian Beliefs: 20 Basics Every Christian Should Know – Wayne Grudem
  7. Boundaries – Cloud and Townsend
  8. If I’m Found – Terri Blackstock
  9. Unglued – Lysa TerKeurst
  10. No More Faking Fine – Esther Fleece

*US edition is hardcover. List omitted Bibles, video, low price, and curriculum study guides. Item 10 here is actually #25 when all are included.

Zondervan Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 4/9/17 *

  1. Keep It Shut – Karen Ehman
  2. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus – Nabeel Qureshi
  3. If I’m Found – Terri Blackstock
  4. No God But One – Nabeel Qureshi
  5. The Broken Way – Ann Voskamp *
  6. Upon a Spring Breeze – Kelly Irvin
  7. Who Made God? – Ravi Zacharias & Norman Geisler
  8. Listen, Love, Repeat – Karen Ehman
  9. Let’s Be Real – Natasha Bure (pre-orders)
  10. Made to Crave – Lisa TerKeurst

*US edition is hardcover. List omitted Bibles, video, low price point (Case for Christ mass market would have been #3) and curriculum items; as well as a very large number of items CBD currently has on sale at discounts higher than our cutoff which is 44%. (We consider many of their 45+% titles to be blowouts, and their $5 price point to be unfair competition.) Item 10 here is actually #63 on their full list, but their listings are skewed with so many specials.

Zonderkidz Top Five at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/9/17 *

  1. Beginner Bible
  2. Jesus Storybook Bible
  3. Case for Christ for Kids
  4. Tiny Bears Bible
  5. Little One, God Made You Special (board bk)

*Does not include low price items, Bibles, high discount items and a very large number of Beranstain Bears!

Zonderkidz Top Five at CBD – accessed 4/9/17 *

  1. Jesus Storybook Bible
  2. Found – Sally Lloyd Jones
  3. The Ultimate Boys Book of Devotions
  4. Jesus Storybook Bible (new padded cover deluxe edition)
  5. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing – Sally Lloyd Jones

*Does not include low price items, Bibles, high discount items and a very large number of Berenstain Bears! Item 5 here is actually #45 on their list.

I wonder if anyone ever interviewed Jan and Mike Berenstain and asked, “So, how did the bear family get their name?”



Top Ten Books – Part Two – Baker

As we said yesterday, there’s a real dearth of data available for stores that want to manually check their inventory to make sure they’re not missing something, or possibly not giving enough profile to a title that’s doing well elsewhere.  Today we’re looking at Baker (the imprint, not the entire publishing group.)

Baker Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/6/17

  1. Grace is Greater – Kyle Idleman
  2. Replenish – Lance Witt
  3. Grieving with Hope: Finding Comfort as You Journey – various
  4. Simple Christianity – John MacArthur
  5. The Mystery – Lacey Sturm
  6. The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross – Arthur Pink
  7. Growing Young – Kara Powell
  8. Resolving Everyday Conflict – Ken Sande
  9. Forgiven and Set Free: Post-Abortion Bible Study – Linda Cochrane
  10. Good Faith – David Kinnaman

Baker Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 4/6/17 *

  1. Grace is Greater – Kyle Idleman
  2. Imagine Heaven – John Burke
  3. 50 People Every Christian Should Know – Warren Wiersbe
  4. Switch on Your Brain – Caroline Leaf
  5. Play the Man – Mark Batterson (preorders)
  6. A Visual Guide to Gospel Events – various (Baker Academic)
  7. The Invisible War – Chip Ingram
  8. Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling, 4th edition – David Kruis
  9. So What’s the Difference, updated and expanded – Fritz Ridenour
  10. The Real God – Chip Ingram

*trade book titles (not downloads) at 44% discount or less

It’s interesting that only the #1 title repeated on both lists; compared to yesterday’s where many were consistent between CBD and Ingram’s Spring Arbor demand list.

Top Ten Books – Part One – David C. Cook

I often rant that given that the book industry is a subset of the larger entertainment business, our suppliers need to give us better information about what is selling in the form of charts. Since that’s not forthcoming anytime soon, I’ve taken it upon myself to do some Top Ten lists. For Ingram this is easy because you can go into “View Publisher’s Titles” and then rank them by Spring Arbor stores’ demand. With CBD, we simply eliminated all their downloads and high discount items (cutoff was 44%).

We’ll cover major publishers here, so Cook, Baker, Bethany House, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, B&H, etc., as well as others you request by email. I think these lists can be more helpful than the full CBA list, because it can help in doing inventory checks or filling out orders. (I wish I’d done more of this while new year restock offers were in effect.)

David C. Cook Top Ten at Spring Arbor – accessed 4/6/17

  1. The Action Bible
  2. Forgotten God – Francis Chan
  3. Jesus is Alive – Cuddle and Sing – Debby Anderson
  4. Action Bible New Testament
  5. Baby Bible Storybook for Girls
  6. Jesus Loves Me – Cuddle and Sing – Debby Anderson
  7. Crazy Love – Francis Chan
  8. Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace
  9. It Hurts to Lose a Special Person – Amy Ross Mumford
  10. The Picture Bible

David C. Cook Top Ten trade titles at CBD – accessed 4/6/17

  1. Jesus is Alive – Debby Anderson
  2. Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace
  3. Bible Knowledge Commentary – Walvoord & Zuck (2 vol.)
  4. The End of Me – Kyle Idleman
  5. Jesus Loves Me – Debby Anderson
  6. Forgotten God – Francis Chan
  7. I am N – Voice of the Martyrs
  8. Forensic Faith – J. Warner Wallace (pre-orders)
  9. Living Crazy Love – Francis Chan (workbook)
  10. Sacred Search – Gary Thomas


New Joni Devotional Offered in Hand-Size Format

A Spectacle of GloryOn October 4th, Zondervan is taking the rare step of releasing a new devotional by a top author immediately to a small hardcover format, not dissimilar to, and no doubt following on the heels of the popular Jesus Calling.

Joni Eareckson Tada’s A Spectacle of Glory: God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day is 384 pages total and will retail for $16.99 US or $21.00 CDN. It includes a short one or two paragraph reading followed by a prayer. Many of the daily entries are personal or autobiographical.  Scripture references are cited, but not printed; though on a few certain days the reference specified the NASB or NLT; the rest assumed as NIV. I wasn’t sure if this was in anticipation of an expanded edition later on, or licensing the product for perpetual calendars.

Here’s the publisher marketing from the Zondervan website:

Overview:  God does not choose to display His glory through burning bushes; He chooses you! This inspiring, year-long devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada, focuses on your Heavenly Father, how He cares for you every day, and how His love enables you to live as a spectacle of His glory.

Description: Do you ever wonder why God created you? The Bible spells it out plainly: God created you to showcase His glory—to enjoy it, display it, and demonstrate it every day to all those you encounter.

After nearly 50 years of living as a quadriplegic, and dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis, Joni has learned firsthand the importance of glorifying God through the toughest of situations. Through this devotional, Joni will help you discover how to put God’s glory on display—how to say no to complaining and say yes to daily following God down even the most difficult paths. Along the way, you will find great comfort and encouragement by focusing on the one who longs to lead and guide you every step of the way, every day.

Don’t ever think your life is too ordinary, your world too small, or your work too insignificant. All of it is a stage set for you to glorify God.

Thanks to Mark at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Canada for a preview copy of A Spectacle of Glory. 9780310346777



Review: Hearing God in Conversation

God has many means at his disposal to get our attention

Hearing God in ConversationOver a year ago I was privileged to read a manuscript edition and asked to do an endorsement for a book which was released today by Kregel. Hearing God in Conversation: How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere is the second book by Sam Williamson, following Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids which we reviewed here, and which I stocked in my own store. 

A year is forever when you’re an author awaiting national release, so I was surprised today with the good news that the book is now available.  Here’s the book summary I wrote:

In Hearing God In Conversation: How to Walk with God, Samuel Williamson affirms the church’s long-held position that God’s primary means of speaking to us is through scripture; while at the same time, through a blend of Bible teaching, contemporary and classic Christian authors, and personal experience, shows us that God is in no way limited in terms of what he can use to prompt us, nudge us and lead us. Written in a casual, sometimes lighthearted style, Hearing God in Conversation propels us to a place of expectancy with respect to God’s voice; to look for God’s personal message to us in a variety of circumstances; and to be aware that God has a vast catalog of means he uses to guide his children.

Here’s the official publisher marketing for the book:

Christians are comfortable saying that Christianity is about a relationship with God. Yet many might also say that they sense little meaningful relationship with God in their own lives. After all, the foundation of good relationship is communication–but conversation with God often seems to go only one way. We may sing of walking and talking with God in the garden, His voice falling on our ears, but few have heard that beloved voice themselves.

Sam Williamson acknowledges the fundamental human longing to hear God’s voice and offers a hopeful supposition: God is always speaking–we’ve just never been taught how to recognize His voice. Williamson handles this potentially heady topic with his characteristic straightforwardness and leavening humor. This book deftly bridges the gap between solid biblical theology and practical application, addressing topics such as how to truly pray without ceasing, how to brainstorm with God, how to navigate our emotions, how to answer God’s questions, and how to hear God’s voice for others.

Hearing God in Conversation offers simple, step-by-step lessons on how to hear God. Williamson begins with Scripture meditation. He then expands the practice of listening for that voice everywhere–in the checkout line, on the job, in a movie theater, and even in silence. From there, he demonstrates how to hear God’s guidance when making any decision. By the end, readers’ eyes and ears will be opened to the limitless methods through which God speaks.

The 224-page book is distributed in Canada by David C. Cook at $19.99


Send the Light Distribution Confirms Closing

Days after first reported by Christian Retailing, Send the Light (STL) Distribution confirmed its closing in an email to stores last night and on its website this morning with a very short note:

STL Closing

Needless to say, this will be devastating to small stores in the U.S. who used the distributor to consolidate orders through a single source, avoiding the paperwork and freight costs associated with dealing with individual publishers. Also affected are:

  • Canadian Stores: Many of the small publishers STL carried have no representation here; the company was also a good source for non-book items that Ingram (Spring Arbor) won’t ship to Canada.
  • Homeschoolers: It has to be presumed at this point that is also shutting down
  • Independent Publishers: This will hit former Advocate Distribution publishers hard, and as we’ve indicated elsewhere on the blog, if they choose Ingram Publisher Services, they’ve lost smaller stores like ours who have had our discount yanked for not reaching Ingram’s $5K (US) minimum.
  • Remainder Booksellers: Again, presumably Great Value Books (GVB) is also closing.

Not too long ago STL had moved into a new warehouse, and recently folded GVB into the larger company. Operations were streamlined, efficient and of great benefit to stores like ours.

We pray for the staff and management of STL in this time of transition, and for the many categories of people listed above who must now find other means of getting requested products.

A consumer-interest version of this story has been posted to our parent blog, Thinking Out Loud

Word Alive Purchased by Anchor Distributors

Anchor Word Alive joint logoIn the past few weeks we saw two cases where an American owned Christian distributor was purchased by Canadians; David C. Cook Canada and Augsburg Fortress Canada. The new, combined company will doubtless be undergoing a name change over the next few weeks.

Today, we’re hearing of the reverse case, where a longstanding Winnipeg, MB distributor, Word Alive, has been purchased by Anchor Distributors of New Kensington, Pennyslvania. There are a number of reasons why this is significant.

First, in terms of independent distributor options available to Canadian stores, Anchor, Send the Light (STL) and Spring Arbor (Ingram) have been shipping to Canada to years, but Anchor never had a consolidated freight or pre-clearance system. Orders went out individually and stores had to pay hefty freight costs. Furthermore, Spring Arbor won’t export anything that isn’t a book, CD or DVD, which means that up until now, stores wishing to bring in ancillary items either got them from Send the Light or they didn’t at all. Importation of a variety of these items is a complicated process involving various harmonized codes and many countries of origin. Hopefully, that changes.

Second, the two companies have always been tied together doctrinally. They have carried similar publishers with a strong Charismatic and Pentecostal identity. While Charismatic books don’t drive the market as much as they did ten years ago, they are a necessity for stores selling to the Evangelical market.

Third, Anchor’s corporate association with Whitaker House hopefully means that Canadian stores will have frequent access to the Whitaker Bargain Books line without the aforementioned high shipping costs.

Fourth, the last point means that both companies have been involved in the publishing side of the business. Word Alive Press is home to many top Canadian Christian authors. Is it part of the sale? [See update below] Publishing is federally regulated and historically, in the name of cultural sovereignty, the Canadian government is loathe to let publishers here fall into American hands. It’s possible that division may need to spin-off in order to maintain a separate identity, but if Canadian authors are hearing about the deal, it sounds like a win with higher visibility of our authors. [See update below]

Finally, it’s an affirmation of our Canadian Christian market; showing that while two U.S. parent companies decided to divest themselves of holdings here, another U.S. business is saying that we’re worth the investment.

UPDATE 5/19 8:00 PM: Word Alive Press authors have been notified of the sale and the positive and an announcement has been posted on their blog. Here is portion of that announcement:

Word Alive Press itself is not part of the Anchor purchase. We remain a Canadian-owned publishing company, proudly serving the Christian book market in Canada and abroad. Our vision has always been to find and develop a base of Canadian authors who, through their stories and God-given talents, will teach, equip, entertain, influence, and ultimately extend the impact of the Kingdom of God in Canada. We are excited about this vision and now see an even brighter future for our authors to influence people beyond our borders.

This is a win-win for authors. The publishing stays Canadian owned and controlled but artists reap the full benefit of the enhanced U.S. distribution.