December 14- December 21, 2006 Edition

The New Yorker

Takes In-Depth Look

At the Bible Business

NEW YORK, NY/12/13/06—The Bible is the best-selling book of the year every year in America. Conservative estimates show that in 2005 Americans purchased 25 million Bibles—twice as many as the most recent Harry Potter book, thus ringing up more than a half billion dollars in sales. The figures appear in “Annals of Publishing, The Good Book Business,” an enlightening look at the Bible publishing business by Daniel Radosh in the 12/18/06 edition of The New Yorker.

Radosh notes that evangelical polling firm Barna Group says 47% of Americans read the Bible every week. Another study shows that “91% of American households own at least one Bible­the average household owns four­which means that Bible publisher s manage to sell 25 million copies a year of a book that almost everybody already has.”

Thomas nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publisher and the second-largest publisher of Bibles had a 15% increase in Bible sales last year, The New Yorker article notes. In fact the market is so lucrative that large mainstream publishers including Penguin, and HarperSan Francisco, part of HarperCollins, have Bible imprints. Thomas Nelson itself was acquired by a private investment group in June for $2.6 million. Read the full story in The New Yorker.