The show brought the debut of a new imprint, Influence Resources, the general evangelical market imprint of the Assemblies of God, a growing Pentecostal Christian denomination. Influence’s fall launch list includes the Welcome to Holsom graphic novel series for children and Worth the Risk by Lee McFarland, pastor of Radiant Church in metropolitan Phoenix, Ariz., which features a foreword by Rick Warren. Other authors include Tommy Sparger and, in 2012, Dave Donaldson.
Influence will publish 15-20 books annually. Its fall launch list includes Plug & the Paddywhacks, an interactive storybook series for children available monthly beginning August 1 at Apple’s App Store. The imprint will also celebrate its launch at a two-day conference and party August 1-2 in Phoenix, Ariz., as part of the denomination’s biennial general council meeting. Speakers at the Influence Conference include pastors Tommy and Matthew Barnett and author Lisa Bevere. Influence is partnering in marketing with Kingstone Media Group, a publisher of comics and graphic novels that is on track to have a 2,000 page graphic version of the Bible available in three years. Novelist Randy Alcorn will publish his first graphic novel with Kingstone next year.
The complete Common English Bible, a new translation developed by five mainline Protestant denominations using 120 scholars who span the ethnic, racial, and theologically liberal-to-conservative spectrum, debuted at the show and is already sold out of its first printing of 70,000. A second printing of 50,000 is scheduled. “We’re pleased with that,” said Paul Franklyn, associate publisher of the CEB. The Common English Bible’s price tag for its producers was $3.5 million: $1.1 million to produce the translation; another $2.4 million budgeted over a number of years for promotion. At a panel dealing with the proliferation of English Bible translations today, four publishers agreed that a diverse culture and an evolving language will continue to require new translations. “We’re not going to see one (new) translation that lasts 400 years,” said Franklyn, referring to the King James Bible, which celebrated its 400th anniversary this year.
On Tuesday morning Zondervan fed 350 people breakfast and gave them a chance to listen to Max Lucado and Christian music stars Mark Hall and Megan Garrett of Casting Crowns, who were promoting its new line of The Story products. Aimed at introducing people to the Bible, The Story is an abridged Bible told in chronological order; products in the line include books for every age group, religious education curriculum, and trade books, including God’s Story Your Story by Max Lucado (Oct.) Partners EMI Music, Provident, and Word Entertainment are producing a CD, DVD, and 12-city music tour in December. Bob Rogers, v-p of marketing and sales for Zondervan, said the product line is aimed well beyond the traditional evangelical church audience and includes Catholic groups that might find it suitable for Bible study; chaplains; and home-schoolers. Though he declined to give numbers, Rogers said the product line is the company’s second biggest initiative this year, after its NIV Bible translation update.
Courageous is another books ‘n’ more product line being positioned to succeed the hit film Fireproof and its related bestselling book The Love Dare by Baptist pastors and screenwriters Alex and Stephen Kendrick. At the convention, two advance screenings of the film--a police drama releasing September 30--were filled; related books include The Resolution for Men and The Resolution for Women, both from B&H Books in September. Randy Alcorn’s novelization will be published by Tyndale in August.