So many ways to meet potential partners--online dating services, social networking groups, even professional matchmakers. What can this season’s dating books from religion and spirituality publishers add to help the search? Words of experience leavened by practical advice. “It isn’t enough for someone to tell their story,” says Barry Russell, sales manager at Beacon Hill. “They need to have something people can take away and apply to their own situation.”
Beacon Hill has several new dating titles that reflect another trend Russell sees--the further niching of the category. “People want products specifically catered to their needs,” he says, and Beacon aims for that with Dating After Divorce: Preparing for a New Relationship by David and Lisa Frisbie (June). The same holds true at Bethany House, with its new Dating and the Single Parent by Ron Deal (Oct).
Not surprisingly, there is a good deal of focus on the young, too. Zondervan has Is This The One? Simple Dates for Finding the Love of Your Life by Steve Arterburn (April). Mormon publisher Deseret Book offers Unsteady Dating: Resisting the Rush to Romance by Jeanette G. Smith (July). Early next year, Thomas Nelson will publish The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up, and Moving On by Chad Eastham (Jan. 2013). Nelson’s AnnJanette Toth, marketing director for children’s and family entertainment, says the future of this category will include more e-books, social media, and maybe even some apps. “A lot of young adults and kids are going to the internet to find their answers, so it makes sense for us to meet them there,” she says.
In a play for younger readers, Servant Books, an imprint of Catholic publisher Franciscan Media, is publishing Would You Date You? by Anthony Buono (July), who is the founder of Ave Maria Singles, a Catholic dating site. Franciscan has had other titles that touched on dating--most notably If You Really Loved Me by Jason Evert (2009)--but Christopher Holmes, Franciscan’s marketing strategy and services manager, says this is their first book dedicated to the topic, and its author is uniquely poised to reach young Catholics and beyond. “Anthony’s background brings the possibility of a new audience, the younger adults we are always trying to reach,” he says.