The Independent Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2014 IPPY Awards. Winners of the Gold Award in the Religion category are, in a tie, Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel, and Quran by Brian Arthur Brown (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) and The Messianic Feast: Moving Beyond the Ritual by T. Alex Tennent (Messianic Publishing). The Silver winner in Religion is Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk by Shozan Jack Haubner (Shambhala Publications); the Bronze winner is Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism by Swami Achuthananda (CreateSpace). The IPPY Awards will be presented May 28 in New York City, just before the opening of BookExpo America.
B&H Espanol, the Spanish-language division of B&H Publishing Group was selected Publisher of the Year for the second consecutive time at the Spanish Evangelical Publishers Association (SEPA) Awards held in Miami during Expolit 2014 (April 30-May 4). B&H also received several awards in the Bible category, including Best Bible for the RVR 1960 Biblia de Premios y Regalo/RVR 1960 Gift and Award Bible.
The Christophers will present their 65th annual Christopher Awards for books, film, radio, and TV programming at a gala on May 15 in New York City. The awards recognize “writers, producers, directors, and illustrators whose work affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” Prison chaplain Father David T. Link-- the subject of Maura Poston Zagrans' book Camerado, I Give You My Hand: How a Powerful Lawyer-Turned Priest Is Changing the Lives of Men Behind Bars (Random House, 2013)--will receive the James Keller Award, and veteran comedy writer Tom Leopold the Christopher Spirit Award. Among the winning books is Love & Salt (Loyola Press, 2013). The Christophers, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller.
Jack Countryman was honored with the Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award at the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s (ECPA) Executive Leadership Summit in Colorado Springs on April 28-30. Publisher emeritus of the Thomas Nelson gift books division, Countryman is author, with his wife Marsha Countryman, of the God’s Promises series, which in December reached 20 million units sold. Countryman joined Thomas Nelson publishers in 1994; in the following four years the J. Countryman gift books line went from $2.5 million to $22 million in earnings. Countryman also is the founder of In His Grip Golf, a men’s Christian sports ministry.
Barbour Publishing is launching Shiloh Kidz, a new children’s imprint that will publish educational products as well as Christian devotionals, Bible stories, Bible reference, and fiction for ages 3-12. The product line will also include boxed games, stickers, and board books. Barbour is licensing content from Twin Sisters, which produces music, books, games, and other products for children for both the educational and trade markets. The first six Shiloh Kidz books, to be published in November 2014, will include My First Bible Color and Trace Book and My First Memory Match Game: Noah’s Ark. Barbour also will take over distribution and production of 71 previously published Twin Sisters books and other products, which will be rebranded under Shiloh Kidz as they go back to press.
In other news at Barbour, Wanda E. Brunstetter has won a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the Inspirational category. One of the first to write Amish fiction, Brunstetter is the author of more 60 books with more than 7 million in total sales; many have charted on the bestsellers lists of Publishers Weekly, The New York Times, CBA (the association of Christian retailers), and ECPA (the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association).
Baker Academic’s Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine by Thomas G. Guarino, part of the Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality series, has been honored with the 2014 Paradosis Center Book Prize, which is “awarded in recognition of the publication of the book marking the most significant theological contribution to Catholic, Orthodox and/or evangelical dialogue in any given year, whether in the area of biblical, historical, or dogmatic theology.” Paradosis is “a center of Catholics, Orthodox and Evangelicals committed to theology and scripture within the great tradition.”
1Source, which provides publishing and distribution services to authors, has released its first books in May. The inaugural list includes novels by top-selling Christian authors Angela Hunt, Brandilyn Collins, Hannah Alexander, Bill Myers, and Sammy Tippit (with Randy Willis). 1Source is a partnership of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, Believers Press, Bethany Press, and Anchor Distributors. Believers Press now also offers media training with Suzanne Kuhn, founder of SuzyQ, an author-coaching company.
The Amish Wisdom website and blog, hosted by Suzanne Woods Fisher, launched May 6, offering readers of the popular fiction subcategory a place for all things Amish. Fisher is an award-winning author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, including The Waiting, The Choice, and Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World. Fisher first created Amish Wisdom as a radio show; when she stopped hosting the show to focus on her writing, fans contacted her, saying they missed it. Features on the site include news of events, book releases, and signings; author profiles; recipes; travel tips for Amish country; Q&As with members of Amish communities; historical background of the sect; and a monthly newsletter.
LIFE has published Two Saints for a New Church (May 9) to mark the April 27 canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII by Pope Francis. The book, by Robert Sullivan and the editors of LIFE, contains narrative and photographs, including those from the early life of Pope John Paul II provided exclusively to LIFE by members of his family. LIFE also published Pope John Paul II: A Tribute (2000) and Pope Francis: The Vicar of Christ, From Saint Peter to Today (2013).
Logos Bible Software’s free web tool, Reftagger, has generated tags for more than 25 billion Bible verses 150,000 websites since its launch seven years ago. The tool can be added to any website or blog; a new version, Reftagger 2.0, released in February and offers customization options for webmasters and bloggers, including the ability to select default Bible translations and to match Reftagger’s design elements to their own. The tool can be downloaded at Reftagger.com.