The millions of fans of the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins were not sated with the 12 books in the popular apocalyptic thriller series that began its mega-bestselling run 10 years ago and has sold more than 62 million copies. They wanted to know about the lives of the leading characters before the Rapture. Now, the first of three Left Behind prequels, The Rising: Antichrist Is Born, will fill them in; #2, The Regime, is coming on November 15. Tyndale launched The Rising with 1.1 million copies. While sales of the Left Behind books are still impressive—it ranks as the fastest-selling adult fiction series on the market—the books have fallen off in overall units. Book one, Left Behind, has sold more than eight million copies since its 1995 publication; the next two, Tribulation Force and Nicolae, have sold more than four million each; the next six have sold between three million and 3.7 million; books 10 and 11 have sold 2.4 million and two million, respectively; and #12, Glorious Awakening, has sold about 1.9 million copies. There is also a Left Behind: The Kids series, with sales of more than 11 million copies. The series' success has changed how Christian fiction is retailed and has helped open shelves in all kinds of retail outlets for faith fiction (see Religion Supplement in our March 28 issue). LaHaye and Jenkins did only one signing together for this title. It was on the laydown date, March 1, at a Sam's Club in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jenkins's hometown). They signed more than 600 books in about two hours.
Volume 252 Issue 11 03/14/2005