Thomas Nelson has struck a deal with Passion Publishing, publishing arm of the Passion Conferences for college-aged youth, to create a line of trade books under a Thomas Nelson/Passion Publishing imprint. Louie Giglio is the founder and leader of the conferences, and the first title in the line will be Giglio’s October-set The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far.
The line will release titles in print and digital formats, and will be overseen by Matt Baugher, senior v-p of W Publishing Group, and Kevin Marks, managing director of Passion Publishing. Marks was an executive at Multnomah Publishers, which was acquired by Random House in 2006 and combined with its WaterBrook division in Colorado Springs, Colo., to form WaterBrook Multnomah. Marks will work with Louie Giglio and Shelley Giglio (cofounder of Passion) from their base in Atlanta, Georgia.
Baugher said Nelson will handle sales and distribution, editorial, and marketing through its W Publishing Group imprint; promotional campaigns will be shared. He called budgets for marketing and publicity “significant” but offered no specifics. (Conferences like Passion’s provide robust vehicles for promoting and selling books.) Nelson and Passion are in negotiations to add books by other authors to the line, with about three titles planned per year, according to Baugher. Line extensions will include curriculum, gift books, and Bible products.
Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and founded Passion Conferences with Shelley Giglio in 1995. His previous books include The Air I Breathe (Multnomah, 2003), I Am Not But I Know I Am (Multnomah, 2005), and Waiting Here for You, self-published by Passion in 2013 and being republished by Nelson in September. (The self-published edition sold 30,000 through retail and other channels, according to Nelson.)
Passion also owns sixstepsrecords, which produces worship music, used in church services, at Christian events, and at conferences like Passion. In 2011, Giglio co-authored Indescribable with sixstepsrecords recording artist Matt Redman (David C. Cook). Asked whether other sixstepsrecords artists would do synergistic books for the line, Baugher said it was too early to name other authors.
Three Passion Conferences will be held simultaneously January 2-4, 2016: in Houston, Tex., and at two different venues in Atlanta. Passion held three conferences last year on three different dates with total attendance of about 50,000, which is the projected total for the 2016 events.