Abingdon is shutting down its fiction program, according to a statement released to Publishers Weekly on Wednesday.
“Abingdon Press will cease acquisition of new fiction titles,” said Neil M, Alexander, Abingdon Press president and publisher. “All books under contract which includes new titles scheduled through 2017 will be published and actively marketed as planned.”
Although Abingdon is concluding its fiction program, the publishing house’s Christian Living program remains alive and well.
“Abingdon continues to invest staff and marketing and sales efforts in several other aspects of its multi-line publishing program, including an expanding Christian Living books product line,” added Alexander.
News of Abingdon Fiction’s closure arrives just months after Nielsen BookScan data revealed that Christian fiction sales dropped 15% from 2013 to 2014; fiction sales were down in all categories, but Christian fiction took the hardest hit of all.
The first sign of trouble at Abingdon Fiction arose in August 2014 when Abingdon Press began “reassessing and realigning” the program, while also pausing acquisitions. Abingdon also pulled back on the Christian Living program at the time.
“Sales in these two lines have been short of expectation,” said Alexander while speaking to PW.
Abingdon, the trade publishing arm of the United Methodist Publishing House, first launched its fiction program back in 2009.