Pre-holiday sales are bread-and-butter for retailers and publishers, and December 2017 was no exception for Religion Fiction. Four holiday titles, released in September and October, made the bestseller lists.
The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith by three women in the same family—bestselling Amish-fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law and granddaughter—came in at #4, while bestseller Tamera Alexander launched her three-book The Carnton Novels with the novella Christmas at Carnton at #5.
Two other collections, both released in September, made the top-10 list: An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas (#9) and A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection (#10). The latter includes nine stories from Amish, Mennonite, Quaker, and Amana backgrounds.
Old favorites Karen Kingsbury, William Paul Young, Jonathan Cahn, Beverly Lewis, and Francine Rivers round out the list.
Sarah Young continues to monopolize top spots on the Religion Nonfiction list with Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence at #1 and Jesus Always at #2, while Beth Moore and Audacious, which saw increased sales in November thanks in part to her speaking out against sexual assault, dropped from the top ten. Pope Francis's Happiness in This Life took its place at #4.
Pastors Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes came in at #6 and #7, respectively, with Blessed in the Darkness and Soar! Holiday sales were sparked by Osteen extending his book tour for a week and Jakes speaking at several prominent churches during the holiday season, according to Rolf Zettersten, senior v-p and publisher for Hachette Nashville, of which publisher FaithWords is an imprint. Online marketing included advertising and social media blasts, including the FaithWords Facebook page with 2.6 million fans. Both books had prominent placement at retailers, including airport bookstores.