Cory Verner, co-founder and publisher of the Recorded Books-owned christianaudio, left the company following BookExpo in late May, according to Troy Juliar, chief content officer at Recorded Books. Juliar will stand in as interim lead on the brand until a replacement is hired.
Juliar told PW that Verner “was the heart and soul of the business, but after 20 years, he wanted to pursue something else. He did a wonderful job, and we want to hire someone new to be the face of the brand, like Cory was.”
Since acquiring christianaudio, Recorded Books has more than doubled the publishing output of the company, according to Juliar. Christianaudio will continue to publish around 350 books a year, including efforts to broaden the category by adding titles with more crossover appeal. Key growth areas are books on faith practices, and the publisher is looking for more titles that overlap with popular topics in secular nonfiction, such as marriage and family, parenting, self-improvement, money and finance, leadership, and business.
“The category skews mostly evangelical, [but] I never looked at it as a silo,” Juliar told PW. Readers, he said, “want different takes on personal development. We want to keep that core audience engaged, and not offend them, but expand our offerings.”
Further, Juliar said as an ecommerce site, christianaudio benefits from the technology platform and marketing infrastructure of RB’s Audiobooks.com subsidiary. And Verner’s departure coincides with a boon in Christian audiobook publishing. “Like the general market, Christian audiobooks are susceptible to macro trends—many people are using audio in a lot of ways, and christianaudio is no exception,” Juliar said.