‘Jesus Calling’ Series to Add New Devotional

Thomas Nelson marked a milestone in sales — 35 million units sold — for its Jesus Calling brand line by announcing a new title this fall by the author of the blockbuster devotional series, Sarah Young. Jesus Listens: Daily Devotional Prayers of Peace, Joy, and Hope, featuring a prayer for each day of the year and a scripture passage with each devotion, will be published Oct. 5.

The brand umbrella covers Young’s original 2004 title, Jesus Calling: Peace in His Presence, her 2018 ECPA Book of the Year winner, Jesus Always, and related children’s devotionals, Bible storybooks, journals, and seasonal books. “This brand, which started as a single devotional, has expanded its reach into people’s hearts through a podcast, magazine and television program,” said Laura Minchew, senior v-p, children's and gift group publisher for HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

ECPA Plans PubU 2021 Virtual Program

ECPA’s annual fall program, ECPA PubU – which shifted to webinars during the pandemic — will continue as an online-only networking and training event with 25 webinars November 8-12. “It’s never been more important for us to learn with and from each other as we all consider what our new ‘normal’ looks like in 2021 and beyond,” said Randall Payleitner, associate publisher of Moody Publishers. He and Jerri Helms, v-p of digital marketing and analytics at HarperCollins Christian Publishing, are developing the program with a committee of industry leaders.

The topics for daylong tracks include design, editorial, marketing, production and operations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Emerging Leader mentorship program will continue offering scholarships to new leaders and “under-represented voices in the industry.” PubU programming will also include a day-long Children’s Book Summit on November 3 led by Tyndale House associate publisher for Children and Youth, Linda Howard; and developed by children’s literature consultant and author, Dr. Mary Manz Simon.

B&T to Distribute SPCK Group in U.S., Canada

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services (BTPS) signed a full-service sales and distribution agreement with the SPCK Group for distribution in the U.S. and Canada beginning July 1. The group includes SPCK Publishing; IVP UK, the evangelical house that is an arm of the U.S.-based IVP; Lion Hudson, which publishes Christian books under imprints including Lion Books focused for scholars, for fiction and children; and Monarch Books and Candle Books.

Sam Richardson, CEO of SPCK Group, said, "We know that there is significant untapped demand in the USA and Canada for many titles from the Lion Hudson, IVP UK and SPCK lists, and we are excited about working with BTPS to both fulfill this demand and raise awareness further.”

HCCP Fiction Group Sees Promotions

HarperCollins Christian Publishing has promoted three people to new titles within the company’s fiction group, which publishes under imprints Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.

Becky Monds moves from editorial director to associate publisher, responsible for managing and developing the editorial staff, working with authors, overseeing the publishing schedule for all fiction products, and managing the brands for both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan fiction titles.

Laura Wheeler becomes acquisitions editor, responsible for acquiring and editing 12-15 novels per year as well as building and maintaining relationships with authors and agents.

Jodi Hughes has taken the title of senior editor after 10 years in multiple editorial roles with the fiction team.

Hollomon to Succeed Wickwire at W Publishing

Damon Reiss, v-p and publisher of W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, has announced that 32-year industry veteran Debbie Wickwire, senior acquisitions editor, will retire in September. During her tenure, initially with Word Publishing and since 1992 with Thomas Nelson, Wickwire was instrumental in developing numerous bestsellers including Heaven Is for Real. Reiss described her as “equal parts book magician, counselor, and prayer warrior.”

Dawn Hollomon, senior editor, will move into the acquisitions role. She joined Thomas Nelson in 2014, specializing in the company’s gift book division, then moved to the W Publishing Group Imprint in 2019, working with bestselling authors such as Kathie Lee Gifford.