The Crossroad Publishing Co. is pushing beyond its traditional strength in the Catholic and mainstream Protestant markets into the general spirituality field. As part of its initiative, National Book Network will assume distribution of the company's titles beginning July 1. Crossroad will mark its entrance into the general market with the launch of a series of spiritual biographies in the fall. Initial titles in the Lives and Legacies series will be on Duke Ellington, Joan of Arc and Rumi. While NBN will handle sales to the trade market, Crossroad will continue selling to the religious market.

Gwendolin Herder, president of Crossroad, told PW she hopes to publish 12 to 15 titles for general audiences next year. "Our goal is to significantly increase the size of our general trade program in the U.S. during the course of the next two years," she said. Crossroad will publish about 65 titles this year, down from 70 in 1997. "We've been bringing down the list every year for the last five years," Herder noted, adding that although the list has shrunk, sales have increased.