Less than two months after announcing a $300,000 advertising campaign for Healing Choices by Purpose-Driven Life author Rick Warren, Howard Publishing has delayed the planned August publication until 2005 at the earliest.

A press release from the house detailed the author's time-pinch—a preoccupation with his Saddleback church; the illness of his wife—and said that Warren will "bring these new insights [gleaned from these concerns] into the final Healing Choices manuscript for a more complete product and greater, overall message." In an interview, Howard executives said that they "hoped for 2005" publication and called the choice a "joint decision" with the book's coauthor (Warren is writing the book with fellow pastor John Baker).

"We knew we'd have to answer a lot of questions when we sent out this press release. Here's a big book, and now it's being postponed indefinitely," said Howard marketing v-p Greg Petree. "But when you throw intangibles out there like an ill wife and a growing ministry, they're pretty easy to answer." Howard already has a completed manuscript in hand that the book's editor Denny Boultinghouse said he is happy with, although he added that he isn't disappointed by the postponement.

Zondervan, which is known to be protective of the Purpose-Driven brand, said it became aware of the Howard book about a year ago. Asked about its involvement with Healing, Zondervan issued a rather general response. "This title will not carry on it the Purpose-Driven brand and it is not an extension of that line. We have a long and cordial history with Rick Warren dating back to 1995 and the publication of his first book, The Purpose-Driven Church. And we are in ongoing discussions with Rick about his next project and, together with Rick, we are continuously exploring opportunities to create resources that will help people delve further into the five purposes. However, we don't have anything specific to announce at this time."