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If history repeats itself, then Dan Balow of Tyndale House Publishers is about to breathe a sigh of relief.

As marketing director for Tyndale, Balow has used $500,000 of his company's advertising budget to promote The Mark, the eighth installment in the apocalyptic Left Behind series, which hits the shelves this month.

If The Mark matches the success of its predecessor, The Indwelling, the new book could become number one on The New York Times bestsellers list in a matter of weeks.

For Balow, that would mean money well spent. His entire advertising campaign has been a monumental step for Tyndale, the evangelical publishing house based in Carol Stream, Illinois.

The $3.5 million that the company will spend this year for promotions includes advertisements with USA Today, ABC Radio Network, and The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Lynn Garrett, Publishers Weekly's religion books editor, predicts Tyndale's latest efforts will pay off. To date the company has sold over 23 million copies of Left Behind items, which include audio books and a children's series.

Savvy marketing

Sales for the Left Behind books have continued to climb since the series first appeared five years ago. What started with Left Behind, the original book about non-Christians left on earth after true believers are raptured to heaven, has evolved into a projected series of 12 novels written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

The Mark describes the resurrection of the Antichrist and features characters who must make a dramatic choice: either wear a bodily mark signifying loyalty to the resurrected leader or suffer persecution.

The attention these action-packed page-turners have garnered from general retailers has intensified Tyndale's momentum to keep the books coming.

Tyndale has changed ...

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November 13, 2000

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