Eight experts tell where Christian book publishing is headed.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY asked eight leaders in Christian book publishing to discuss trends in books today. Cheryl Forbes leads off with the point of view of a publicly held book publisher (Zondervan). Jerry Jenkins presents the views of an institutional publisher (Moody); Wesley Willis, a curriculum publisher (Scripture Press/Victor Books); Kent McNish, a denominational publisher (Abingdon); James W. Sire, a publisher related to a parachurch organization (InterVarsity); and Hardin and Maxine Young, booksellers (Christian Supply Store owners), and president of Christian Booksellers Association. We also asked Gilbert Bilezekian to view books from the perspective of a college professor (Wheaton) and leader of a rapidly growing church.

There is an air of expectancy in Christian publishing today. Although the phenomenal growth of the Christian bookstore market may have slowed, and the economy has still not obeyed the present Administration, we are excited about the future of our industry. We see this in our sales conferences and our editorial meetings. We hear it from the production side when press people and shipping personnel are reading our new books. “Something,” we hear, “is happening.” Just what is that “something”?

We can see this elusive something in three areas: changes in the market, changes in the kinds of books coming from publishers, and changes in technology. The first two are interdependent.

A decade or two ago readers were primarily demanding books on prophecy and personal experience. The Late Great Planet Earth and Joni are two examples of successes in these categories. Now prophecy books have all but disappeared from the frontlists of most publishers, and ...

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