Thursday, January 19, 2006

Various bits of CBA News

From the CBA world:

1. Zondervan Releases iPOD Bible

Aspiring Retail magazine reports that this iPod TNIV version Bible releases in February and will be available in Apple retail stores as well as general and Christian bookstores. Selling for $39.99, it features the complete TNIV in both audio and text formats, plus study notes from the Student Bible, a subject guide, and 10 topical two-week reading plans.

The audio Bible DVD allows users to install audio and text files into their iPod. Then they can select a book, chapter and verse to begin to listen and read along. The iPod screen displays the text and links to the Student Bible study notes.

2. The Visitation movie releases this weekend

Fox Home Entertainment is releasing The Visitation, based on Frank Peretti’s novel of the same name, in at least 200 screens in 20 markets nationwide. The story is about a mysterious stranger who arrives in a small town and begins performing miracles. Some see him as a prophet, but others believe he’s a dangerous and evil fraud. The movie will also release on DVD on February 28. The movie is produced by Ralph Winter (Fantastic Four, X-Men). Fox’s million-dollar marketing campaign is targeting Christian as well as general audiences.

3. The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn is re-releasing in hardback

The Christy Miller series has sold over 2 million copies and has been an absolute favorite of preteen and young teenage girls for years. My own daughter grew up reading these books and loving them. I’ll never forget two and a half years ago, when my daughter was 13, and met Robin in person for the first time at the Christy Awards banquet (not to be confused with the name of Robin’s series). My daughter was so excited. “I love your books!” she told Robin.

Now these books will be available with new covers and in hardback for the first time. Each volume, selling for $14.99, will contain three of the Christy Miller books. Release dates: Volume 1, January; Volume 2, March; Volume 3, March; Volume 4, May.

Robin Jones Gunn is also the author of the contemporary Sisterchicks novels.

4. CBA Fiction Appearing More on Top 50 Bestseller List

This is a personal observation that I’m going to continue to watch.

You probably know there are various bestseller lists within the Christian market. You can access them at the
CBA Web site. The fiction list has sure seen its changes in the past few years. When my first novel was published in 2001, there were two lists—one for hardcover and one for soft cover. Then they spread to three genre-based lists—romance, historical, and contemporary, with hardcover and soft covers thrown together. About a year ago the list was narrowed down to only one with 20 slots, covering all genres and both hard and soft cover. Obviously, it’s a much harder list to make.

There’s another list within the CBA market that weighs in as the most important—the
Top 50 bestsellers. This list mixes nonfiction and fiction. Usually a nonfiction tops this list (although there have been some exceptions), and the entire list has been very nonfiction-heavy. The fiction bestseller list shows when a novel also makes the Top 50 list by placing its ranking on that list in parentheses.

At the beginning of 2005, if my memory serves me correctly, usually only about the top four books on the fiction bestseller list would make the Top 50 list. As I watched the Top 50 month to month, I noticed two things. One, the number of fiction titles included each month grew. Two, the ranking of those fiction titles moved further toward the number one slot of the Top 50 list.

The current Top 50 list (February) includes a whopping 16 fiction titles—the most I’ve seen to date. (Although CBA hasn’t posted its February fiction list yet, we can assume those 16 Top 50 titles will take slots 1-16 on the fiction list, which should be posted in a few days.) Granted, 5 or 6 of these fiction slots go to various editions of the Chronicles of Narnia books. These are selling very high right now due to the movie. Even so, that’s a lot of fiction titles on this Top 50 list.

Hm. Either the monthly numbers for units sold of bestselling nonfiction titles are way down, or the monthly numbers for units sold of bestselling fiction titles are way up.

I’m happy to bet on the latter.


Unknown said...

Ooh, news... I love news. Thanks for sharing those tidbits, Brandilyn. I learn something new from you everyday!

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Very cool to read this publishing biz info. I wonder if that one chain withholding their sales numbers from CBA could have influenced the list so radically. I really do like seeing that fiction is getting recognized--one way or the other.


Camy Tang said...

I am SO getting the iPOD Bible! I've been thinking about getting an audio Bible and now I'm glad I waited.

Thanks for posting about the top 50 list. I didn't know ANY of that stuff.


C.J. Darlington said...

Appreciate the post, Brandilyn. I always love hearing about the "news" of the CBA.

D. Gudger said...

Thanks for sharing how the biz works! In October, I recieved a surprise from my boss - a tour of CBA in CO Springs! I even got to take an M&M off of Mr. Anderson's desk!

Anyway, I have a burning technical writing type question/problem that is plaguing my prose:

I'm missing an awful lot of passive verbs in my writing. I can't seem to identify the buggers, and grammar books confuse me - how do I find and kill them?

REgarding the use of infinitive forms of verbs: to find, to present etc? What's the scoop on them? I usually trip on them when reading, but have been advised to replace my passive verbs with infinitives... help?

Dineen A. Miller said...

Wow, Brandilyn, this is great news. I love seeing and hearing about the growth of Christian fiction.

I'm with Camy. iPod Bible here I come.

D. Gudger, I found this sight to be a tremendous help in identifying passive. Hope it helps.

This one identifies tenses...

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I love that Christian fiction is rising. Grandma always said, "Cream rises to the top!" Maybe by the time I get published fiction in the top twenty will be the norm!