Christian Publishers Tap into iPad Market

Two giant Christian publishers launched over 2,000 titles during the iPad's release this past weekend.

Thomas Nelson announced on Monday that it entered an agreement with Apple to carry more than 1,200 titles on the gadget. Meanwhile, Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins, released titles in Apple's iBookstore.

"We are excited that … Zondervan's titles will be available to an even broader audience," said Steve Sammons, executive vice president of Consumer Engagement. "We are fortunate to play a major part in the iPad launch."

Zondervan plans to release all its future ebooks in an iPad version.

Apple Inc.'s new touch screen, tablet-style computer went on sale on Saturday. Over 300,000 units were sold that day. Analysts predict millions of units will be sold in 2010.

Mark Kuyper, president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, says the iPad could be a "game changer" for publishing, as reported by Christian Retailing.

"Where it's different from an e-reader is that e-readers are dedicated devices," he said. The iPad, however, integrates many forms of media like internet, email, music, photos, and videos into one screen.

Titles released by both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan include classics and current bestsellers, including Max Lucado's Fearless, Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover, Craig Groeschel's The Christian Atheist, and Karen Kingsbury's Take Three are available.

Favorites like John C. Maxwell's Leadership 101, John MacArthur's Grace for You, Lucado's Facing Your Giants, Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, and Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ are also available along with translations of the Holy Bible.

"We are extremely pleased that Thomas Nelson has the largest collection of inspirational titles available on such a revolutionary reading device," said Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson.

The publishers have also made available Spanish and children's books for the iPad. Children's books can be uniquely viewed on the iPad with a full color screen that allows the pictures to be seen more vividly, unlike ebook readers.

Other iPad features include the iBook app, which manages a user's personal library; the iBookstore, a digital store where user's can buy bestsellers and download top-rated free books; and portrait and landscape views, which let users view a single or multiple pages at a time.