Osteen Signs New Multimillion-Dollar Book Deal

After selling more than four million copies of his first book, bestselling author and televangelist Joel Osteen plans to write a second by fall 2007 with publisher Free Press, according to an announcement made Tuesday.

"Pastor Osteen's message already resonates powerfully with millions of people, and we plan to work closely with him to continue to reach the largest audience possible," said Martha K. Levin, executive vice president and publisher of Free Press, in a released statement.

Osteen, who pastors the 30,000-membered Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, also expressed excitement in reaching a larger audience.

"I am excited about the opportunity of expanding our outreach with Free Press," he said. "It is my desire and goal to take our message of unending hope and unconditional love to the world, and I believe that this is a significant step in accomplishing that."

Recent reports indicate that Osteen signed a multimillion-dollar book deal with Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is said to potentially be one of the richest for a nonfiction book, surpassing the $8.5 million or more received in 1994 by Pope John Paul II, according to The New York Times.

Osteen’s new contract follows his instant New York Times bestseller "Your Best Life Now," published in 2004 by Warner Faith, a division of the Time Warner Book Group. The book outlines his basic message of hope and encouragement that "God is a good god." Its companion journal and devotional have also become bestsellers.

"We have long admired Joel for his unparalleled ability to touch people and communicate with them," said Dominick V. Anfuso, V.P., editorial director of Free Press. "We are thrilled and honored to be working with him on his next book."

Simon & Schuster may also be making a contract with Osteen's wife, Victoria, who plans to publish a book possibly with the publisher's children's division.

Joel Osteen became Senior Pastor in October 1999 of Houston's Lakewood Church which has more than quadrupled its weekly attendance and is one of America's most diverse churches. In July 2005, Lakewood Church moved into Houston's 16,000-seat Compaq Center. With a congregation of nearly 35,000 in weekly attendance, Lakewood Church is one of the largest and fastest growing congregations in America. Osteen can be seen via his weekly television broadcast on local network affiliates, various national cable networks and international television stations across the world. He ministers to sold-out crowds at major arenas all across the country. His audience numbers in the millions.