Bible and Justin Bieber Help Book Publishers as Print Continues to Decline

Even though the book industry is currently experiencing an all-time low for traditional print publishing, companies releasing popular religious books such as new Bible editions, and even the biography of young Christian pop idol Justin Bieber continue to sell well.

After taking a hit in 2009 in the aftermath of the recession, sales of religious books saw a major turnaround last year, according to a recent report by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Sales of religious print and digital books totaled $1.35 billion in 2010. And it is still growing.

“There has been an overall growth in religious publishing,” AAP confirmed with The Christian Post.

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Worthy Publishing, the publisher of Belieber!: Fame, Faith and The Heart of Justin Bieber, Bieber’s autobiography, stated that through the past 12 to 18 months its religious category saw its sales increase faster than those of almost every other category.

The company and its new hit are “making their debuts in the midst of good times for the $2 billion religious publishing industry, which is predominantly made up of Christian fiction, non-fiction, devotionals, religious instruction materials and Bibles,” Worthy declared in a statement.

Belieber! is coming out September 27. Its public relations campaign is to include a large Times Square banner and ads on popular religious blogs.

Another book with a religious theme attracting a lot of buzz is Worthy’s forthcoming As Good As She Imagined, a book about Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old, 9/11-born girl who was killed in the Tucson shooting in Arizona in January.

The book, written by the girl’s mother, has a spiritual core that focuses on perseverance, according to the publisher.

The Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (ECPA) President and CEO Mark Kuyper confirmed the recent successful tendencies within the religious books segment of publishing. But he associated it to a simple rebound from the recession.

“The good news for publishers is that the marketplace seems to be improving,” he added in an interview with Christian Retailing, a journal for Christian products. “Though I believe that most analysts would say it is fragile at best.”

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