Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another one bits the dust....

HarperCollins Publishers said on Monday that it would acquire Thomas Nelson, a publisher based in Nashville, bolstering the company’s strength in the market for inspirational and religious books.  Thomas Nelson, which was founded in Scotland in 1798, has published books by Billy Graham, Richard Stearns and Max Lucado, as well as “Heaven Is for Real,” the blockbuster story of a Nebraska boy’s near-death experience.\

HarperCollins gained considerable leverage in the religious books market in 1988 when it acquired Zondervan, a large religious publisher based in Grand Rapids, Mich.  “Thomas Nelson adds further balance to our existing publishing programs,” Brian Murray, the president and chief executive of HarperCollins, said in a statement. “Its broad inspirational appeal is a good complement to Zondervan, which will continue to publish books consistent with its mission.”

 So another big profit oriented company has taken over a religious publisher (might I say Bible publisher). I suppose that Thomas Nelson was also guided by the profit motive but often this profit motive can and will conflict with the prophet motive.  Truly the religious publishing empire of this country has less interest in publishing things faithful than putting out this financially successful.  We can hardly tell them to lose money but we can also do no less than lament the way that moves like this will reshape one face of Christianity.  The big sellers (like Osteen) will dominate and the nature of the stuff sold will look less and less like orthodox Christianity.  Thanks be to God for the venture capitalists at CPH whose mission is the prophet motive and who march out books old and new that are faithful, orthodox, and relevant (in the best sense of that term)....


Anonymous said...

It reflects more on the buyers than on the sellers.

Janis Williams said...

I have to say many of the buyers have been brainwashed into thinking CCM and pablum - no, make that poison are real food.

Anonymous said...

The entire book industry is in deep
turmoil. Borders went bankrupt and
Barnes & Noble is fighting to still
alive. The public now buys books
on Amazon.com and this has hurt the
traditional book store.

Publishers are consolidating at a
faster rate in a tough economy. The
genius of CPH is that it has a niche
market for its books. LCMS laity
still buy books with spiritual meat.

James said...

What will be left of Thomas Nelson after HarperCollins Publishers has absorbed it "borg-style." What kind of pressure would the secular executives place on Christian editors and writers who want to get their works published. Would they be told they need to soften their stance on religious issues and conform to political correctness. We don't want to offend our potential customers, now do we?

This is a fun read regarding the sad state of the publishing industry:


I am glad that CPH offers many titles for the Kindle. I hope it will continue to thrive and remain loyal to confessional Lutheranism.